Last week, in a curious bit of timing, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Ed Schultz disclosed on the air that their parent company had ties to Mitt Romney’s former private equity firm, Bain Capital.
Schultz began a segment attacking Romney and Bain by mentioning NBC’s involvement with the buyout firm.
Schultz: Well, the 2012 election is going to be about the economy and jobs. I think we can agree on that. Most polls show that across the country. Mitt Romney’s history at Bain Capital is not going to help his image as a job creator. Now we want to disclose that NBC Universal and Bain Capital are each a part-owner of The Weather Channel. Bain Capital’s main business model is buying companies, like American Pad and Paper, and restructuring them. In many instances, Bain turned a profit by strip-mining these companies. American—Ampad is what it’s known—the stock was driven down and the company went bankrupt. They fired hundreds of workers along the way. One of the people who lost his job at an Ampad factory in Marion, Indiana was Randy Johnson. He recently told ABC News what it was like to see his fellow Ampad workers trying to find new careers.
What Schultz failed to mention is that the deal for The Weather Channel occurred in 2008 and that the channel is still operating, if not thriving under NBC.
But that wouldn’t make for a good story when you are trying to destroy the reputation of a company and weaken one of Barack Obama’s strongest potential opponents for the presidency this year.
It may be the fear of a Romney challenge that precipitated the disclosure at a time when Romney is once again the GOP front runner. Better late than never, I guess, though Chris Matthews still hasn’t mentioned the ties as he bashes Bain and Romney.
For Schultz, the Bain Capital-NBC partnership is an inconvenient truth that he is doing his best to play down.