Tags: les moonves | roger ailes | cbs

What If You Aren't Indispensable After All?

What If You Aren't Indispensable After All?
Leslie "Les" Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corporation, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 11, 2018, in Sun Valley, Idaho. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By with Michael R. Shannon Tuesday, 07 August 2018 10:53 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In spite of the fact that Gen. Charles de Gaulle pointed out the obvious decades ago, “The graveyards are full of indispensable men,” fearful, timid accountability wielders allow themselves to be intimidated by “indispensable” men.

Two years ago there was hand-wringing over what would happen to Fox News if sexual harassment accusations forced the ouster of chairman and CEO Roger Ailes who had been with the network more than 20 years.

That statement needs some clarification. It wasn’t that two years ago Ailes was accused. It was two years ago that accusations that had been swept under the rug for years and years finally reached critical mass and bubbled to the surface.

Why did it take so long for the charges to be investigated? Ailes was "indispensable" to the network’s success and who was going to risk damaging Fox News over the whining of some floozy? Except it wasn’t "some floozy." It was credible accusations from many women who were finally listened to when Fox took action.

Was it worth keeping a serial harasser onboard all those years to protect the Fox brand? Evidently not. Two years after Ailes' forced departure Joe Concha reports in The Hill that, “Not only has Fox survived but it has exceeded its pre-Ailes [ratings] numbers.”

Since Ailes left, “more major changes — both in front of and behind the camera — have occurred at Fox since July 21, 2016, than did in the previous 20 years combined.” And that’s just what viewers can see. The Fox culture has evidently changed, because there have been no more chase-around-the-desk stories emanating from the network.

This brings us to another network.

Leslie Moonves, the "indispensable" head of CBS, the unblinking eyeball network. He’s now the target of credible sexual harassment accusations from six different women. According to one account of an attack, Moonves may also be a customer of the same locksmith that handled the door to Matt Lauer’s office, since Moonves had to go to his office door himself to let the woman escape after he had earlier closed it remotely.

Moonves doesn’t like being on the receiving end of this type of unblinking stare. He tried the Franken/Lauer defense. He admitted a situation where a network CEO brimming with power and prestige cornered a subordinate or supplier in his office while he tried to get in their shorts “may have made some women uncomfortable.”

A classic in sleazy understatement.

Variety reports that Moonves did exactly receive a vote of confidence from the board of directors. He’s going to twist in the wind a while longer since, “CBS’ board of directors chose not to vote on whether Moonves should be suspended.”

Quite a bit is at stake for the network, which is why these cads think they can get away with executive-level groping. Replacing the CEO means uncertainty and upheaval as one set of lackeys replaces another.

Moonves also has some skin in the game. $300 million skins according to Bloomberg. His contract extension would pay him approximately that much through 2021. If he’s fired, the money goes away.

This column takes a dim view of sexual abuse and harassment. If the six women can make a credible case that Moonves attacked them, then a penalty is definitely in order. A $300 million fine sounds about right to me.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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In spite of the fact that Gen. Charles de Gaulle pointed out the obvious decades ago, “The graveyards are full of indispensable men,” fearful, timid accountability wielders allow themselves to be intimidated by “indispensable” men.
les moonves, roger ailes, cbs
Tuesday, 07 August 2018 10:53 AM
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