One of the best recent moments in television was when CNBC’s Jim Cramer told Tim Russert on Meet the Press on April 30 that retired Exxon Mobil CEO Lee Raymond was doing more for the country and his own shareholders than NBC Today Show co-host Katie Couric. Cramer was absolutely right. After all, how much oil does Couric bring to market?
Cramer declared, “I think if they could drill they would drill. If they could refine more, they would. These are companies that are run for the shareholders, but they’re run to be able to produce as much oil as we can possibly use. They want to do that. Lee Raymond, he, he generated $67 billion in profits for his shareholders. I think that that’s a reasonable return, $144,000 a day. Katie Couric makes $85,000 a day. What value has she created vs. $67 billion by Lee Raymond?”
Russert tried to counter that Couric had created value for the Today show and “millions of viewers.” Then he joked, “You leave Katie alone.” Cramer replied, “She plays for another team now,” referring to her leaving for CBS News.
It’s been said that the Today Show is the most profitable program on the GE-owned network, but Cramer’s point, I think, is that Couric doesn’t really produce anything. GE, of course, does produce things. But its CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, has been trying to squander shareholders resources by promoting the dubious man-made global warming theory.
The Free Enterprise Action Fund was at the recent GE annual meeting, demanding an explanation of Immelt’s conduct.
It reports, “Tom Borelli and Steve Milloy, portfolio managers of the Free Enterprise Action Fund (FreeEnterpriseActionFund.com), repeatedly asked questions about GE’s global warming lobbying, but CEO Immelt provided no substantive responses. The global warming shareholder resolution requested that GE report to its shareholders on the scientific and economic justification for its lobbying. The resolution received 5.9% of the vote (votes representing over 500 million shares of GE stock) and qualified for inclusion in GE’s 2007 proxy statement.”
A release said that Borelli also pointed out that GE credits liberal non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the company’s “Eco-magination business strategy.” Borelli told the shareholders these groups were “looters” who deplete the resources of the company in order achieve their political agenda.
We’re waiting for Tim Russert to do a Meet the Press show on this. But we’re not holding our breath.