Inside Move: Parsons’ party line gets a real roasting

Time Warner topper takes jabs about politics, business

“I don’t know if this is profiling, but I think Dick looks like a Democrat. He sort of parties like a Democrat. When he says ‘party’ it’s not the GOP he has on his mind,” said new Time topper John Huey of his boss, Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons.

Yet Huey called Parsons’ Republican cred impeccable. “Who else would watch ‘All the President’s Men,’ pour himself a glass of fine wine and root for the guys in the Nixon administration? … Well, I guess Rupert Murdoch would.”

The difference, Huey said, is that Murdoch, a CEO with “ink in his veins” would still “never let his journalists cover his company the way Dick lets them cover his company.”

“That’s why we love Dick, even though he hasn’t thoroughly worked through his feelings about us.”

Huey, along with News Corp. chairman Murdoch, TW’s Jeff Bewkes and CNN’s Paula Zahn jabbed at Parson’s politics, his vineyard in Tuscany and TW’s share price at a gentle “roast” luncheon Thursday.

Event, which packed Gotham’s Pierre Hotel with major and minor media moguls, was put on by the Center for Communication.

“In business, Dick and I compete fiercely each and every day,” Murdoch said, calling Parsons a “worthy competitor” and truly decent guy.

“We follow the same golden rule,” he added. “Thou shall never speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

Parsons, up last, said: “Roger Ailes, I thank you for allowing Rupert to appear today.”

Murdoch said he hopes “we might be honoring (Parsons) again in November of 2009, but this time on the steps of City Hall” — meaning he’d like to see TW’s chief as mayor of NYC.

Parsons has been a rumored candidate for several posts in the Bush administration.

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