Media Moguls: Obama's Scaring Big Business

Sun Valley conference a pessimistic affair
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2010 1:02 PM CDT
Google boss Eric Schmidt is still in Obama's corner, but even he's not optimistic about the economy.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(Newser) – The Sun Valley summit of media titans last week was a dour affair, with the CEOs lamenting the poor state of the economy—and how little faith they have in the Obama administration to fix it. In on- and off-the-record conversations with the moguls, Peter Lauria of the Daily Beast reports, they expressed “serious concerns about the administration’s motives” and worried that its policies would do long-term damage to the economy.

“To start to have negative relationships with the banks hurts our economy, because we depend on them,” said ex-Yahoo and Warner Bros. CEO Terry Semel. Former Viacom CEO Tom Freston fretted that the deficit “just seems so unhealthy, so large, and so scary.” Few were willing to call the president anti-business—Rupert Murdoch even said he was “definitely not.” But some said his aides' rhetoric made Obama appear hostile. “I don’t think they are anti-business, it’s more nuanced than that,” said a former News Corp exec, but they often “blame business for things too quickly.”

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