Last June Jed Babbin of the uber-conservative Human Events Magazine wrote a disturbingly ignorant article in which he contended that Bill O’Reilly’s asinine babbling about General Electric may have caused their stock to decline.
Now Paul Bond of the Hollywood Reporter has sunk to the same depths of dumb. Bond has a history of poor analysis and bias that would embarrass the editor of a high school newspaper. In this column he asks: “Could O’Reilly have been a factor in GE’s stock becoming a dim bulb?” Most of the article is a tired rehashing of the war O’Reilly has declared on GE/NBC/Keith Olbermann. But near the end of the piece he gets around to answering his own question:
“Despite the relentless nature of the tirades, there aren’t many on Wall Street who suggest O’Reilly has been the cause of GE’s free-falling stock. In fact, most experts dismiss it as partisan street theater, and they point out that shares of News Corp., parent of O’Reilly’s own network, also have been crushed.”
That would seem to settle it. The article’s headline was just Bond’s sensationalistic ploy that was summarily dismissed by more realistic analysts and experts. Except for the fact that Bond’s bias still manages to emerge as he cites stock performance data that he seems to have made up. He says that this year GE has declined 53% and News Corp only 32%, a 21% difference. Actually GE has only declined 45%, but News Corp dropped 39%, a mere 6% difference. It’s bad enough that he can’t write, but apparently he can’t do math either.
It hardly makes sense to keep comparing GE to News Corp in the first place. News Corp is an almost pure media play, while GE is a conglomerate that has a small media component along with much larger entities engaged in defense contracting, appliances, medical technology, electronics, and finance (which, in case Bond didn’t notice, has been having a very bad year). A better comparison for News Corp would be Disney, Time Warner, and Viacom, all of which outperformed News Corp this year. But that doesn’t stop Bond from drawing a conclusion that teeters on fantasy. In the very last line of his article he says:
“As long as News Corp. keeps outperforming GE, criticism of O’Reilly and his stockpicking prowess will ring hollow.”
All I can say to this is that as long as Bond keeps writing absurd articles that misstate facts and twist reality, allegations of his sanity will ring hollow – much like his pal O’Reilly.
Addendum: O’Reilly took to the megaphone to trumpet news that S&P cut GE’s credit rating one step from “AAA” to “AA+”. While O’Reilly announced that as if it were his own victory, he didn’t bother to mention that his employer, News Corp, has a lower credit rating of “BBB”. And what are the odds that he’ll mention that Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway just received the same rating cut that GE did?