Saturday, August 8, 2009


It's now been four days since it was announced that General Electric (NBC's parent company) was fined $50 million by the SEC for using improper accounting practices. Brian Williams hasn't mentioned this story on Nightly News, and apparently he has no intention of ever doing so. That's not surprising. One of Brian's main responsibilities as Nightly News anchor is to promote (and when necessary, protect) NBC/Universal and GE properties. Nightly News viewers may remember last March 4 when Brian spent two shameless minutes on Nightly News (with CNBC's David Faber) desperately trying to prop up GE's falling stock price. This was part of Brian's discourse: "Founded by Thomas Edison--why is it important in modern-day America as the last surviving member of the original Dow--and was it the victim of a feeding frenzy the past few days?" Faber responded by saying, "GE says we have more than enough capital--more than enough financial flexibility--we are simply the victim at this point of a feeding frenzy." (I guess "feeding frenzy" is the operative phrase here.) That exchange sounded like it was part of an infomercial. Now once again, Brian is fiercely protecting his parent company by keeping mum about the GE accounting scandal. In his blog, Brian is fond of providing links to New York Times articles. Well, here's a link to a very interesting column by Floyd Norris that ran on the front page of the Times's Aug. 7 Business Section. The column is called "Inside G.E., A Little Bit Of Enron" (it can also be accessed through the Times's website). According to Norris, "Some of the details (of this case) are eerily reminiscent of Enron." The article offers some keen insight into GE's corporate practices and ethics. It's a good bet that Brian won't be linking to this article.

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