CBS Chief Moonves Attends Obama Fundraiser, Outs Journalism as 'Partisan'
Last night in Los Angeles, as our economy burned, President Barack Obama continued along his record-setting fundraising pace (events, not cash raised) with a stop among the glittery Top 1% at an LGBT fundraiser that included Ellen Degeneres, Cher, Chaz Bono, and CBS Corp. CEO and chairman Les Moonves. Part of what Moonves does is oversee the CBS News division, which makes the fact that he attended a political fundraiser fascinating, but not as fascinating as what he told The Los Angeles Times:
CBS chief Les Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, waited patiently for their wristbands. Obama, Moonves said, "has shown great leadership" on the issue of gay marriage.
Though he heads a news division, Moonves said, "ultimately journalism has changed … partisanship is very much a part of journalism now."
He hastened to add that despite his presence, "I run a news division. I've given no money to any candidate."
It's plausible Moonves could've attended this bigtime fundraiser as a guest, meaning someone else paid for his ticket so he could maintain that he has "given no money to any candidate." But what's the head of a major news division doing at this kind of partisan event to begin with? He certainly wasn't there to cover it for CBS. And what's he thinking, publicly gushing over Obama's "great leadership" on the divisive issue of same-sex marriage?
Anyway, his statement about how "partisanship is very much a part of journalism now" is not only interesting, considering he said it at an Obama fundraiser, but it's also a falsehood.
Partisanship has always been a part of journalism, especially at CBS News. It's just that the network always has and always will hide its partisanship behind a phony shield of objectivity and nonsense loopholes such as, "I'm at this bigtime fundraiser but have never given money to any candidate."
What Moonves is doing here is, finally (and probably by accident), admitting that the media is partisan. It's also interesting that he's outing journalism in general, not just the openly partisan media that has blossomed online or on talk radio.
He's calling "journalism" partisan -- and indeed it is.
So the only surprise is that someone with Moonves's status is finally admitting it.
More irony: Moonves outing all of journalism at an LGBT event.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC