But the livin’ hasn’t always been easy. In 1979, media mogul Sumner Redstone narrowly dodged the Grim Reaper by glomming onto a third-story ledge during a Boston hotel fire. Even more traumatizing, his rival Rupert Murdoch recently beat him to snagging MySpace. With a paltry $8 billion to his name, if Redstone were to bankroll the war in Iraq, he’d be filing for Chapter 11 in less than a month. It sucks to be poor.
The Viacom and CBS kingpin was honored by the Paley Center for Media, formerly the Museum of Television & Radio, for his media contributions. Paley Center’s Pat Mitchell and Frank Bennack Jr. presented the award
to Redstone, and First Gentleman hopeful Bill Clinton extolled the esteemed recipient in a video-taped address.
Kim Cattrall, Andy Rooney, Dina Merrill, and 60 Minutes man Steve Kroft looked on as Charlie Rose hosted the fete at the Waldorf. The timeless Tony Bennett sang “Fly Me to the Moon,” and CBS News anchor and part-time country sensation Bob Schieffer, backed by D.C.’s Honky Tonk Confidential, brought down the hotel with a self-penned paean to his vaunted superior: “There are good stones and bad stones ... The Redstone is a gem ... You said bye to Tom Cruise, but you can’t sell CBS News.”