Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rachel Maddow says closeted news anchors should come out.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow recently gave an interview with UK newspaper The Guardian in which she encouraged closeted news anchors to come out. The story appeared in the Monday edition. Over the last 24 hours she has taken a lot of flack for one sentence in what was quite an extensive article.

Did Rachel Maddow out Anderson Cooper? Here is the offending paragraph:
Maddow is one of the very few gay news anchors in America – well, one of the very few openly gay news anchors. Does she feel frustration towards an equally well-known news presenter who is widely assumed to be gay but has never come out? For the first time, Maddow pauses: "I'm sure other people in the business have considered reasons why they're doing what they're doing, but I do think that if you're gay you have a responsibility to come out," she says carefully.
From what I see, interviewer Hadley Freeman worded the question in such a way as to imply that Cooper was the anchor in question, although neither she nor Maddow ever mentions him by name. Apparently that's not enough for the interwebs, where every newser, blogger and tweeter is claiming that she outed CNN's silver fox.

As I reported on this here blog thingy about a week and a half ago, Anderson Cooper was recognized for the second time on Out Magazine's Power 50 list as one of the most influential members of the LGBT community, which no one batted an eye about. Cooper ranked #3, Maddow, #4 and Fox's Shepard Smith came in at #6. Neither Smith or Cooper has ever publicly come out, but Maddow is the one who takes the heat. Sounds like blatant sexism to me.

In trying to clear up the matter, Maddow wrote on her blog last night:
"Regarding The Guardian interview that's getting a lot of pickup today: in that interview, I wasn't asked about Anderson Cooper, I didn't say anything about him, he literally was never discussed during the interview at all -- even implicitly."
"I don't tend to be shy when I criticize -- you wouldn't have to read between the lines if that's what I was trying to do."
Sometimes it's better just to leave it alone. Maddow did clarify her position when it comes to outing:
"I've long held three basic beliefs about the ethics of coming out:
  1. Gay people -- generally speaking -- have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.
  2. We should all get to decide for ourselves the "if and when we feel that we can" part of that.
  3. Closeted people should reasonably expect to be outed by other gay people if (and only if) they prey on the gay community in public, but are secretly gay themselves.
I also believe that coming out makes for a happier life, but that's not a matter of ethics, that's just corny advice."

You might want to post that last part on your refrigerator or something.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments relevant and civil. Comments attacking other people will be deleted.

Subscribe in a reader