Agenda won’t retract Moonves story, but pulls quotes
The Financial Times publication Agenda has declined to retract an interview that its reporters had with ousted CBS CEO Les Moonves last month, reports Jon Levine of The Wrap. Moonves had denied being interviewed, and the article has now removed his quotes.
Levine reports, “Agenda — which as a subsidiary of the Financial Times follows the company’s Editorial Code of Practice — revised the original story to acknowledge the dispute over the identity of its source.
“Reached by phone, a person who identified himself as Moonves tells Agenda that this issue is ‘far from over,’ however. [See editor’s note],’ the second paragraph now reads. Additional quotes from the interview only refer to the speaker as “he.’
“After the piece was published, reps for Moonves publicly disputed the piece and Vanity Fair began an investigation into its sourcing.
“The new editor’s note replaces an earlier one in which the paper’s editors said they were ‘reviewing elements of this article which are disputed (by Les Moonves’s public relations team).'”
Read more here.
A new editor’s note on the story states that the quotes have now been removed. It states, “Editor’s note: The original version of this article published on Dec. 18 included quotes attributed to Les Moonves and a headline related to those quotes. On Jan. 8, a spokesperson for Mr. Moonves issued a statement denying that Mr. Moonves spoke with reporters from Agenda in December 2018 or at any other time. Our reporters had each dialed a number obtained from a subscription public records database that purported to be Mr. Moonves’s number and spoken with an individual who identified himself as Mr. Moonves. The individual had knowledge of the CBS board’s decision and the history behind it. We stand by our reporters’ portrayal of those conversations but, in light of the statement from Mr. Moonves, we have removed the quotes from the article.”