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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

CBS CEO and Chairman Les Moonves, who is accused of six incidents of sexual harassment, led CBS' second quarter earnings call Thursday, touting the success and growth of the broadcaster's streaming properties.

Why it matters: In letting Moonves lead the call and take questions from investors, CBS sent Wall Street a clear message: He's not going anywhere, for now.

"CBS’ strong second quarter puts us firmly on track to deliver the record full-year results we have forecast,” Moonves said in a statement ahead of the presentation.

The company warned at the top of the call that the discussion and questions from investors would be "limited to the quarterly results of the company."

  • Executives gave long-winded introductions, running the clock for nearly a half hour before opening up the call to investors.

Investors played along, asking only questions about business, revenue, programming, products and market competition. No one brought up the sexual harassment allegations against Moonves at all.

  • There were also no questions about CBS' ongoing legal fight for independence with its parent company, National Amusements Inc., and its Vice Chairwoman Shari Redstone.

Between the lines: In ignoring the elephant in the room, CBS management, Les Moonves, and investors sent a clear signal to the world that business will carry on as usual until there's more proof that Moonves crossed a line that CBS won't tolerate.

What's next: The Hollywood Reporter's Tatiana Siegel reports that Ronan Farrow, who originally broke the news in a New Yorker piece last week, has another Les Moonves story coming "in a week or two."

Go deeper: Axios Business Editor Dan Primack and I react to the stunning earnings call on Dan's Pro Rata podcast. Listen here.

Go deeper

State Department to set up new cyber bureau to combat hack attacks

Secretary of State Tony Blinken speaks on the challenges during an October conference in Quito, Ecuador. Photo:y Felipe Stanley/Agencia Press South/Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced Monday plans for the State Department to create a new bureau of cyberspace and digital policy.

Why it matters: The establishment of the bureau and plans for a new envoy to oversee critical and emerging technology come after a series significant hack attacks and other online crimes, notably ransomware assaults on U.S. infrastructure.

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.