Thanks to my cyber-pal Dave Davis for what follows.
Several years ago Sally Bedell Smith wrote a book called In All His Glory: The Life of William S. Paley (the late legendary founder of CBS). My favorite anecdote from the book is this one:
“It is a measure of Paley’s idolatry that he embraced so many of [John Hay ‘Jock’] Whitney’s friends and elements of his lifestyle. He even convinced CBS to buy Whitney’s private plane. To Paley, Jock Whitney embodied the ultimate in American masculine style. Yet Whitney’s influence was less in matters of taste than in the way he operated. ‘Bill,’ summed up Walter Thayer, ‘liked the way Jock lived.’
“A gentle rivalry flecked their relationship as a result. Once while watching television with Whitney at Greentree, Paley wanted to change the channel. ‘Where’s your clicker?’ Paley asked, figuring Jock would have a remote-control switch at his fingertips. Jock calmly pressed a buzzer, and his butler walked up to the TV set to make the switch.”
Now that’s rich.
“Incidentally,” writes Dave, “if you haven’t read that book, I recommend it highly. The hardcover edition is about two inches thick, but it goes very fast.”