Sunday, September 19, 2004

How do you think the sanctimonious people at TV's "60 Minutes" would portray a company charged by the FCC with "serious indecency violations," that made expensive settlements with employees and others because of injuries related to asbestos and other hazardous material exposures, underfunded its employee pension, is legally accused of securities violations, employs those who widely distributed forged documents in an effort to destroy political opponents, failed to dismiss or discipline employees who violated the company code of conduct, owned offshore enterprises that paid little or no U.S. corporate tax, and operated in and/or dealt with countries harboring terrorists?
The company that engaged in all of these practices is Viacom, parent company of CBS, which produces "60 Minutes."
The folks at "60 Minutes" remind me of the preacher who damns the sinners every Sunday, but then is caught in the brothel. Viacom is a huge media company that not only owns CBS, but hundreds of individual radio and TV stations; cable operations like MTV, Showtime and Nickelodeon; Paramount Pictures; theme parks; publishing houses, including Simon & Schuster; and many other operations around the globe.
The problem with Viacom is not its difficulties with some acquisitions and operations, but that its CBS News unit has a long and continuing record of misrepresentation, hypocrisy, or worse is allowed to continue in clear violation of the company's own code of conduct and best economic interest.

Well, I'm glad the Washington Times is concerned about corporate misbehavior, even if only in media on the other side of the spectrum. I'm not saying they are wrong, although if this is what's behind the Democrats, I don't think large corporations have much to fear from the liberal media. I just wanted to quote this in the interests of balance.

Link from The Sideshow by Avedon Carol.

Moon himself has boasted that he spent $1 billion on the right-wing Washington Times in its first decade alone. The newspaper, which started in 1982, continues to lose Moon an estimated $50 million a year but remains a valuable propaganda organ for the Republican Party.

How Moon has managed to cover the vast losses of his media empire and pay for lavish conservative conferences has been one of the most enduring mysteries of Washington, but curiously one of the least investigated – at least since the Reagan-Bush era.

Limited investigations of Moon’s organization have revealed large sums of money flowing into the United States mostly from untraceable accounts in Japan, where Moon had close ties to yakuza gangster Ryoichi Sasakawa. Former Moon associates also have revealed major money flows from shadowy sources in South America, where Moon built relationships with right-wing elements associated with the cocaine trade, including the so-called Cocaine Coup government of Bolivia in the early 1980s.

But Hastert, an Illinois Republican, made news at the Republican National Convention by suggesting that liberal funder Soros may be fronting for foreign “drug groups.” In a Fox News appearance, Hastert said, “You know, I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where – if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from.…”

Soros demanded an apology for the smear. “Your recent comments implying that I am receiving funds from drug cartels are not only untrue, but also deeply offensive,” Soros said in a letter. “You do a discredit to yourself and to the dignity of your office by engaging in these dishonest smear tactics. You should be ashamed.”

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