There is nothing in this life we enjoy more than stories recounting the petty squabbles of powerful men, so imagine for a moment our delight over today's NY Post article dedicated to the ongoing, though somewhat disappointingly one-sided, bloodfeud between generously betoothed future galactic despot Les Moonves of CBS Corp. and his favorite new pincushion, Viacom's Tom Freston. The Post gives us an overdue State of the Slap-Fight update:
People close to Viacom say the situation is "bizarre," especially given that both companies share the same chairman and controlling shareholder, Sumner Redstone.These people chalk up Moonves' motivation to his competitive nature as well as the actor-turned-mogul's well-known desire to run Paramount - which was put under Freston's control in 2004.
"It's a little surprising because it's gotten a little edgy," said one media executive who is close to both Freston and Moonves. He described the recent level of tension as "DEFCON 3."
Another associate of both men said, "It's ugly. But you never hear Tom taking shots at Les."
The notoriously laid-back Freston might be able to retreat into a downward-facing dog and ignore Moonves' antics now, but eventually his CBS rival will elevate the feud to Defcon 2 to elicit some form of retaliation. We bet that Freston endures no more than a week of heightened aggression before he's forced to fight back, quickly tiring of daily deliveries of picnic baskets full of dog excrement that bursts into flame when opened, or the November sweeps ads during Survivor in which Moonves will spend 30 seconds declaring his intentions to add Kathy Freston to his harem of corporate war brides.
- IT'S SHOWDOWN [NY Post]
- Previously: Sumner Redstone Displeased By Moonves-Freston Slap-Fight [Defamer]