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I don't know what is going on at my old Peacock Company: NBC and its parent, General Electric. I worked there eight years and was reasonably happy. I bear no resentment and I am not hostile to either the network or the mighty GE or the people who still work there.
Silly me, I took the job seriously. I read the company policy manual and kept it in my office for easy reference. When NBC blew up that truck and heads rolled, I read the final report and recommendations from the outside lawyers like I was cramming for a final. Do this, don't do that. I knew NBC and GE rules backwards and forwards.
So now I look up at NBC and I see anchors making gratuitous personal attacks on individuals, other TV people or politicians, in direct violation of the rule book. I see CNBC financial journalist Maria Bartiromo jetting around the world, not only in violation of the rule book, but worse, NBC and GE flacks rushing into the public prints to defend her actions.
What's bad about this is that NBC and GE are using her credibility and her audience loyalty to protect their own. This is a NBC and GE problem, not a Maria problem. Her parent companies were letting her do things they would fire others for — and fire them in an instant.
CNBC has a $25 rule. I know people over there who won't take something home that has arrived in the mail because they're afraid it's worth more than $25 and they could be fired. As long as it's sitting on the desk at work, they haven't accepted it and they're clean.
And yet CNBC and GE let this financial journalist jet around the globe on corporate jets speaking at corporate events, in some cases that promote multi-million dollar business deals? Is it true that CNBC is allowing its business journalists to drum up business for the corporations they cover?
Boy, things have changed over there since they blew me up.
Maria Bartiromo is getting kicked around in the press for her corporate jet rides. If her bosses were encouraging her to make these trips and compromise her own integrity and credibility, they were making a big mistake, and I'd like to know why they violated their own rules in the case of Maria when it seems they have enforced the rules when it comes to others.
That's My Word.
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