THE DREGULATOR VOL. VI # 13: MEET JACK WELCH, THE REAL DECIDER

Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s “Hardball” interviewing ex-General Electric Chairman Jack Welch, before a college audience in 2002:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you believe is the role of large businesses such as General Electric in this war on terrorism and in homeland security?
JACK WELCH: Well, I think we have to provide the goods and services that a government demands to have. I mean, if you look at the jet engines that are made today, they’re made by General Electric.

***
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Who’s running the show, the left or the right when it comes to broadcast television?
WELCH: From my view, outside of FOX, the left wing.

***
It ain’t your Daddy’s kind of old tyme corruption. The new kind is a whole new kind.
Jack Welch, while CEO of General Electric, gave an enormous amount of money to the Republican Party, over the years. GE has always been cozy with the GOP. And not for nothing.
Ronald Reagan was the spokesman for General Electric, before he was President.
Jeff Immelt replaced Jack Welch as GE’s CEO, and he, too, gives boodles of money to the Republican Party.
General Electric, the world’s second largest company, currently has
$1, 011,657,364.00 worth of military industrial contracts with our Department of Defense. That’s just the ones going on right now, according to militaryindustrialcomplex.com.
General Electric brings about eighty zillion “good things to life,” including enormous finance and mortgage departments. They also just happen to own NBC, MSNBC, Universal, all the A&E Networks, The Biography Channel, Bravo, the Sci-Fi Channel, Sundance, the USA Network, etc. And that’s just in the States. They also own Telemundo, which runs most TV South of the Border.
Which brings us to the Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los
Angeles) investigation of the 2000 Presidential Elections.
To quote a Phil Rosenthal column from 2006 in the Chicago Tribune:
“There’s (a) story–never fully proven, never fully refuted–alleging that Welch, while head of GE, which owns NBC, tried to intervene in NBC News’ decision-making on election night of 2000, the too-close-to-call Al Gore-George Bush race.”
Jack Welch was apparently hanging around the news desk at 30 Rockefeller Center, that election night.
From an LA Times article by Megan Garvey:
“Waxman charged that eyewitness accounts of the evening ‘sharply conflict’ with
statements made by Welch and network officials that he had nothing to do with the
premature decision to call the presidential election for Republican George W. Bush.”
Oho. The article unpacks Waxman’s allegations that there was hanky-panky among the big dogs in the news room, that night. According to eyewitness accounts given to Waxman:
“[Jack] Welch and other visitors ‘distracted’ NBC News Director of Elections Sheldon R.
Gawiser with repeated questions about how his projection decisions were made.
* Welch had access to raw election data that weren’t available to news anchors,
writers, producers or other on-air reporters.
* After instruction about reading the data, Welch later concluded that Bush had won
Florida, and shared his analysis with Gawiser. Witnesses told Waxman that ‘at
almost the same time, John EllisGeorge W. Bush’s cousin and Fox News’ seniordecision desk official—…’”
(Italics mine, but I’d prefer the words to jump out and eject porcupine quills)
“’…called both the Florida and the national election for George W.
Bush. Immediately after this announcement, Mr. Welch was observed standing behind
Dr. Gawiser with his hand on his shoulder, asking why NBC was not also calling the
election for Bush.’”
(!!!!!!!!!!) Wait! It gets better.
“According to Waxman’s sources, ‘shortly after this,’ Gawiser called the election for
Bush. A similar call was made by all major television news outlets within minutes.”
Well, this apparently drove Waxman bonkers, because there were congressional hearings going on about the election reporting “snafus.”
Waxman asked the then-NBC News chief Andy Lack for internal video of the evening, which Lack said Waxman could have.
Then Lack took it back, and told Waxman to go fly a kite.
Waxman was very bothered about this. He wrote that the incident raised “troubling questions.” Waxman fired back with an eight-page letter, several months later, to NBC boss Bob Wright, “suggesting,” according to the LA Times, that “Welch pressured news staffers to call Florida for Bush.”
Waxman even threatened to seek a congressional subpoena for NBC’s internal video footage.
In 2006, Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune spoke to Waxman’s office to find out if the matter was ever resolved.
It wasn’t – but maybe this is because Waxman’s letter was made public on….get this….
…wait for it….
Sept. 10, 2001.
(And then the next day was September 11, 2001.)
Suddenly these petty details about who said what, when, on election night, didn’t seem very important to anyone.
NBC officials did, however, make an internal decision to recommend isolating their election analysts and the decision desk, in order to protect them from “unnecessary interruptions.”
Well, alls I can say is it’s a damn good thing General Electric owns the The History Channel.
Oh….and the Military History Channel, too.
“He who controls history…”
….I forget the rest.
Don’t stop! Beliiiiieving/
Hold on to the Feeeeeeeling/
Stre-e-eet lights, Peop

(Screen abruptly cuts to silent black.)