Ray Kroc
Ray Kroc

McDonald's founder Ray Kroc must be rolling in his grave upon hearing the news former CEO Greg Easterbrook allegedly hid information about sexual relationships with three employees.

One gets that impression after reading McDonald's August 10 Securities and Exchange Commission filing announcing its lawsuit against Easterbrook. The company laid it on pretty thick.

Calling itself one of the world's largest restaurant companies and an iconic brand, the company said it "strives to provide a wholesome, family-oriented, and affordable experience for its customers and a safe and respectful workplace for its employees."

Integrity is said to be Job No. 1 in Ronald McDonald land.

From the 8-K statement: "As its founder Ray Kroc said, 'The basis for our entire business is that we are ethical, truthful and dependable.' The Company’s board of directors believes that as deeply today as Ray Kroc did in 1958."

McDonald's said the "ethical operation of its business is not just a legal imperative, but also a cherished value."

The company took a bow for "terminating Easterbrook and putting corporate culture first."

It cited Institutional Shareholder Services, which said McDonald's “board’s actions sent a profound message throughout the company that it was holding senior executives accountable to company conduct and values.”

While McDonald's basks in the glory of its ethical behavior, the New York Times notes that the lawsuit raises questions about how diligent the company was in looking into Easterbrook’s conduct before dismissing him with a compensation package worth more than $40M.

Easterbrook's hefty pay package could buy a lot of Big Macs.

Up All Night by Lisa Napoli

The story of how Ted Turner, who was nicknamed "The Mouth of the South" and "Captain Outrageous," created CNN and the concept of 24/7 news is chronicled in the book "Up All Night" written by Lisa Napoli.

The ultimate irony of CNN: a guy who viewed news as a destructive force, worse than cigarettes, created the channel.

Turner initially made his mark in TV, launching Channel 17 superstation that featured sports, B-movies and re-runs.

He shied away from news because he felt it was evil, boring and depressing and just about the last thing that Americans wanted to watch each night as they settled in for TV time.

Turner only got the news bug when he began to consider it as a way to promote a variety of opinions that could make Americans better-informed citizens. Since he also toyed with the idea of running for president, a news network could provide a political boost.

Still, Turner told potential financial bankers that he knew "diddly squat" about news.

Napoli tells how Turner and an assorted collection of odd balls, network cast-offs, freshly minted college graduates and ambitious risk-takers helped launch CNN during the summer of 1980.

The day before the launch, Turner requested the armed services band that was slated to perform during the kick-off celebrations to play, "Nearer My God to Thee."

That's the tune the band on the Titanic played to calm passengers as the ship began to sink.

A CNN crew recorded the rendition and the ever-brash Turner ordered that it be put on the shelf because he expected CNN to continue broadcasting until the apocalypse.

Turner later summed up his founding of CNN. He likened himself to Columbus, who didn't know where he was going when he started, didn't know where he was when he got there and didn't know where he'd been when he got back.