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O’Reilly Irrational Jihad #472: General Electric

Bill O’Reilly has identified yet another Greatest Threat to America to go along with DailyKos, Arianna Huffington, college professors, the War on Christmas, George Soros, and lesbian gangs with pink guns — General Electric, parent company of NBC, and its CEO, Jeffrey Immelt.

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post has an article tracing some of the history behind BOR’s newest jihad. BOR claims that his criticism stems from GE’s dealings with Iran — who America is NOT at war with, despite the fondest wishes of FOX and the neocons. Some excerpts from BOR’s new fatwa:

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt does not seem to care about the damage Iran is doing to America and the world. –snip-
Meantime, Immelt receives more than $20 million a year in compensation. Can you believe it? Everybody else gets hosed; Immelt gets wealthy.
But far worse is the Iran deal. If my child were killed in Iraq, I would blame the likes of Jeffrey Immelt. There's no excuse for his behavior or his incompetence.
Millions of Americans hold GE stock in good faith, but this is a bad company. Doing business with people killing American soldiers and Marines is simply unacceptable. And paying a guy $20 million to run a company into the ground is simply breathtaking.
There are more than a few villain CEOs in this country, but Jeffrey Immelt could well be the worst.
First, as Kurtz points out, BOR’s new fatwa has more to do with his running feud between him and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who has been relentless in his efforts to expose BOR as the lying, ignorant, ridiculous blowhard he is. But because BOR refuses to even mentions Olbermann’s name (and threaten anyone who does so in his presence), BOR has turned to attacking everything around Olbermann, like NBC, MSNBC, and GE. I guess BOR knows he’d lose if went head-to-head against Olbermann, so he’s trying every other angle.

Second, BOR’s latest attack is actually a tacit admission by FOX that BOR is being trounced in his battle with Olbermann, not the result of any breaking news. From Kurtz's article:
[FOX News chairman Roger] Ailes called [NBC chief executive Jeff] Zucker on his cellphone last summer, clearly agitated over a slam against him by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. According to sources familiar with the conversation, Ailes warned that if Olbermann didn't stop such attacks against Fox, he would unleash O'Reilly against NBC and would use the New York Post as well.
The fact that GE has dealings with Iran is hardly news, nor is it illegal. As Kurtz notes:
"Under growing criticism from the public and its own shareholders, GE announced in 2005 that it would accept no new business in Iran and would wind down existing contracts, which mostly involved sales of oil, gas and energy and health-care equipment. The remaining work, valued at less than $50 million, amounts to less than .01 percent of GE's income, and the company says the final four contracts will expire within weeks."

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