"Groundbreaking." "Memorable." "Big." "Remarkable." "Intimate." [?] "Wonderful." "Great." "History-making." "Go Coco!"
The above statements were made by various media outlets upon learning of Conan O'Brien's intention to preside over the wedding of a gay couple during the taping of his show "Conan" in New York this week.
O'Brien, who is celebrating his first year at TBS, is back in New York this week (for 16 years his previous show, "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" was filmed in New York City). He announced last week that he was going to officiate a gay wedding because same-sex marriages are now legal in New York. The funnyman obtained an online certificate from Universal Life Church Monastery and on Thursday, Nov. 3, married his long time costume designer Scott Cronick to his Cronick's partner in a traditional Jewish ceremony.
Let the media cheerleading begin.
"The late-night talk show host made television history Thursday night by officiating the wedding of longtime costume designer Scott Cronick and his partner David Gorshein on the stage of New York City's Beacon Theatre in what may have been first-ever on-air same-sex wedding," wrote Curtis M. Wong of the Huffington Post.
But even before the nuptials occurred, the media were already fawning.
"Conan O'Brien is set to commemorate his one-year anniversary at TBS in a groundbreaking way - by officiating an on-air wedding between two men," Wong wrote last week. "Although O'Brien's previous NBC show, 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien,' taped in Manhattan for 16 years, such a wedding would not have been possible during that earlier run."
1weddingsource.com gushed at the prospect. "I think this is wonderful," wrote Oli Ochoa. "He has a position, and he is acting on it by bringing attention to that cause through action. All while supporting his friend and colleague in a state that has become the latest to legalize gay marriage."
The Hollywood Reporter was positively giddy reporting the comedian's pending act for the happy couple. "Conan O'Brien wants to celebrate his one-year anniversary with TBS in a big way… To celebrate his growing relationship with TBS, he'll help bring another couple into the next phase of their relationship by officiating a gay wedding on Conan," wrote Rebecca Ford.
Entertainment Weekly's Pop Watch was by far the most elated at the news. "Conan O'Brien is about to make New York City a brighter, sunnier place," wrote Ali Semigran. "No matter who the couple, how great is this, PopWatchers?! Not only will this make O'Brien's long-overdue return to New York City extra special, but he'll be sharing something that's both remarkable and important (gay marriage is, of course, now legal in the state) and intimate with his fans at the Beacon Theater and viewers at home. Plus, if you were going to have someone famous preside over your wedding, you could do a lot worse than Coco? Though, might we suggest that your ring bearer not be this, er, bear."
It's unclear what's "intimate" about having a famous comic perform a wedding in front of a theater full of people and, ultimately, millions of TV viewers, but let's not allow reality to intrude on liberal triumph.
Some who reported on the marriage even went into detail about Universal Life Church Monastery, the source of O'Brien's certificate. "The Universal Life Church Monastery strongly believes in the rights of all people from all faiths to practice their religious beliefs, regardless of what those beliefs are; so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others and are within the law of the land and one's conscience," wrote PRWeb.com.
But outside the media, not everyone was quick to shout "Mazel Tov!" as gay marriage is still controversial this country. The Family Research Council said, "If Conan O'Brien thinks hosting a same-sex 'wedding' on his show will help its popularity, the joke's on him. And in a desperate move for ratings, the host is taking advantage of the state's new law by 'marrying' two of his male staffers on the program." The Conan O'Brien camp has insisted the ceremony was not for ratings.
A comedian officiating a gay wedding (with a certificate obtained online) is a controversial event, period. Conan himself noted the "varied" reaction by playing a mash up of no fewer than 18 different news casts from across the country, all stating that "Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television."
But clearly, the media's treatment want the envelope pushed to advance a favorite liberal pet cause.