GMA Frets About CEO's 'Running the Country'

Is the anti-business sentiment so strong in the media that journalists can’t imagine why Americans would want a former CEO in political office?

In an appearance on “Good Morning America” June 10, former cable news host Catherine Crier expressed confusion over the Republican primary victories of Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman in California. Fiorina is running for the U.S. Senate, Whitman for governor.

“Here we are with all the Wall Street consternation and yet they’re touting their credentials as CEO’s,” Crier said in a segment with host George Stephanopoulos and Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown.

Stephanopoulos, added that there “could be some controversy” over Whitman’s leadership of eBay and Fiorina’s leadership of Hewlett-Packard.

“Good Morning America” isn’t the first network program to portray Republican CEO’s negatively. In a February 2009 “Today” show interview with Whitman, Matt Lauer suggested that business experience doesn’t prepare someone for political office.

“But running a business is very different than running a state,” Lauer said. “I mean, if you’re the CEO of a company, you can dictate what happens. In a state like California, that is politically complex, you can’t always dictate what happens.”

The media have long worked to drive a wedge between “Wall Street” and “Main Street,” in part by portraying businessmen (and women) as “corporate fat cats” with no interest in the public good. The media have targeted Republicans as “party of Wall Street” and accused them of “buying offices” with their “fortunes.”

Whitman also came under criticism from NBC’s “Today” show for donating large amounts of money to her own campaign. In a segment April 26, reporter Jamie Gangel linked Whitman to other famous wealthy candidates who have funded their own campaigns and lost – Ross Perot, Steve Forbes, Mitt Romney. Jon Corzine was the only Democrat on Gangel’s list.

A fact rarely mentioned is that, according to a study by the Center for Responsive Politics, the six wealthiest U.S. senators are Democrats. The media also tend to overlook liberals’ ties to maligned corporations, including President Obama’s campaign donations from Goldman Sachs and British Petroleum.

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