Troubling Julie Chen Moonves' Stance: A Pledge of Solidarity to Accused Husband

Ronan Farrow Bagged Another One

Les Moonves is not only out of power at CBS, but he has also been separated from the beloved golden parachute that was allegedly worth $90 million. But in the end, he lied to the board and tried to give a job to one accuser to get her to keep quiet ― both unpardonable acts at the millionaire boys club. And so he will probably leave without his exit pay. “The board stopped defending Moonves, not after hearing or reading the onslaught of damning accusations, but only when they realized he had been lying to them, according to a deep dive published in The New York Times on Wednesday,” Emily Peck reminds us. “Moonves reportedly let down his buddies on the board ― five men, whose average age is 80. They were ride-or-die for the CEO. ‘I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff,’ 83-year-old producer Arnold Kopelson, who until recently sat on CBS’s board, reportedly told his colleagues in a meeting after The New Yorker’s July report. ‘Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.’”

What could possibly go wrong with 5 men over 80 on a corporate board deciding on a sexual harassment investigation? The Reliable Sources media newsletter called it “CBS’s Hell Week.”

The Most Significant #MeToo Moment Yet

Todd VanDerWerff of Vox describes the resignation of the CBS Chair and CEO as "the most significant #MeToo moment yet." Washington Post reporter Amy Brittain tweeted: "In a span of just 10 months, the face of CBS's morning news show (Charlie Rose), the head of its signature investigative program, "60 Minutes," (Jeff Fager), and the CEO of the entire company (Les Moonves) have been ousted after #MeToo allegations. Let that sink in for a moment." Yes, lets.

It is almost as if CBS News were actually trying to do everything wrong in the manner in which they handled the Les Moonves and the Jeff Fager sexual harassment episodes that played out this week. These twin embarrassing episodes come on the heels of the ouster of Charlie Rose ― co-host of their flagship morning program ― last year. In the case of Jeff Fager, it was a bullying text that sunk his career at the Tiffany network. Fager sent a threatening text message to CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan, cautioning her to “be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem." Charmed, I’m sure.

It must be so awkward for CBS to report upon its own VIPs, but that’s what Nora O’Donnell has been doing since the exodus of Charlie Rose. "On Thursday, Duncan appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about what transpired earlier in the week, including how she felt when she received the text from Fager on Sunday, and the support she has received from many of her CBS News colleagues since the text went public.” Notes TVNewser. “We at CBS This Morning support you 100 percent, O’Donnell told Duncan during her appearance.”

Julie Chen Moonves Pledged Solidarity To Accused Husband

Julie Chen, the wife of Les Moonves, returned to Big Brother, and for the first time she signs off the show by adding Moonves to her name. This clearly seems as a pledge of solidarity to her embattled husband, and though they’ve been married for 14 years, the question remains: where is the line between solidarity to a spouse in times of difficulty and true responsibility towards society at large? Les Moonves’ case is a matter of sexual misconduct, lies, and serial manipulation brought to light by several women, and in such a political climate shouldn’t Julie Chen’s stance be condemned?

 
 

Norm MacDonald Drew Ire

“Macdonald found himself at the center of controversy after saying he was ‘happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a bit’ in a recent interview in the Hollywood Reporter,” and then compounded that anger by comparing those not sympathetic to the movement to Downs Syndrome children on the Howard Stern show. “’It’s always bad when you have to apologize for an apology,’ Macdonald told the co-hosts of ‘The View,” according to Page Six. “There is a thing with Howard where there’s a recklessness in the studio.” Hmmm.

A Second Chance To The #MeToo Men?

Finally, there is now a broad conversation online and in print publications regarding the #MeToo men. Accused sexual harasser John Hockenberry just penned a 7,000 word essay at Harper’s on his exile from the media world; disgraced CBC host Jian Ghomeshi wrote Reflections from a Hashtag for the prestigious New York Review of Books; Louis CK did his first stand up gig since November 2017;  and Charlie Rose and CBS filed to have the motions against him dismissed. What is one to make of all this?

Michelle Goldberg, who had an awkward argument with Bill Maher on his show last week, wrote a smart Op-Ed on all the second-chances that these media men are getting. "I’m not interested in seeing these #MeToo castoffs engage in Maoist struggle sessions to purge their patriarchal impulses,” she writes for the Times. “But maybe they’d find it easier to resurrect their careers if it seemed like they’d reflected on why women are so furious in the first place, and perhaps even offered ideas to make things better. What ideas? I don’t know, but they’re the ones who are supposed to be irreplaceably creative, and they’ve got time on their hands." Well said.