Mar
28
2011

GE Avoids Reporting on GE Avoiding Taxes

You may have heard about the New York Times report (3/25/11) explaining that General Electric made $14 billion in worldwide profits in 2010–and paid the federal government exactly nothing in taxes. The Times explained this is"based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore."

Despite the Comcast purchase, GE is still apart owner of NBC and MSNBC–the latter conventionally thought to be a liberal-leaning outlet. So did they say much about a giant corporation keeping profits offshore in order to avoid paying taxes? Not really; Paul Abramspointedoutat the Huffington Post (3/26/11), host Lawrence O'Donnell deserves credit forgoing after the company.

What about NBC? Checking Nexis doesn't turn up much, though I did come across this conversation between Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on the Today show, which is apparently aboutvariousPrince William-Kate Middleton royal wedding memorabilia(3/24/11):

KOTB: That's the top of the cake, so if you cut it….

GIFFORD: Oh my gosh. They've never looked so unattractive. That's terrible.

KOTB: Well, anyway, the baker, Michelle Wibowo, she did it, spent eight hours on it.

GIFFORD: Oh, sorry, baker.

KOTB: All right.

GIFFORD: Sorry. It's lovely. Gosh.

KOTB: And if you need a place to put your cake, just–how about the Will and Kate refrigerator by GE? Who's part owner of this company.

GIFFORD: Yes.

KOTB: Yes.

For the record, there really is a GErefrigerator honoringWill and Kate.

Outside the GE media world, ABC's Jake Tapper turned in a good report on ABC World News.

UPDATE: Over at ThinkProgress Zaid Jilani notes that one outlet has expressed a keen interest in GE's tax avoidance: the Fox News Channel.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.