THR’s Paul Bond reports things got “testy” at today’s GE shareholder meeting. When it came time for shareholders to question CEO Jeff Immelt many wanted to ask about MSNBC and CNBC.
First up was a woman asking about a reported meeting in which Immelt and NBC Uni CEO Jeff Zucker supposedly told top CNBC executives and talent to be less critical of President Obama and his policies. Immelt acknowledged a meeting took place but said no one at CNBC was told what to say or not say about politics.
One specific complaint about MSNBC concerned Keith Olbermann’s interview of actress Janeane Garofalo, who likened conservatives to racists and spoke of “the limbic brain inside a right-winger.”
“They were upset that Olbermann didn’t bother to challenge her,” one GE shareholder said. Immelt said he takes a hands-off approach to what is reported on the company’s news networks, which prompted a shareholder to criticize him for not managing NBC Uni effectively.
And who else showed up at the meeting?
> Update: Audio of O’Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters asking Immelt about Janeane Garofalo.
Bond reports, “One shareholder at the Orlando, Fla., meeting was Jesse Watters, a producer of ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ Waters asked a question at the meeting, then turned on the Fox News Channel cameras outside the venue and interviewed other shareholders who attended the meeting.”