Redfaced Redstone

Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone’s alleged attempt to bribe a reporter to give up the source of story criticizing one of Redstone’s interests is causing embarrassment and making news.

Redstone, 87, contacted Peter Lauria of the Daily Beast web site in regard to Lauria’s less-than-complimentary story about the mogul pushing MTV execs to do a reality-type show about new all-girl band Electric Barbarellas with input from an anonymous source.

The Viacom exec’s voicemail allegedly told Lauria he’d be “well rewarded and well protected” if he spilled the beans on who his source was.

Lauria didn’t budge, and instead published the contents of the voicemail on the Daily Beast for all to see.

“We’re not going to hurt this guy. We just want to sit him down and find out why he did what he did,” Redstone’s voicemail allegedly said. “You will not in any way be revealed.”

A Viacom spokesman reportedly told the “Today” show it was Redstone’s voice on the message and that he’d made a mistake.