Larry King and a Moment of Merciful Silence

It is rare on national television to have a guest refuse to speak and then just sit there, but that was the scene on Larry King Live with Carrie Prejean. It is always exciting to see legal technicalities and interpretations become the subject du jour for celebrity talk shows.

Just as a legal note, on this occasion, King may be right, but it is possible for the parties to mutually agree to bar any press discussion. A confidential settlement normally bars discussion of the terms of the settlement and not the motivation of the settlement. What Prejean is describing is an agreement for a gag rule. However, the pageant has released information, here. It would be strange for an organization to require “radio silence” and, if a gag rule was part of the settlement, it would be interesting to see which side insisted upon it.

Putting this aside, it is a matter of debate whether silencing an interview between Larry King and Carrie Prejean was a significant loss to the public discourse. Indeed, for those minutes of silence with Prejean and King staring at each other in silence, there may have been a net improvement of the overall journalistic content of the show. For that brief moment, a degree of sanity returned to celebrity cable programming. It was fleeting, however.

71 thoughts on “Larry King and a Moment of Merciful Silence”

  1. Byron–

    Greenspan is an ideologue–a disciple of Ayn Rand. I’m not sure clueless Dubya had to pressure him to do anything.

    As for Palin: I think she’s an insult to women with just half a brain. I do believe she and George W. have certain things in common–one of them being a lack of intellectual curiosity.

    George W. SAID he was a compassionate conservative–but his actions surely didn’t prove that he was.

  2. At least she did not sacrifice her ethical belief for political correctness. As for myself, I think it’s silly that society does not approve of same sex unions (or whatever the politically correct term might happen to be this week).

  3. Elaine:

    Alan Greenspan should be arrested for what he did. I think Bush had him keep interest rates low so they could finance the War.

    The whole thing was very messed up. I aint ever again votin for a commpassionate conservative, that is why I dont like Palin. I think she has a lot of Bush in her.

  4. Elaine M.,

    I too agree that the financial disaster would not have happened but for repeal of the glass act. If my memory serves me correctly it was a demand by the GOP as they controlled both Houses and he got something in return. So much for checks and balances being in place.

    I wonder what it was like when the President and Vice President ran on separate ballots. That had to be a trip from hell based upon the rhetoric I have read.

  5. Byron–

    I would consider Alan Greenspan a partisan hack. He expressed no concern about the federal budget deficit until after Dubya was safely re-elected in 2004. Then Alan disappeared before the sh*t hit the fan. I suppose one could call him prescient.

    I guess a person can spin a story anyway he/she chooses.

    BTW, I’m not a big fan Of Bill Clinton.

    I do believe that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 led to many of the financial abuses that caused the near collapse of our economy.

  6. CEJ/Elaine:

    isn’t the congress responsible for laying taxes and spending? Reagan lost his republican house in 1982. 269 (D) to 166 (R) in the house and 54 (R) to 46 (D) in the senate.

    In my opinion Krugman is a partisan hack as far as economics goes. Greenspan gave up his capitalist roots a good many years ago. You should read some of the stuff he wrote in the 1960’s. Laissez Faire Alan all the way.

    He did our economy no service by leaving interest rates low for so many years.

    Clinton had the good fortune of being president when the Internet was commercialized.

    I don’t know how I feel about Iran/Contra. We probably should not have done it, but Daniel Ortega wasn’t exactly George Washington and all of that was a response to the possibility of Soviet expansion in our hemisphere. The Cuban Missile Crisis was less than 30 years old at the time and the Soviet Union was still in existence and apparently still strong.

    There are 2 ways or more to look at everything.

  7. Byron–

    Here are some excerpts from The Great Taxer, a NY Times article written by Paul Krugman (June 8, 2004):

    We’re also sure to hear that Mr. Reagan presided over an unmatched economic boom. Again, not true: the economy grew slightly faster under President Clinton, and, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the after-tax income of a typical family, adjusted for inflation, rose more than twice as much from 1992 to 2000 as it did from 1980 to 1988.

    But Ronald Reagan does hold a special place in the annals of tax policy, and not just as the patron saint of tax cuts. To his credit, he was more pragmatic and responsible than that; he followed his huge 1981 tax cut with two large tax increases. In fact, no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people. This is not a criticism: the tale of those increases tells you a lot about what was right with President Reagan’s leadership, and what’s wrong with the leadership of George W. Bush.

    The first Reagan tax increase came in 1982. By then it was clear that the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were wildly optimistic. In response, Mr. Reagan agreed to a sharp rollback of corporate tax cuts, and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton’s 1993 tax increase.

    Mr. Reagan’s second tax increase was also motivated by a sense of responsibility — or at least that’s the way it seemed at the time. I’m referring to the Social Security Reform Act of 1983, which followed the recommendations of a commission led by Alan Greenspan. Its key provision was an increase in the payroll tax that pays for Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance.

