October 23, 2018

Comcast CEO Declines to Deny it Runs MSNBC Not for Ratings and Profits, But to Open Doors for Comcast With Liberal Elected Officials

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:
This Explains Why Comcast Accepts Dismal MSNBC Ratings and Gears Programming Toward Only 24% of the Population
 

Washington, D.C.  – At today’s annual meeting of Comcast shareholders, Comcast executives dodged questions from the National Center for Public Research regarding the company’s bizarre business model for MSNBC, which caters to liberals, 24% of the U.S. population, while demonizing conservatives, 37% of the population.

But the executives’ most revealing moment may be in what they declined to say: They declined to deny that Comcast really runs MSNBC to keep the corporation in the good graces of liberal elected officials.

At the meeting, Biddison asked, in part:

Saying “CNN… was a little too liberal,” CNN’s President Jeff Zucker put more conservatives on CNN.

CNN doubled its audience in the key 24-54 demographic and the Wall Street Journal says CNN is “…nipping at the heels of Fox News… and is roughly doubling the audience of MSNBC, the weakest of the three…”.

MSNBC caters to liberals, at 24% the smallest ideological demographic.

As this makes no sense, I ask you: Is Comcast is using MSNBC and its loyalty to the Obama Administration and other liberal elected officials as a lobbying tool? Is this lobbying tool worth the cost to shareholders of being a distant third in the ratings?

For years we attended this shareholder meeting in person, and now by computer since you cancelled face-to-face interactions with your shareholders, asking why Comcast aims so low with MSNBC. You always duck the question. We tell you now: If you do not deny that your strategy with MSNBC is a lobbying one, we are going to publish a press release saying Comcast’s management refuses to deny that the entire point of MSNBC’s existence is to promote Comcast’s lobbying efforts.

The full text of Biddison’s question at the Comcast meeting, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.

“In this tumultuous political year, the highest-ranking television networks are the ones that aren’t vilifying conservatives,” said Jennifer Biddison, the digital media specialist at the National Center for Public Policy Research, who attended the meeting. “Even if a network’s leaders personally have liberal leanings, it is important that they find innovative ways to reach viewers across the entire political spectrum. Otherwise their network’s ratings will tank, as we have seen this past year with MSNBC in particular. If Comcast wants to save MSNBC, it should rebrand its acronym to ‘My Station Nixes Biased Coverage.'”

Comcast’s executives ducked Biddison’s question, touting MSNBC’s perceived success instead. Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts answered simply, “Under Andy Lack’s leadership, who is the President of NBC News, who joined us in the last year or so, I think MSNBC has made terrific improvements in ratings and continues to have a wonderful roadmap ahead.”

The reading of Biddison’s question, in addition to Roberts’s response, can be heardhere.

“We told Comcast’s CEO point-blank that if he did not deny that the purpose of MSNBC, from Comcast’s point of view, is to make liberal elected officials and other policymakers feel good about Comcast, essentially a very informal form of lobbying, that we would issue a press release saying you refused to deny this. And he did refuse to deny it when he could easily have done so,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“Mr. Roberts’ silence may speak volumes. Comcast apparently has been putting up with MSNBC’s dismal ratings all these years because the very fact that Comcast owns MSNBC opens doors for it, figuratively but probably also literally, with liberal elected officials and their staff members, such as those at the White House, but also in liberal policymaking offices all across the land,” continued Ridenour. “Just as businesses and unions make campaign contributions in the hope of being able to get face-time with elected officials, Comcast may be running a TV network for much the same purpose.”

“What an irony,” Ridenour continued, “that the anti-capitalist message of so much of the on-air ‘talent’ at MSNBC is merely a front for an extremely sophisticated form of pro-business grassroots lobbying.”

“This is perfectly legal,” concluded Ridenour, “but so ironic. If Comcast is running MSNBC to keep the Obama Administration and its allies on its good side, people such as Rachel Maddow are actually a new form of lobbyist, not journalists. Put a pin in that for a second.”

For years, representatives of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project have attended Comcast’s meeting in person and quizzed company executives about its strange strategy of catering to less than one-fourth of the American people, and its willingness to let the on-air personnel at MSNBC make outlandishly inaccurate statements without requiring corrections, even to the point of exposing Comcast to potential libel lawsuits. (See here, here and here for more information about some of these meetings.)

