Yesterday’s CBS News Sunday Morning profile of Graydon Carter produced an interesting, vaguely humble take on a man who celebrates hubris in every aspect of his public life. We didn’t watch it, of course (we had to Google the name of CBS’s weekend morning show), but a co-worker forwarded over the online recap. When one is contemplating the death of the celebrity profile, one often forgets that television newsmagazines like 60 Minutes and 20/20, etc., are also to blame. So it’s funny, then, that when profiling Carter (whose Vanity Fair at least produces more interesting profiles than its brethren GQ, Details, and Vogue), CBS News perpetrated perhaps the most common celebrity profile crime of them all: not calling a subject out after he lies outrageously in order to make himself seem more sympathetic or “real.” Witness:
Carter says he is actually a very retiring person — even shy.
“Yeah, I usually don’t speak until spoken to.”
The guy who throws the biggest party of the year, the Oscar party, is a shy guy?
“Well, I had to overcome that,” Carter told [his interviewer]. “You know, I’m very Canadian. And Canadians are very (unintel) to— retiring— you know— not forceful people. I had to sort of train myself to be a host.
“I’d have a couple of drinks before everybody got there. But then I just would go out and show great enthusiasm even though I was, like, trembling inside.”
Yes, when we look at Graydon Carter ensconced in his corner booth at the Waverly Inn every single day, surrounded by fawning celebrities whom he has meticulously arrayed around himself, that’s what we see: interior trembling.
A Peek Into the World of Graydon Carter [CBS News]