| For the past several months, Fox
News's Bill O'Reilly has been reporting that General Electric has been doing
business with Iran, specifically with power generating systems. The issue at
hand is that it is illegal for U.S. business to do business with Iran.
O'Reilly is known for being both accurate and hard
hitting. Despite clearly being partisan in his American politics, he prefers to
claim neutrality. More so, when O'Reilly gets passionate about a topic, he
often calls for a boycott, sometimes just de facto because he avoids the word
boycott, but his viewers will still interpret it as a boycott call regardless.
In his reports on the topic, a reporter for the
O'Reilly Factor approached Mr. Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman of the Board and
Chief Executive Officer of GE at a dinner event. Granted, a dinner event is not
the proper venue to get a comment, especially on camera, so the news crew
undoubtedly expected to be thrown out, which they were. It is, however, an
indication of how far the media has to go to get a comment from Mr. Immelt on
this topic as he has remained silent, despite the fact that he should be open
to answering questions to the public and consumers.
GE is a publicly held U.S. company, and is therefore has an inherent obligation
to be open to the public. The company simply can not operate in a vacuum.
Additionally, their silence in this matter is alarming. If these allegations
are false, Mr. Immelt and his public relations people should simply come out
and say it. The fact that GE is being silent is an indication that there is
some truth to the story, and that GE is worried about the fallout from any
statement, once the truth comes out.
In the mean
time, Boycott Watch has started a day count, posted at
www.BoycottWatch.com, for the number
of days GE remains silent on this important issue and question. We will report
more information as it becomes available.