Biddison attended today’s meeting on behalf of National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour, who is a Comcast shareholder.

In her question, Biddison referenced CNN’s recent rating success that stems from a very deliberate business decision to try to balance the network ideologically after years of skewing left. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, CNN President Jeff Zucker stated: “I think it was a legitimate criticism of CNN that it was a little too liberal. We have added many more middle-of-the-road conservative voices to an already strong stable of liberal voices. And I think that we are a much more-balanced network and, as a result, a much more inviting network to a segment of the audience that might not have otherwise been willing to come here.”

CNN’s decision to try to balance its programming follows years of pressure from many, including the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, over the company’s liberal bias. The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. questioned Time Warner (CNN’s parent company) Jeffrey Bewkes in 2013 and 2014 about the company’s liberal bias and urged CNN to try to achieve more balance and objectivity. For more about those confrontations, see here and here.

“We are living in a time when only six percent of Americans trust the media,” said Danhof. “Networks such as MSNBC deserve a fair share of blame for this. MSNBC is not a platform for news. It is an outlet for liberals who wish to hear talking heads regurgitate and affirm their leftist beliefs. CNN’s leadership was willing to accept criticism that this was a flawed business model. By adding conservative commentators, that network has added to its bottom line and has done right by its investors. Comcast continues to do a disservice to its investors who suffer right along with MSNBC’s abysmal ratings. The fact that the company’s executives couldn’t be bothered to honestly answer a simple question about MSNBC’s poor performance speaks volumes.”

Earlier this year, Danhof questioned Disney CEO Bob Iger over the liberal bias on Disney’s media platforms, ABC and Disney. Incredibly, Iger defended his company’s news stations and denied any bias. Danhof’s confrontation with Iger was detailed in aHollywood Reporter article that was prominently featured on the Drudge Report.

The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In 2014-15, National Center representatives participated in 69 shareholder meetings for the purpose of advancing liberty. Today’s Comcast meeting marks its twelfth shareholder meeting of 2016.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.

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What Some Will Do for a Cause

In May of 2007, I worked with a resident of Idaho putting together photographs and chronicling information and facts to corroborate a story of how certain people, bent on the destruction of the Idaho elk ranching industry, plotted to plant disease among domestic elk. From information I obtained, it was believed by the conspirators that the only thing powerful enough to put an end to domestic elk ranching was to infect those animals with a disease. That threat was very powerful.

Some 8-plus years later, and witnessing events taking place in this country and around the world, and I am left asking myself, to what extent will people go to promote their agendas?

Eight years ago I thought it was abominable that any person(s) would actually consider spreading disease in order to get what they wanted. Today, I am asking to what extent will some people go in order to destroy the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

I consider myself to be a sensible guy. I am an outcast in this world because for the most part I want little to do with it and in actuality just consider myself passing through.

I, like millions of other Americans, watched in horror as two news people seemingly were gunned down on live television and the event was filmed by the killer – a man who was immediately labeled as being a mental case.

At the time, I did not choose to view the video of the actually shooting. Yesterday, I watched a video, put together by someone trying to show that the gun the killer was shooting was fake – only shooting blanks.

As with most videos of this kind that I choose to watch, I leave the volume off and make my own observations. After such, I then, sometimes, turn the volume up and watch one last time.

The first time I viewed the video of what was presented as the gun and hand of the killer, my first thought was that the first shot probably missed, as the gun was pointing to the right of the intended target. The first shot in the video shows the gun firing clearly. It was obvious to me the gun, a hand gun, was some kind of auto-loader, the magazine, if there was one, being contained within the hand grip of the pistol.

To be clear, I would not consider myself a gun expert, but I have spent my life around them. Therefore, I know perhaps more about guns than the average person.

Even though I thought perhaps the first shot missed the target, I did notice orange/red muzzle flash and smoke – quite a bit more smoke than comes from newer guns and ammunition. The second thing that I noticed was that there was no casing ejected from the gun. There were, in the video, what I believed to be at least 3 shots in succession. It was obvious the gun was not a revolver. Revolvers do not eject casings. The spent casings remain in the magazine cylinder and must be manually removed and new ammunition loaded.

Where was the casing from the bullet that was fired? That is the question that I would like to have answered.

