Saturday, April 11, 2009
Conflict Of Interest Rates
On the April 6 Nightly News, Lisa Myers reported on a conflict of interest involving presidential advisor Larry Summers. She told us that prior to becoming chief economic advisor to President Obama, Summers had received $8 million in speaking fees from Wall Street firms and hedge funds. Meanwhile, Nightly News has accepted tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship fees from pharmaceutical conglomerates like GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer while continuing to report on the pharmaceutical industry, and even on these companies' specific products. Summers accepted his fees before he knew he would be named as chief economic advisor to the president and he presumably has stopped accepting corporate money now that he is part of the Obama administration. NBC continues to accept pharmaceutical sponsorship money while they report on the drug industry--sometimes even on the same broadcast. So which is the bigger conflict of interest?