Monday, July 02, 2012

Cooper Finally Comes Out;
CNN Still Sucks

Gay blogger Andrew Sullivan today published a letter from his friend and news reporter-slash-anchor Anderson Cooper of CNN, in which Cooper finally reveals he is what many gaydar screen have said for years: he is gay.

Good to have this high-profile journalist and celebrity exit his glass closet, and generate much attention from the mainstream media, gay press and many quarters of the blogosphere. Visibility of Cooper as an out gay media person might help others of all ages in the closet to liberate themselves.

However, I do have two concerns to express today amid all the congratulations of his friends and admirers, or yawns from gay skeptics long tired of Cooper evading the question of his sexual orientation.

Here's my first concern. What the eff took him so long to open his closet door? I no longer feel the need to wildly applaud or lionize a man of Cooper's stature, and status, for waiting until 2012 to declare himself a gay person. While millions of LGBT people have taken great risks to be out and lead personal and political struggles for sexual liberation and political justice, Cooper remained safely ensconced in his closet.

Now, he will many rewards from the advocacy and work of others, whom he never acknowledged were his brothers and sisters. We'll see if he pays homage to those who paved his path out of the closet.

I'm in no mood to congratulate Cooper for saying he's gay today, not after his decades of silence as hundreds of gay adults including Allen Schindler, Billy Gwen Araujo, Jack Gaither and Brandon Teena were murdered, and dozens of gay teenagers including Adam Walsh, Jack Reese and Kenneth Weishuhn committed suicide after relentless bullying.

Cooper may have devoted some air-time over the years to these deaths and the other problems face by LGBT Americans and our brothers and sisters around the globe, but he didn't do so as an out CNN reporter and we should remember that.

My second concern is that CNN still sucks. I'm old enough to remember when the Cable News Network actually showed viewer the news, and on an uncluttered screen. Nowadays, whenever I briefly flip by CNN there are the talking heads of the anchors or reporters and their guests.

If video news footage is used, it's generally shown on half of my TV monitor for a less than a minute, as graphics dance on the side or background portion of the screen, and a damn talking head fills the remainder of the screen. The middle N in CNN no longer stands for news and that is why they've lost this news junkie's eyeballs.

My prediction is that Cooper's show will get a temporary bump in the ratings and he'll soon be receiving awards from gay advocacy organizations, happy to have him speak at their galas.

And the gay beat goes on . . .


DavidEhrenstein said...

Latest FaBlog: This Just In! Water is Wet!

Well now he's out. The real test is what he's going to do with it. As usual I'm not expecting much.

Unknown said...

Every time someone like Cooper comes out, people bash that they didn't come out sooner. Why is that? We all have our own lives to deal with & as far as I'm concerned, coming out is not for others to say or to judge.

I also happen to believe that it does take "famous" gay folk coming out in order to lend a sense of normalcy to other orientations (for those out there still having a tough time accepting anything other than hetero-world). Having regular joe's come out helps, too (like the favourite neighbour,etc) but the high-profile ones, especially like Cooper who is well thought of, help tremendously.

Had Cooper followed all the "coming out judges" verdicts, he may have come out long ago & never have gotten the chance to ascend to the position he has (people actually get fired & demoted when they come out, or never hired at all...why is this ignored here?). If he had come out sooner, he may have never had the chance to make the larger impact his celebrity affords this cause.

I say, "good on ya, Coop."