[There was a video here]

The problem with treating the truth like a dirty secret is that it leads to situations like today's, where a CNBC panelist brought his own show to a halt after stating the obvious: "Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he's gay at the head of Apple, isn't he?" Silence.

The inadvertent discussion of reality came after CNBC contributor and New York Times columnist James Stewart said, with an air of surprise, that he had reached out to many (gay) CEOs and received a "cool" response. Stewart journalistic mothership, of course, has stayed in the realm of innuendos when it comes to Cook's sexuality. The paper's star media reporter, David Carr, has been emphatic that a gay CEO isn't even newsworthy:

People see other people who happen to be gay at their workplaces, in their schools and on their televisions. Somewhere along the way, what was once a scarlet letter became just another consonant in the personal résumé. And now that gay marriage is a fact of life, a person's sexual orientation is not only not news, it's not very interesting.

And yet Stewart, who only seconds before had expressed with frustration how unwilling people are to discuss gay CEOs, becomes entirely unwilling to discuss this gay CEO. If Tim Cook's sexuality is truly "consonant in the personal résumé," it's hard to explain this stunned television silence.

h/t Seth Fiegerman