The FNC/MSNBC Dial Down: What I was hearing…
Since this story is still in flux, as evidenced by tonight’s not so veiled attack on the New York Times’ reporting by the ubiquitous insider on TVNewser, I’ve decided to post the chronology of events as laid out to me, word for word, over a month ago. Is it accurate? Don’t know. I suspect we’ll never know for sure because this isn’t a story that either FNC or NBC/GE wanted getting out in the first place.
1. GE purchases air time on FNC (commercials for ecoimagination). Deal secured. (spring 2009)
2. Weeks later, Immelt and team notice the attacks on NBC-MSNBC-GE-Obama connection on FNC (which originally exposed by Beck and O’Reilly programs)
3. Immelt and team ask FNC to cutback on GE-Obama connection theory.
4. FNC says it will not alter its programming
5. Immelt and team ask FNC again, this time offering that criticism of FNC and its’ anchors on MSNBC will be cut, reduced.
6. FNC agrees (After 2 week period)
7. MSNBC anchors and editors are asked by high management to phase out criticism over time
8. Dr. Tiller’s death
9. Olbermann uses event #8 as an opportunity to cut FNC criticism, takes one last blow to FNC, asks for quarantine
10. MSNBC essentially cuts FNC criticism at 8PM hour, FNC reduced exposing GM-Obama connection
Another aspect, which isn’t mentioned in this chronology, was that, according to my source, FNC would not agree to a total cutoff, just a reduction. Point 1 is irrelevant to the rest of the points but serves as a starting point in the time frame. Point 10 is obviously inaccurate because Olbermann has continued to pick at FNC, but not necessarily O’Reilly…certainly not to the degree he had before the “boycott” was instituted. I think my source was conflating O’Reilly with all of FNC.
This email came in from J$ who, like me, had noticed the severe drawdown in hostilities and he openly questioned whether that “rumor” I had Tweeted about way back had real teeth to it.
The attacks continue on Beck, which the LA Times is taking as evidence that the truce didn’t work. But I don’t think the truce was about MSNBC and FNC. I think it was about Olby and Bill. That’s where the de-escalation took place. A week or two ago, O’Reilly did a couple of reports about companies that would get rich using Cap and Trade. He rattled off a bunch of them…but GE was not among them. That week, when Beck was on for his weekly stint, they talked about C&T a bit. Beck interjected something like “and don’t forget GE”. O’Reilly just ignored it as if he didn’t even hear it. That struck me that Bill really didn’t want to go there and leads me to believe that this truce, assuming it is real, is more about the 8:00 pm slot than the networks as a whole.