CBS Presses United CEO: ‘Obligation’ to Help Employees Get Abortions?

During a segment about the busy summer travel season that should have been free of politics on Tuesday, CBS Mornings hosts pestered the CEO of United Airlines on whether he had “an obligation” to help his employees get abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. They also urged him and other business leaders to “speak out about controversial political issues.”

“Scott, we’ve been talking the last couple of weeks about the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned,” co-host Nate Burleson noted to the company’s chief executive Scott Kirby during an interview in the 7:30 a.m. ET hour. The anchor then pressed: “And, you know, I find that nowadays, politics and business are somewhat synonymous. Do you feel like it’s an obligation to step in when these issues arise for your employees?”

 

 

In response, Kirby tried to steer clear of weighing in on the divisive topic:

So, my obligation, I think, is to do the right thing for our employees. Our recent advertising campaign is, “Good leads the way.” We’ve tried to do the right thing throughout. My preference is to lead by example. The work that United has done on sustainability, on diversity, even what we did with vaccine requirements, that was controversial, but we took action. Instead of talking, let actions lead the way and do the right thing for our employees and our customers.

Moments later, fellow co-host Gayle King again raised the issue and pushed the business leader to take a side – clearly hoping he would be in favor of abortion: “Nate raised a good point about companies that are starting to speak out about controversial political issues. Do you intend to speak out publicly about these issues?”

However, Kirby still refused to take the bait: “You know, I – when we need to, we will. We have tried, however, to really focus on letting action lead the way….And there’s a lot of opportunities for us in corporate leadership to lead by positive example instead of just be putting out a corporate statement that’s opposed to something.”

This awkward attempt by Burleson and King to shoehorn politics into a non-political discussion came just a couple weeks after they similarly badgered the Bank of America CEO on whether he would agree to “cover travel expenses for women that want to get abortions in other states” if Roe was overturned.

The media are so accustomed to being left-wing activists that they think anyone else in a position of influence should be eager to jump into the political fray with them – as long as it’s on behalf of a leftist agenda.

The CBS hosts demanding the United Airlines CEO “speak out” in favor of abortion was brought to viewers by Amazon and Febreze. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.

Here is a transcript of the May 17 exchange:

7:35 AM ET

(…)

NATE BURLESON: Scott, we’ve been talking the last couple of weeks about the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned. And, you know, I find that nowadays, politics and business are somewhat synonymous. Do you feel like it’s an obligation to step in when these issues arise for your employees?

SCOTT KIRBY [UNITED AIRLINES CEO]: So, my obligation, I think, is to do the right thing for our employees. Our recent advertising campaign is, “Good leads the way.” We’ve tried to do the right thing throughout. My preference is to lead by example. The work that United has done on sustainability, on diversity, even what we did with vaccine requirements, that was controversial, but we took action. Instead of talking, let actions lead the way and do the right thing for our employees and our customers.

(…)

7:37 AM ET

GAYLE KING: Nate raised a good point about companies that are starting to speak out about controversial political issues. Do you intend to speak out publicly about these issues?

KIRBY: You know, I – when we need to, we will. We have tried, however, to really focus on letting action lead the way. You know, one of the frustrations I think we all have with politics, it’s become divisive. People are against the other side as opposed to for things. We can do things like the Aviate Academy, which is training the next generation of pilots but it’s also affecting diversity. That’s inspirational to people. It’s positive. Lead by positive example. And there’s a lot of opportunities for us in corporate leadership to lead by positive example instead of just be putting out a corporate statement that’s opposed to something.

(…)

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