What is it that celebrities don’t get about the truth? Brian Williams. Bill O’Reilly. Steve Rannazzisi.
I didn’t even know he was a ‘celebrity’ until yesterday when I turned to page 2 in the Trib’s A & E section.
There he was—Rannazzisi—sitting in an armchair, left leg crossed casually over the right, wearing a whitish open-collared shirt under a wide-opened sports jacket. A white gym shoe evident on the left foot. His full head of hair combed neatly back. A fixed stare on his face. Mouth tightly shut.
Underneath this rugged guy it reads: “Steve Rannazzisi admits he told a lie about working in the World Trade Center when terrorists attacked.”
The headline above the release from the Associated Press: “Comic is ‘truly sorry’ for 9/11 fabrication”.
The lie has become a fabrication.
“We are very disappointed,”says a Comedy Central spokesman, “to hear about Steve’s misrepresentations….”
The lie has shifted into a misrepresentation.
The article goes on. “Rannazzisi’s falsehood was first reported….”
The lie is, let us not forget, a falsehood.
His lie— as in ‘thou shalt not tell a lie’ —was a genuine whopper of a tall tale. He worked on that fateful day for Merrill Lynch. He said he was ‘jostled’ when the tower next to him was hit. He descended to the ground floor into the street over the Brooklyn Bridge on foot. Not willing to pay a $500 cab fare. He got home. Several hours later his wife, then girlfriend, who also worked at the World Trade Center walked in the door.
“I don’t know why I said this,” Rannazzisi laments.
Of course, that was 14 years ago. He had plenty of time to stimulate his creative juices.
But let’s not talk around what he did.
He didn’t stretch the truth or misspeak, or any other synonymic way of saying it. He told a full-blown, bald-faced lie.
So what else could he do but apology.
They all do.
Filed under: celebrity