REVIEW & OUTLOOK
Guess Who's a GOP
The CEO of CBS's parent company endorses President Bush.
From The Asian Wall Street Journal
With the scandal at
CBS still festering, questions are being raised about whether a felony was
committed when the network broadcast apparently forged memos in an attempt to
discredit George W. Bush. Yesterday, the chairman of CBS's parent company chose
The chairman of the
entertainment giant Viacom said the reason was simple: Republican values are
"I don't want to denigrate Kerry," he went on, "but from a Viacom standpoint, the election of a Republican administration is a better deal. Because the Republican administration has stood for many things we believe in, deregulation and so on. The Democrats are not bad people. . . . But from a Viacom standpoint, we believe the election of a Republican administration is better for our company."
Sharing the stage with Mr. Redstone was Steve Forbes, CEO, president and editor in chief of Forbes and a former Republican presidential aspirant, who quipped: "Obviously you're a very enlightened CEO."
Mr. Redstone's unexpected declaration came at a time when an unwelcome spotlight is directed at him and his board because of the CBS airing of what everyone now believes was a fake memo alleging that Mr. Bush shirked his duties three decades ago in the Texas Air National Guard. On Tuesday, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie alleged a leftist bias at Viacom. While it was well known that Mary Mapes, the producer who did most of the reporting on the memos, is a liberal, and that anchorman Dan Rather, has always been much tougher on Republicans, the Viacom board had heretofore remained in the background.
Mr. Gillespie said, "This demonstrates a serious lack of judgment separate and apart from the lack of judgment demonstrated in running a report based on discredited documents. Did this producer's own political viewpoint cloud her judgment? Is CBS News's decision to neither suspend nor release the producer in question a result of judgment clouded by Viacom and CBS owner Sumner Redstone's role as a Kerry fundraiser, or Viacom President Tom Freston's public support of John Kerry for President?"
Mr. Redstone's office immediately went into overdrive, denying
on Wednesday that he's a raised funds for the
Democratic presidential nominee. Then came yesterday's
"I vote Republican" vow in
It was all the more surprising
because the Boston-born Mr. Redstone was co-chairman of Edmund Muskie's presidential campaign in 1972. He's also a close
friend of the other
In his book, "A Passion to Win," Mr. Redstone wrote, "From my early days I have considered myself a liberal Democrat. . . . I had no respect for Nixon. . . . My efforts on Senator Muskie's behalf apparently landed me on Nixon's notorious 'enemies list.' I took that as a badge of honor."
Of his 13-member
board, two are former cabinet members for Democratic presidents. It is this
board that will ponder what to do about the Rather-Mapes-CBS
mess. The bombshell from