CNBC tough-guy Charlie Gasparino was supposed to appear on a panel discussion at the New School last night. But he didn't show, probably because he's scared to talk about Jim Cramer's dust-up with Jon Stewart.

Gasparino was all set to do the panel on "Buyouts, Bailouts and Burnouts," which was sponsored by the Center for Communication, until all the participants got an e-mail this week alerting them that the discussion would include "the recent brouhaha between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer."

At that point, according to a tipster, Gasparino started hemming and hawing about whether he could make it after all. In the end, he was a no-show.

Is Gasparino a fraidy-cat who didn't want to reignite the whole Stewart mess by wading into it? He hasn't returned a phone call and e-mail we put in to find out. But he might be avoiding panels after his appearance at a seminar earlier this month where he said "Jon Stewart is full of shit" and "I'm tougher than Jon Stewart." The CNBC bosses probably put the kibosh on that sort of talk, lest Stewart start in on the network again.

UPDATE: Gasparino returned our call to say he ditched the panel because "Kudlow begged me to be on his show. I had forgotten that I even said yes to this thing until last week." And he says the idea of talking about Stewart had nothing to do with it: "That had zero to do with it. I'll be honest—was I crazy about talking about him? No. But am I going to shy away from him? No." OK we believe you Charlie. But you should have called to cancel! Manners.