I am not going to give you a link to the video that I viewed. You should find any that exist for yourself and make your own determination of what took place and what was the gun being used.

In getting back to my original question, I know from personal experience that a small group of men were considering (there is no evidence to show they carried out the idea and I did notify the FBI of the information I had) introducing disease into domestic animals to alter the industry for what their agenda was bent on achieving.

How far are people willing to go to convince the public that guns need to be banned? Would they stage such an event as faking the shooting of a news reporter and cameraman? I don’t know. The world we live in has much evil.

For those that know me well, I am not one to jump on some claim without having solid proof. I am also not saying that what is revealed in the video about the gun being fired, is proof that the event was fake and staged. I am asking for somebody to explain to me, with solid, sensible proof, that there exists auto-loading handguns that shoot bullets that kill people that don’t have a casing. Was this gun one that propels a bullet with compressed air or some other gas? Does that gas create an orange/red muzzle flash and smoke?

Even the video slowed down by 30-times normal speed, I fail to see any casing being ejected.

No more than the difficulty I had during the Boston Marathon bombing, seeing a man supposedly with both legs, below the knees, blown off, sitting up, alert in a wheelchair being pushed down the street, I believe my question is legitimate in this case.

If you have rational thoughts on this, please share them below in the comments section. Thank you.

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Where Once A Man’s Word Had Honor, Now Lies Have Become Truth

The dictionary defines a progressive as being someone who “favors progress or reform, especially in political matters”. Progress and reform are both gray issues; meaning there is no specific description of what each means. That in and of itself presents an array of troublesome quandaries that have led this fine nation into a spiraling abyss of immorality, or at least can be perceived by anyone maintaining some semblance of an honest and ethical lifestyle. One such example of “favors progress or reform”, in order to achieve a desired result, is lying. Where once a man’s word retained a wealth of value and was as good as good can get, now lying is not only prevalent but eagerly accepted among the masses of progressive, secular Americans. But why?

One of the things I managed to accomplish this summer while at my camp in the woods of Maine was to read. One particular book I read – one that I bought for .50 cents at the library book sale – was another in a growing collection of books I have about Abraham Lincoln, but in particular the conspiracy to assassinate him. The book is: “The True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and of the Conspiracy of 1865”. The content of the book is essentially the account as told by Louis J. Weichmann.

Weichmann was a friend of John H. Surratt and the Surratt family, including Mary Surratt. He also met and had relationships of varying degrees with many of the so-called conspirators, including John Wilkes Booth, in the killing of Abraham Lincoln and the attempted assassination of others. Because of this association, Weichmann was initially held by authorities as a possible conspirator but eventually much of his testimony was used to convict members of this group.

The book details the testimony and trial of the conspirators (all were charged and tried together). A few years after the initial trial, John H. Surratt was captured and tried and Weichmann details this as well.

Aside from the complicated mess of evidence, real and fabricated, it doesn’t take long to realize that the words and written testimony of those involved in the trial, are held in high esteem by both the author and the courts. Seldom was a person’s word brought into question unless it could be accurately proven to be a falsehood. Time was not wasted attempting to blur the evidence or present a person’s testimony as something it wasn’t in order to have influence over the jury. Words were either fact or fiction and if fiction you better have real proof. If it was proven a man lied, nothing that specific individual had to say or offer in the case had any value and was completely disregarded. Otherwise, a man’s word was seldom questioned as society still viewed a person’s word as something to honor and respect.

Can the same be said for today? We witness courtroom testimony and the words of witnesses, judges, lawyers, etc. and much of what they say, if not an outright lie, is misleading and meant to be so. Each side strives for a desired outcome and subjective morals and subjective truths are used in order to get there.

This is not relegated to just the courtrooms however. Take our media for example. Where once it was mostly taken as a “journalist’s” moral responsibility and obligation to tell only the facts as can be substantiated, now it’s more about ratings and who can be the first to tell a story about an event regardless of the accuracy of the content.

We Americans find ourselves once again mired in another presidential campaign, along with elections of certain member seats in the House and Senate. Honest and unbiased reasoning shows us there is little justification to trust a politician’s word about anything and yet as sure as flies are attracted to garbage, voters are drawn to the words, not perhaps because of the truths they may hold but for the want of what those recitations promise. We care not if anything uttered is truth, just that what they say images our desired subjective truths and morals. We are so fickle!

