‘Late Show’: CBS Boss Les Moonves Defends ‘Moderate’ Stephen Colbert

Says his new hire is "more moderate" than people think

Les Moonves

Les Moonves believes America doesn’t know the real Stephen Colbert.

On Wednesday, the CBS chairman attempted to put his best spin on the hiring of David Letterman’s replacement, insisting that Colbert will not merely be another liberal comic taking aim every night at conservatives and Republicans.

“Ironically, Stephen Colbert is much more moderate than people think he is,” Moonves remarked during a panel discussion in Los Angeles. “He’s a great social commentator, and that’s sort of what we want. That’s sort of what David Letterman has been.”

The network’s top executive also insisted he is not concerned about fallout from political views the host has expressed on his current Comedy Central show.

“If you’re referring to remarks by Rush Limbaugh that we’ve attacked the heartland of America, I would respectfully disagree with that assessment of who Stephen Colbert is,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to the interest Stephen is going to bring. He’s very smart, he’s very funny, and it’s going to be exciting,”

Colbert — described by Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly as a “darling of the left” will take over  THE LATE SHOW when Letterman steps down sometime in 2015.

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