Anderson Cooper, whom many believe is gay but who has not ever publicly affirmed or denied his orientation, last night anchored an AC360 CNN segment, “Keeping Them Honest,” during which he tried to hold Obama campaign head David Axelrod and White House spokesperson Jay Carney accountable for claims that Biden’s professed position on same-sex marriage was the same as President Obama’s.
While we applaud Cooper for cutting through the hypocrisy of the campaign, and agree it’s time for the President to “evolve,” — or just do his duty as President of all Americans and stand up for equal civl rights — Cooper seems to some, including me, to have somehow lost a bit of credibility on this issue.
It absolutely is Anderson Cooper’s right to address or to not address reports of his sexual orientation, but when calling out hypocrisy on a public stance on marriage equality, it seems, well, somewhat hypocritical.
It used to be believed that Anderson Cooper did not want to come out because as a journalist he was adhering to traditional journalism standards that reporters should never become the story — a standard I generally agree with.
For example, at the end of last year, Gawker’s Brian Moylan reported that Anderson Cooper was paving the way to come out this year during sweeps week — a report that turned out to be about as impressive as some of Moylan’s other “journalistic” works. Had he, it would have made Cooper the story, and it’s understandable why he did not.
And it’s important to state that we don’t know if Anderson Cooper is gay or not.
And just as there are gay Americans who don’t support same-sex marriage, just as Prop 8 Judge Vaugh Walker’s orientation had no bearing on his ability to decide the Prop 8 case, Cooper’s personal positions on, say, marriage equality have nothing to do with his sexual orientation, whatever it is.
Should Anderson Cooper not report on LGBT-specific issues? Of course not. But when claims of “Keeping Them Honest” become the standard, his authority and credibility feel, to this reporter, to be waning. Respectfully, it’s hard to call the kettle “black” when you’re the pot.
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