It is readily discussed these days, and surely who can argue, that what once was news is now entertainment. One coined word for this is “infotainment”. While it may be entertainment, and some members of this “news” entertainment might willingly agree to its description, it certainly is not presented to the masses of people as entertainment. Shouldn’t it be? Or has everything that involves truth and morality become subjective? Of course it has. American people take comedy and entertainment shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or Colbert Nation with Stephen Colbert as legitimate news shows. We are so volatile!

At essentially every level of American society, progressiveness, i.e. the “development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and superior to the previous level”, exists to some degree. We are all guilty. But what happens when one’s desires and idealism become the driving force in their life? To what lengths will they go and what conservative values are they willing to abandon in order to achieve that thought of as a, “superior level”?

None of this is new. This idea that morals and truth is subjective, meaning that one’s mind and thoughts can rightly justify the devaluing of objective truth, has been around in the minds of men for many centuries. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher who died at age 42 and lived from 1813 – 1855, said: “…the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.” He also was quoted as saying: “When he is nearest to being in two places at the same time he is in passion; but passion is momentary, and passion is also the highest expression of subjectivity.”

Because someone is passionate about what they might believe, say and do, this can justify subjective truth and the lack of adherence to a moral compass? Wasn’t it James Madison who said that the only way our founding Constitution and Bill of Rights would ever survive was if the nation maintained a moral backbone. It has not. As a matter of fact, the so-called progressives have managed to convince our American youth that the worship of God Almighty played no role in the construction of our constitution and thus the end result is a promotion of subjective morals and truth, leaving a nation lacking in leadership to seek Kierkegaard’s truth – that which is true to me.

When considering this kind of thought and the results of those thoughts, also acknowledge how this enters into the many debates that exist in this country that are “passionate” and often, if not always, embroiled in one’s subjective truth. In the work that I do, this is prevalent in the debates about wildlife management and the environment. Just pick a subject.

The Bible says in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father except through Me.” For those who still adhere to objective truth and morals, God told us in his Word, that He alone was the Truth. Man’s words therefore can only be held to account of the Word of God in seeking truth. When’s the last time that happened in this country?

For the secular minded, be it told that Nazi Germany based its “truth” to justify the murdering of innocent humans on Darwin’s principle of “survival of the fittest”, therefore discovering their Kierkegaard kind of truth in killing those they believed to be inferior human beings. They also relied on Friedrich Nietzsche’s belief that: “Since there is no God to will what is good, we must will our own good. And since there is no eternal value, we must will the eternal recurrence of the same state of affairs.”

Not that the United States has now become Nazi Germany but provided that this nation, including each of us as accountable individuals, as well as our governments, powerful media sources, non governmental agencies, etc., continues down this road of dissing the Truth of God’s word and seeking their own truth to fit their agendas and ideals, we can only expect to witness a more blatant and intended bunch of lies in order to accomplish our goals.

God’s word is Truth. Every moral compass of the world should point to the Truth. When it does not, the lies become commonplace and those creating and perpetuating those lies will have succeeded in convincing themselves that “their truth” is what works for them and therefore all others become the lies.

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Maine The Most “Peaceful” State, Because………………………………?

It seems Maine newspapers and no doubt the citizenry are falling all over themselves to be named the “Most Peaceful” state in the U.S. However, it’s unfortunate that three major newspapers, the Sun Journal, Press Herald and Bangor Daily, opted to republish a piece of crap written by the Associated Press to manipulate public perceptions and influence thought.(Note: At least the Bangor Daily News chose to provide a link to the source of the “Peace Index“.)

It has been proven time and again that the prevalence of gun ownership plays no role in the increase in violent crime and yet the AP chooses to word their report to say, “The South is the least peaceful region with the highest homicide, violent crime, and incarceration rates, as well as the highest prevalence of gun ownership.”

However, in specifically referencing Maine, the same AP report states, “Maine is America’s most peaceful state with recorded reductions in the homicide and incarceration rates as well as the number of police employees.”, while mentioning nothing about the prevalence of gun ownership.

The attempt by the Associated Press is clear. They intend to influence readers to believe that in areas where more people own more guns, life is not “peaceful”.

For shame.

Tom Remington

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