In the latest example of corporate media leftism, the parent company of NBC News — NBC Universal (“NBCU”) — is set to place NBCU executive Jeff Shell as CEO of the entire company. Shell has given at least $30,600 exclusively to Democrats this election cycle.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote Dec. 16, that Shell “will take over as CEO of NBCUniversal from Steve Burke.” Shell, according to Federal Election Commission records, has contributed at least $30,600 spread among two Democratic presidential candidates, two Democratic Party leadership PACs and two Democratic committees between Jan. 28, 2019 – Oct. 29, 2019.
Shell gave the maximum amounts ($2,800) to Democratic Party presidential candidates Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) (she dropped out earlier in December) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), clearly indicating a liberal political bias. He also contributed $10,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $5,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which both assist to help Democrats gain majorities in both houses of Congress respectively.
This raises major concerns of potential conflicts of interest, particularly due to NBC Universal’s news divisions (NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, etc.) history of left-leaning journalism.
Shell’s controversial cash contributions were revealed by the Media Research Center in July. His contributions were part of a group of 12 NBCUniversal/Comcast executives who gave to Harris in the months leading up to the June 26-27, 2019 Democratic Party presidential debates, which raised concerns of potential conflicts of interest. In the debate, NBC’s moderators broke their own debate rules by giving Harris more time than she was supposed to get, some of which she used to attack former Vice President Joe Biden on the issue of race.
He also contributed $5,000 to Common Sense Colorado, a Democratic Party leadership PAC affiliated with Bennet and $5,000 to Follow the North Star Fund, A Democratic Party leadership PAC affiliated with current Democratic Party presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
According to The Reporter, “Shell will take over as NBCU CEO effective Jan. 1, reporting to Burke, who will move to the role of chairman, NBCUniversal. Upon Burke’s retirement in the summer, Shell will report directly to Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast.”
Shell is the current NBCU Film and Entertainment Chairman.
“Burke in a statement said ’it is great to know I am leaving the company in terrific hands with Jeff, who is the right leader to usher in the next phase of growth and success for NBCUniversal,’” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics clearly states that journalists should “Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.” It also states that journalists should refuse credibility-harming “special treatment” and should “Avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.”
The fact that Shell, who appears to be a political partisan, is now set to be in charge of the whole kit-and-kaboodle that is the NBC Universal decision-making apparatus, including its news organizations, definitely raises some eyebrows.