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Interview: Leslie Moonves, CEO, CBS Corp.

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While the crowd at MacWorld was waiting for the gospel by Steve, I was backstage during the Michael Dell keynote chatting with another man wearing a black turtleneck: Leslie Moonves, casually clad as he prepared for his own hour in the CES spotlight. Last year, CBS was part of Google’s CES cavalcade — in Las Vegas as one of the launch partners of t the Google Video marketplace. This time, Moonves and company are the show and YouTube, barely a blip back then and now the high-priced star of Google’s video dreams, is part of its lineup. (The CBS crew isn

8 Responses to “Interview: Leslie Moonves, CEO, CBS Corp.”

  1. Moonves, you missed the whole point of what this should have been about–being human. Be you black, white, hispanic, asian or martian, we all make mistakes–in religion we can be forgiven, not at CBS especially when the two Revs take on the cause. When will the Revs Sharpton and Jackson take on the record companies and the rappers, etc who do more to demean their own race and women of their own race than all the Don Imus' in the world. It would not be wise for them to take on someone of their own race–they have a right to free speech. If we don't like it, don't buy it and don't listen when it is played. If you don't like Don Imus, don't listen to his show, but the good Mr. Imus has done and the years of providing entertainment is worth something from CBS. He has stuck with CBS for years, probably could have made more money elsewhere–Howard Stern did. But Mr. Imus received no credit or loyalty from you for his past service–what have you done for me lately?
    I predict the backlash from your firing Mr. Imus to make the two Revs happy will come back to bite you in your butt. He'll make more money elsewhere and continue to provide public service and entertainment long after you are gone from CBS.

  2. Mr. Mooner,

    Nancy Pelosi goes and sits down with Iranian terrorists and tries to undercut the President of the United States foreign policy and she still has her job.
    Al Sharpton lies to the public, willingly and knowingly to have a white man un-justly arrested in the Twanna Brawly case and he stiil has his job.
    The Duke LaCrosse fiasco happens where a lying black stripper lies about being raped and how many lives of innocent white men did that lying black stripper ruin? The coach lost his job after 16 years and he did nothing to deserve it. The boys lost their education,had a year or so of their life go by with unjust felony charges against them and who knows what long term emotional affect the lying black stripper's lies will have on them in the future, but the lying black stripper goes free ( oh yes, she probably still has her job).

    Imus has more talent and humanity in his little finger than you will ever have.

    Imus!!!!!! Come back swinging!! We're waiting!

  3. Mark Twang

    Well, MSNBC and CBS caved in to the Reverends Sharpton and Jackson as they continue to preach their black/white/men/women bigotry. That’s what they do! They could care less about the six foot Rutgers basketball players or the falsely accused Duke players.
    What religion did they invent that will not accept a sincere apology and denies forgiveness? How many charities or kids with cancer or autism have they helped? Zero!
    They power tripped to have someone fired at their whim and to show their "high fivers" that they put that “straight haired white boy” in his place.
    These whiners have missed an opportunity to turn the situation into a positive race experience, but that is not their goal is it?

  4. Mr. Mooner,

    In no way will I ever condone what Don Imus said regarding the Rutger's womens basketball team, but being fired, I believe, was going too far. I guess it is true that corporations do run this country, that there is limited freedom of speech depending on who you are, that people can't make a mistake and be forgiven, other than Rev. Jessie Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton.
    This unfortunate situation has shown me how money and politics play such an important role in our lives. The Rev's got their time in the spotlight and ended up getting their way because no one for either msnbc or cbs had the courage to defend a person who they have employeed for so many years and knew what his show was all about. In my eyes, you all are just as quilty as Don Imus.
    Did you think of fining Imus, on top of his two weeks' suspension, and putting that money towards a scholarship fund at Rutgers or some other charitible organization? Was firing him the ONLY option?
    What I found so interesting is that none of these women basketball players ever listened to the Don Imus show and many didn't even know who he was. The Imus show didn't attract the younger people in this country. This story probaly would have just blown over it if wasn't for the media that, as well as all the other stories they report, just make something bigger than it needs to be.
    I will miss the Imus Show, as I used to listen to it every day on my way to work. His show opened my eyes to many topics, especially the ones regarding children and their afflictions, the real war in Iraq, etc. Mr. Imus made a horrible mistake and he's been crusified for it. I believe he will recover and be better for it and come back even stronger and congratulations for the radio/tv station who put him back on the air. In the end, I believe, he will have the last laugh!
    Now, it's your turn to fire all the Hip-Hop artists who use this language and worse in their songs that our children are listening to – they are more the cause of this problem and the degradation of women than any other group in this country. Let's see if you'll stand up to them – they make a ton of money for Viacom, don't they?????

  5. Patrick

    Leslie Moonves is a nappy headed ho. I said it, now… fire me you lame idiot. When a person puts their foot in their mouth, it shouldn't cost them their job… especially since we've all done it. I guess if you're white, you're a target, because I know there isn't a way in hell a black person would get fired for a similar comment. With racist organizations like the naacp, and racists like al sharpton (the black mans jerry springer), this country is going in the wrong direction. I wasn't raised to see colors, but the way black people are… I have no choice. Anyone thinking Imus should have been fired for a lame act of idiocy… is a nappy headed ho.

  6. Dr. George H. Elder


    Freedom of speech includes the right to be wrong, and in this light — I find it odd that Imus is being dumped for being exactly what he has been paid to be for over 30 years. There are times he offends me to the very core, and some of what he says is way over the line. But when we forcefully silence voices like his our entire democracy suffers.

    I wonder if there will come a day when all we get is the homgenized yadda-yadda fake laughter of the empty-headed morning news people — who wear bright smiles and wide eyes, but lack any sense of being "real." Imus is real, and he makes real bad mistakes. So what? If he does wrong, he'll get sued or pilloried, and that is fine and dandy. But to silence any one's voice makes each us less free, and there must be someone in your organization who understands this basic truth.

    And to witness the gutless piling on I see says everything about what is happening to freedom in this country. The Nazi's, Communists, etc., used to brand people as politically incorrect, and thus worthy of silencing. Then came the ecomomic sanctions. Thus the Jews lost contracts with suppliers, etc., and so it went as ecomomic discrimination eventually turned into something incredibly ugly. But I wonder if freedom's death starts with the simple banning of those who say what we don't want to hear?

    CBS has failed us during this test of free specch. It gave free vent to the likes of Al Sharpton, who has a history of bombastic hyperbole that is at least as bad as Imus'. Indeed, chorus' of black voices were raised, and all the while we colorless listeners were never once heard above the thunder.

    But you didn't betray us. Your perfidy goes much deeper than that. You betrayed freedom of speech — and there can be no greater crime for anyone in communication. So you are fired, and rightfully so. I will never watch CBS or MSNBS or any of those who participated in this lynching. That is all I can do to help protect my right to be wrong. You could not possibly have failed us more completely.