    For many middle- and low-income families, this tax increase more than undid any gains from Mr. Reagan’s income tax cuts. In 1980, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, middle-income families with children paid 8.2 percent of their income in income taxes, and 9.5 percent in payroll taxes. By 1988 the income tax share was down to 6.6 percent — but the payroll tax share was up to 11.8 percent, and the combined burden was up, not down.

    I did not and do not approve of President Reagan’s economic policies, which saddled the nation with trillions of dollars in debt. And as others will surely point out, some of the foreign policy shenanigans that took place on his watch, notably the Iran-contra scandal, foreshadowed the current debacle in Iraq (which, not coincidentally, involves some of the same actors).

    My opinion: Reaganomics and the “trickle down theory” didn’t work out too well for many Americans.

  8. Byron,

    You left out an important fact about Reaganomics: Government spending and deficits rose significantly during his administration!

  9. Mike S:

    all I can say is that there are liars, womanizers, cheats and assorted bad actors on both sides of the political aisle. I think it better to agree that politicians have human failings and that the left or right has no moral high ground on personal behavior.

    But I must take exception to Reagan tax policies. The marginal rate went down and the total revenue to government increased. This happens everywhere it is tried. That is one thing I don’t understand about the left, if you lower taxes, revenues increase. You can have both social welfare programs and a vibrant economy if you would just lower the tax rates across the board.

    And that is what happened in the Reagan era, lower taxes lead to a more vibrant economy.

    The individual rate went down the aggregate rate increased.

  10. Mike–

    Well Done!

    My favorite: “Ann Coulter-Putative writer and provocateur known for hyperbole, lies and bigotry. Looks like a Nazi’s Dominatrix Dream girl.”

    Now there’s an image for you! Too funny!!! I can vividly picture a whip-wielding Annie dressed in a black leather bustier, garter belt, hip-high boots, and a Nazi helmet with a little Hitler moustache pasted above her upper lip saying: “Sieg heil, Honey!”


    Here’s a little verse about Ann. I’ll admit that it’s not my best effort.

    If Only Somebody Would: A Terse Verse about Ann Coulter

    Ann Coulter?
    Somebody bolt ‘er
    mouth shut…
    or stitch it up with catgut…
    or gag her with a soiled sock.
    I can’t bear to hear her squawk!

    BTW, Don’t you think she sounds like she’s got a bug up her nose when she talks?

  11. Heroes of the faux Conservative/Republican radicals.

    Joe McCarthy-US Senator known as communist hunter. Used lies and fueled self with two quarts of liquor daily. Unable to understand why people hated him “After all it’s only politics.”

    George Murphy-US Senator and former “danceman” in “B” Movies.
    Followed his handlers orders.

    S.I.Hayakawa-US Senator became famous for cracking down on college students. Was know to snore loudly at his desk when the Senate was in session.

    Ronald Reagan-US President and mediocre movie actor with failed career until he married wealthy Daughter of a John Birch Society founder. Kept in funds by defense contractor GE
    via a western anthology show masquerading myth as history. Learned to give one good speech in decrying Government, which he delivered around the country paid for by leading recipient of government largesse. As President presided over the largest tax increase on the middle class in history and raised the defense budget to new highs.

    George H.W. Bush-US President, started two wars, ignored attack warnings, presided over failing economy. Thought of as perhaps worst President in US history.

    Rush Limbaugh-Radio Personality, drug addict, alleged user of Dominican Republic Prostitutes, thrice married defender of family and American values. Racist and spewer of hatred.

    Glenn Beck-College dropout, failed DJ, who discovered Joe McCarthy’s formula for success.

    Ann Coulter-Putative writer and provocateur known for hyperbole, lies and bigotry.Looks like a Nazi’s Dominatrix Dream girl.

    Sarah Palin-Mayor of crystal meth capital of Alaska, wife of an Alaskan separatist, needed four different colleges to get BA, quit as Governor of State halfway through first term to make money, as VP candidate displayed breathtaking ignorance of all issues and stubborn refusal not to study them, failed miserably in softball interviews by Network news, breathtakingly uninformed yet aspires to Presidency.

    Michelle Bachman-US Congressperson who has taken ignorance and bigotry to previously unassailed levels.

    Carrie Prejean-Lost job as Ms. California for failing to make scheduled appearances, blames it on inane gay marriage statement, espouser of strong Christian Values ye has made up to 15 sex tapes sent to boyfriend she met once, has a propensity for appearing in skimpy clothing, as blindingly ignorant as her teeth are white. Soon to be a FOX News anchor or run for political office.

    There is a pattern to all this that does not bode well for this country.

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