(Fred Weinberg) – If there was ever an exhibition of what is wrong with corporate America, it was on full display by Comcast subsidiary NBC Universal last night as CNBC hosted the Republican field of candidates for a debate.
Apparently, Presidential debates have made it to pay TV before the World Series.
Not only did CNBC not allow non-paying customers to watch the debate on their own channel, about a third of the way through the debate, they called Youtube and shut off the stream.
We’re not talking about a sporting event where a broadcaster is trying to recoup rights fees.
We’re talking about a freaking Presidential election!
What’s the matter? The advertising revenue from a Donald Trump appearance wasn’t enough?
Forget the boobs who were asking the questions. CNBC has been going downhill ever since Roger Ailes lured Neil Cavuto away and founded the Fox Business Channel. You could expect stupid, biased questions from a bunch of know-nothing desk jockey talking heads who allegedly cover business which all of the candidates took in stride and adopted Trump’s method of making those talking heads look stupid to everybody but themselves.
But the mere thought that you should have to pay to see a Presidential debate is simply anathema to our system of self-government—no matter how stupid the questions.
Apparently NBC—which actually holds Federal licenses to operate TV stations in the public interest convenience and necessity—has forgotten its roots.
We’re talking about a Presidential election here.
I am of the opinion that nobody told the campaigns that there would be no alternate streaming of the broadcast because surely none of them would have participated.
After all, CNBC is a horsefeces little cable channel which normally has a rounding error for viewership.
Next time, the Republican National Committee (and the Democrats too) should make it a requirement that the channels be unlocked for the debate and streaming shall be free to any distributor who wants it or the debate will go to someone who will.
The truth is that Youtube could host the debate themselves and handle the viewers.
We no longer actually need channels like CNBC.
So, dummies (and you all know who you are), wise up. There’s a time for copyright issues and that time is NOT during a Presidential debate.
Not only is America being run by stupid people—as Trump is fond of saying—so are some of its largest corporations.
That sound you hear is NBC founder David Sarnoff turning over in his grave.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.