Media pundits went into an analytical frenzy after Conan O'Brien carefully castigated his treatment by NBC on "60 Minutes," saying that the network forced him off the "Tonight Show" (with a $32.5 million severance) because firing Jay Leno would have been more expensive. NBC itself did not respond to the charge — until yesterday. According to TMZ, an unnamed network source has accused the red-headed funnyman of "lying." Here's what the blogosphere is saying: (Watch Conan's "60 Minutes" interview.)
This could breach Conan's contract: This isn't over yet, says Zennie Abrahams in the San Francisco Chronicle. "While Conan O'Brien may think his interview was cathartic, an angry NBC may take another look at his contract clause about defamation and cry foul." If they take action, this saga could drag on and on.
"Conan O'Brien called liar by NBC after CBS 60 Minutes interview"
NBC needs to be upfront about this: If O'Brien did lie about NBC's finances, says Julie Miller at Movieline, shouldn't the network "go on record" to say so, rather than leak their disapproval to a gossip website?
"NBC accuses Conan of lying to 60 Minutes, inadvertently paints themselves as heartless"
If the truth was misrepresented, blame "60 Minutes": This highlights how sloppy the producers at "60 Minutes" are, says David Zurawik in the Baltimore Sun. If they'd "contacted NBC and Leno," or any industry sources at all, they might have "told us what they knew to be true" rather than simply what Conan said. Sadly, these lazy journalists let "O'Brien have his way."
"Was Conan O'Brien telling truth on 60 Minutes?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- How the West produces jihadi tourists
Subscribe to the Week