Media mogul Sumner Redstone lets iPad do his swearing


Sumner Redstone
Billionaire Sumner Redstone now talks, and swears, entirely through his iPad.
Photo: CBS

The elderly can be grumpy, and Sumner Redstone is a prime example. The man who owns most of CBS now lets an iPad do most of his talking, and the only responses are “yes,” “no,” and “f— you.”

The 94-year old is worth about $4.9 billion, but his health has declined to the point where he speaks only in mumbles. Mr. Redstone instead communicates his wishes by having his tablet play pre-recorded audio clips of his own voice. According to The Wall Street Journal, there are just those three options.

Money talks, even if Sumner Redstone doesn’t

On one level this is a (somewhat) heartwarming story about a man using his iPad to overcome physical frailty. But there’s a larger issue: the mogul owns both CBS and Viacom and is trying to merge the two, but there are questions about whether someone who can no longer speak intelligibly remains competent enough to make decisions involving billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

The controversy is likely to end up in court. If so, Sumner Redstone will probably have to testify, iPad in hand.