Not much of the chatter being exchanged among moguls at last week’s annual big-media gathering in Sun Valley, Idaho made its way into the press.But it turns out that much of what the moguls talked about, while they boozed and golfed and white water rafted and stuffed their faces during the all-expeneses-paid retreat, was President Obama and his attitude toward the business community, according to The Daily Beast’s Peter Lauria, who spent the week collecting on- and off-the-record dish from the people who “collectively control hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars, of the country’s gross domestic product”
“The most generous comment about the current state of the economy,” Lauria writes, “came from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who serves as an adviser to the president on science and technology, and even then the best he could muster was that, ‘Everybody is in a sort of funk.'”
Here are some other remarks Lauria was able to get:
- “When asked if he thought the administration was anti-business, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes smiled silently for a few seconds, then said, ‘I think it’s time for a glass of wine.'”
- “I do think the administration will blame business for things too quickly,” said a brave Peter Chernin, the former News Corp. chief operating officer and heavy Democratic donor. “I don’t think they are anti-business, it’s more nuanced than that, but they appear that way because they jump too quickly on the bandwagon.”
- “To start to have negative relationships with the banks hurts our economy because we depend on them.” —Former Yahoo and Warner Bros. CEO Terry Semel.
- “Government needs to focus on how to incentivise companies because we in business are the ones who create jobs. I’d like to see them come around and be more proactive about free enterprise and this wonderful system we have.” —John Hendricks, founder of Discovery Communications
- “It just seems so unhealthy, so large, and so scary that I don’t see how you can keep piling on.” —Former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, on the national deficit
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