August 7, 2005
Not Exactly On Paar
A lot of people have had a lot to say about "Plame Game" commentator Robert Novak walking off a CNN set last week. From a visual standpoint, what I found disturbing was how the NYT Week in Review equated it to Jack Parr walking off the Tonight Show set 45 years ago.
Besides trivializing the real story — which involves Novak colluding with the government to mislead the American public about the Iraqi threat — the comparison basically writes off Mr. Novak’s journalistic behavior (and his increasing trouble in justifying it) as simply "show biz."
In Paar’s case, he decided to bolt because censors deleted an off-color joke he wanted to tell. As far as I can tell, the only element the two situations share is the size of the egos involved.
(image 1: CNN. August 4, 2005. From mediamatters.org. image 2: Walter Daran/Time Life Pictures — Getty Images in NYT. August 7, 2005. p. WK 2.)