The report showed the unemployment rate dipping below 8 percent for the first time since January 2009, and Mr. Welch suggested on Twitterthat the Obama administration had manipulated the numbers to help the president’s re-election campaign.
“Unbelievable jobs numbers. these Chicago guys will do anything. can’t debate so change numbers,” Mr. Welch’s post read.
Those comments managed to gain some traction on the Web among some conservatives, but also came under widespread attack and even ridicule from economists and the financial media, some of whom argued that the comments were just plain wrong.
The critics included Fortune; its managing editor, Andy Serwer; and CNN Money, which shares content with Fortune.com.
In an article that Fortune posted online Tuesday afternoon, Stephen Gandel wrote that on Monday morning Mr. Serwer went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and disputed Mr. Welch’s contention about job manipulation.
Early Tuesday morning, Fortune.com posted an article highlighting the fact that General Electric shed some 100,000 jobs during Mr. Welch’s two-decade leadership.
By breakfast time, Mr. Welch had had enough.
In an e-mail that Mr. Welch sent to Mr. Serwer, as well as Stephen J. Adler, editor in chief of Reuters News, and that Fortune posted on its Web site, Mr. Welch said he and his wife, Suzy, would no longer contribute to Fortune or Reuters, which had also reported on the Welch post. He said that on Wednesday he would have an article in The Wall Street Journal instead.
“It’s just a better platform for us than Reuters or Fortune,” he wrote. “So effective today, we’re terminating our contract.” The Wall Street Journal declined to comment on whether Mr. Welch would have a column in Wednesday’s paper.