Opinion Brief

Conan officiates a gay wedding: 'Groundbreaking'?

During a special New York taping of his TBS talk show, O'Brien marries a Conan staffer and his partner. Touching gesture or liberal ratings stunt?

The video: A trivia contest with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's visit to Occupy Wall Street were among the highlights of Conan O'Brien's return to New York to tape a week of his TBS talk show, Conan. But the truly "groundbreaking" event? A same-sex wedding O'Brien officiated between Conan staffer Scott Cronick and his partner David Gorshein. (Watch it below.) Conan got ordained for the nuptials, which observed several Jewish traditions, featured Bravo's Andy Cohen walking Cronick down the aisle, and concluded with a shower of confetti. Though Cronick and Gorshein live in Los Angeles, they took advantage of the show's New York sojourn because gay marriage is legal in the Empire State. The nuptials might just mark the first non-fictional same-sex marriage ever performed on television, says Aol's Laura Prudom.

The reaction: This was easily "one of the sweetest, loveliest… things to happen on television in a while," says Aly Semigran at Entertainment Weekly. I defy you not to get choked up by the "beautiful, surprisingly intimate" ceremony. Huh? says the Culture and Media Institute. "What's 'intimate' about having a famous comic perform a wedding" in front of millions of viewers? The media's over-the-top coverage of this non-event merely reflects its desire to "advance a favorite liberal pet cause." C'mon, says Prudom. Whether it was a ratings stunt or simply "a favor from one friend to another," this was a "touching and heartfelt experience for everyone involved." See for yourself:

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