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How CBS reported on the Les Moonves and '60 Minutes' allegations

On "CBS This Morning" on Monday, correspondent Anna Werner had the awkward task of reporting on allegations of sexual...

Posted: Jul 31, 2018 8:50 AM
Updated: Jul 31, 2018 8:50 AM

On "CBS This Morning" on Monday, correspondent Anna Werner had the awkward task of reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct against her company's CEO.

Werner spent several minutes early in the program detailing the accusations against Les Moonves. Six women told The New Yorker that he sexually harassed them.

Werner noted that the CBS board of directors is expected to meet Monday and discuss the allegations. The meeting was scheduled before the New Yorker report was published.

In her report, Werner also cited a report in The Wall Street Journal this weekend that said some board directors have discussed whether Moonves should step aside.

"It's unclear whether that will come up today," Werner said.

Related: CBS board to discuss sexual harassment claims against CEO Les Moonves

CBS News also covered the allegations on Friday night, after The New Yorker's story published, and over the weekend.

On the "CBS Evening News" on Friday, the report showed a clip of a Variety event last fall at which Moonves talked about how it's important for companies to educate and talk about sexual harassment.

That report also included a CBS statement saying that The New Yorker's story would be included in the network's ongoing independent investigation into alleged misconduct that was launched last fall, after misconduct allegations against Charlie Rose of CBS News.

"CBS This Morning" also covered the allegations against Moonves on its Saturday broadcast.

One source told CNNMoney on Sunday that some board members spoke this weekend about whether Moonves should step aside during the probe. Sources also said that the directors plan to select a special committee that will oversee the investigation, which will be carried out by an outside law firm.

In a statement to The New Yorker that was also obtained by CNNMoney, Moonves said he has "promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees" throughout his tenure at CBS.

"I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances," Moonves said. "Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected - and abided by the principle - that 'no' means 'no,' and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone's career." CBS quoted from the same statement Monday.

Related: Six women tell The New Yorker that CBS chief Les Moonves sexually harassed them

Werner also reported on allegations of misconduct against "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager. Six former employees told the magazine that Fager, "while inebriated at company parties, would touch employees in ways that made them uncomfortable." Fager has denied the allegations.

The straightforward segment stood in contrast to the dramatic, personal way that "CBS This Morning" handled sexual misconduct allegations against Rose, a former co-host of the show who was suspended and eventually fired after The Washington Post reported on the claims last year.

Related: CBS' Norah O'Donnell says, 'This has to end. This behavior is wrong'

At the time, co-host Norah O'Donnell called the Rose allegations "a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment."

"Charlie does not get a pass here," co-host Gayle King said. Rose has admitted some of his actions were "inappropriate," though he has denied other allegations.

Werner's report on the allegations against Moonves quoted an executive from the National Women's Law Center who said that if the allegations are true, the network needs to send a stronger message.

"I don't think you can send that message without some real consequences for those people who are found to have in fact engaged in this behavior in the past," Emily Martin, the center's general counsel and vice president for Education and Workplace Justice, said in the segment.

Julie Chen, the wife of Moonves, appeared on today's edition of "The Talk," where she is a co-host. She declined to speak further about the sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves.

"Some of you may be aware of what's going on in my life the past few days," she said at the top of the show. "I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter. And I will stand by that statement, today, tomorrow, forever."

That statement, issued Friday, was: "I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late '90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years. Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement."

The rest of the network's coverage on Monday will be followed closely. Stephen Colbert, the host of CBS' "The Late Show," has spoken out previously about sexual misconduct allegations involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and comedian Louis C.K.

- CNNMoney's Dylan Byers contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 294091

Reported Deaths: 6669
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19626230
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Harrison16618278
Rankin12662264
Jackson12509224
Lee9679160
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Jones7928146
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Clay178550
Stone171929
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Calhoun157528
Smith152531
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Greene127433
Walthall123640
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Perry121534
Lawrence119621
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Jefferson Davis101531
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Kemper89723
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Choctaw69516
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 492683

Reported Deaths: 9930
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson709061374
Mobile36044725
Madison32355455
Tuscaloosa24093410
Montgomery22536501
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Baldwin19714283
Lee14950153
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Walker6514255
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Colbert6000118
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Franklin398977
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Chilton3868100
Escambia377272
Tallapoosa3581142
Clarke343650
Chambers3406110
Dallas3401141
Pike293272
Lawrence282684
Marion281695
Winston246567
Bibb244960
Geneva239070
Marengo235355
Pickens224454
Barbour211351
Hale209468
Fayette200256
Butler195666
Henry182241
Cherokee176838
Monroe166139
Randolph163640
Washington156435
Crenshaw144354
Clay143854
Macon141743
Cleburne137339
Lamar132533
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