Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on how CBS is dealing with its CEO, Les Moonves:
Demands for the mass resignation of bishops are commonplace, but over at CBS the big question is how much money should they pay their alleged predator-in-chief, Les Moonves, on his way out the door.
Moonves has been accused of sexually assaulting and/or sexually harassing six women. There is no zero tolerance policy at CBS, so instead of stepping down (as would a Catholic priest) while an investigation is conducted, Moonves has been allowed to stay on the job. Why wouldn’t he? After all, he earns over $66 million a year. Now it looks like he is about to cash out.
Even if the probe finds him guilty, Moonves will walk away with around $100 million in compensation (the Los Angeles Times puts the figure at exceeding $200 million). That’s what happens in corporate America: they don’t contact the cops about sexual crimes (as does the Catholic Church), they do internal probes, and then they lavish him with cash.
CBS is in its final stage of negotiations with Moonves, and his exit package will soon be known. Will anyone in the media report on how CBS deals with sexual misconduct claims against its top employees, comparing them to the way the Catholic Church handles them?
Over the summer, there were scores of editorials excoriating the Catholic Church for the sexual misconduct of some priests, but only one newspaper in the nation, the Daily News, criticized CBS in an editorial for its handling of Moonves. This is of a piece with journalists who interviewed Moonves last month and were told ahead of time that they could only ask about second-quarter earnings. They were all obedient.
Catholics have a right to be angry with Church officials, but they also have a right to be cynical about the way the media treat their own in-house sexual misdeeds. In the eyes of many reporters and commentators, not all perverts are equal.