Anderson Cooper | Keith Olbermann | News

Keith Olbermann Slams Anderson Cooper's Silence on Sexuality

Anderson Cooper isn't just feeling the heat from the gay community about his decision to keep his sexuality off the table for discussion. If Out magazine's "Glass Closet" cover story wasn't enough for the CNN anchor, Michael Jensen of AfterElton makes note of a New York magazine profile this week on MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann. Olbermann, citing a Men's Journal article in which Anderson refuses to discuss his sexuality, calls foul on Anderson's non-disclosure.

Olbermann_andersonOlbermann: "Don’t tell me you don’t want to talk about personal life when you wrote a book about your father’s death and your brother’s death. You can’t move this big mass of personal stuff out for public display, then people ask questions and you say, 'Oh, no, I didn’t say there was going to be any questions.' It’s the same thing as the Bush administration saying, 'We’re going to war, but you really aren’t allowed to know why'...Don’t tell me you can’t talk about your personal life and then, when they send you overseas and you do a report that consists of your voice-over and pictures of you in a custom-made, blue-to-match-your-eyes bulletproof vest, looking somberly at these scenes of human devastation—like a tourist—and that’s your report. Your shtick is your personal life."

New York's writer called Olbermann's amplified attack on Anderson "too big a gun for too small a target" but the topic seems to be more on the wind these days than ever. Yesterday, Radar Online published a timeline of Coop's non-statements on the subject, saying "references to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's homosexuality has reached a level of saturation that would make even Clay Aiken squeal: 'Come out, already!'"

Cooper, whose CNN contract has reportedly been renewed to the tune of $50 million, has thus far had no comment.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann takes on Anderson Cooper [after elton]
Limbaugh for Lefties [new york magazine]
Anderson Cooper's Gay Timeline [radar online]
Out Spots Anderson Cooper in the Glass Closet [tr]

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  1. I like Keith Olbermann's show, and generally agree with his commentary about Cooper, but I question why this is even necessary. We all know he's gay, but I really don't think about that when I watch him on TV. It's not the 1950s anymore... I don't see how Anderson Cooper coming out would make much of a difference in anyone's life. Oops, I take that back... it would make a big difference in Cooper's professional life, given that he spends much of his working life in parts of the world in which it would be life-threatening to be known worldwide as "the openly gay CNN correspondent". Besides, coming out is a personal decision that's no one else's business, UNLESS they are actively working to curtail the civil rights of GLBT people. Olbermann needs to calm down and re-focus his efforts on things that matter.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 11, 2007 11:39:36 AM

  2. Oh, and the "blue to match your eyes" comment? Sounds like Keith has a crush.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 11, 2007 11:41:20 AM

  3. Olbermann makes a good point.

    Posted by: shane | Apr 11, 2007 11:41:25 AM

  4. Ordinarily I like the way Olbermann takes on the the BS in the news, but I have to agree with the New York's writer in saying "too big a gun..." If Cooper doesn't want to talk about his sexuality, back off. I also think that "Out" magazine cover story with Cooper's and Jodie Foster's stand ins was too much. These people aren't being hypocrites by not saying anything. It's not like they're making the laws or setting policy or anything. If you want to talk about gays who are real hypocrites, go after GLAAD. They'll give an award to anyone for holding hands on NBC or says something nice about having a gay friend, but won't recognize anything on Logo or here or any "gay" movie. Only the mainstream for them, thank you very much.

    Posted by: TroyTooner | Apr 11, 2007 11:46:29 AM

  5. Olbermann should go after Out magazine for trying to be a serious periodical.

    Posted by: Scott | Apr 11, 2007 11:51:11 AM

  6. Big guns? Third tier cable channel taking on 2nd tier cable channel? Sorry, I like Olberman's commentary; as usual to the point, but outside the people who watch either show, who cares? Had it not been for this BLOG, I would have never heard or read about it (the "Out" issue that keeps coming up has yet to arrive).

    Now... put Keith and Anderson across the table from each other and THEN let the discussion open up. None of this printed stuff.

    Posted by: Rad | Apr 11, 2007 11:53:31 AM

  7. Brian, why is Anderson Cooper being so coy? Is there something wrong with being gay? These closeted types are contemptible because they want the best of both worlds. He should just be honest and come out! I mean, what happens if CNN decides to cover a coming-out controversy re: some big-time celeb? Does Anderson get reassigned or does he have to disclose his own sexuality? This is all so ridiculous. He's a joke to me.

    Posted by: Glenn | Apr 11, 2007 11:55:20 AM

  8. Odormann should mind his own fucking business.

    Posted by: Tom | Apr 11, 2007 12:07:04 PM

  9. Glenn

    ^5 exactly!!!!!

    It appears this article like the rosanne one has stirred up all the gay republicans to post today.

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | Apr 11, 2007 12:11:35 PM

  10. Olbermann's point is that Cooper's main claim to fame these days is actually speculation surrounding his sexuality. The last time he really did anything journalistically remarkable was Katrina - his show is pretty ordinary.

    Maybe Cooper dances around the point because it keeps people thinking about him. His work sure doesn't.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 11, 2007 12:18:29 PM

  11. Brian, I agree that it isn't the 1950s any more and there's no need for people to have big comings-out.

    However, there's no need for him to hide his personal history on this matter either. That suggests there's something wrong or taboo about it.

    Anderson Cooper doesn't have to call People magazine and make them write up a big story - or spend a 5 minute commentary as a big Coming Out on his show. However, if a magazine reporter asked him during an interview that was about Anderson's personal life, he could talk about it as just one little thing about him. That's far doing a big "coming out."

    Posted by: Ryan | Apr 11, 2007 12:22:30 PM

  12. Glenn, there's nothing wrong with being gay. And I'm sooooooooo not a Republican.

    I'm just saying that coming out is a personal decision that's influenced by a whole host of factors that we're not privy to, particularly when it involves someone whose job is conducted on national television. I don't know why he hasn't come out, but I imagine he has some pretty good reasons. Since he's not hurting anyone by refusing to discuss the matter (he's neither confirmed nor denied it), then I say leave him alone and focus on the people who really ARE making our lives harder... the Bush administration and its right wing base.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 11, 2007 12:25:15 PM

  13. OUT really isn't seen anywhere by anyone, and little regard is given to Musto... so the Cooper/Foster cover is hardly substantial... if anything, it's just wrong.
    one does wish Anderson would stand tall and not reinforce gay-shame in America. i do appreciate the risks involved as a international journalist, but if he bit the bullet he'd gain so much respect... perhaps even better ratings. if his life was actually ever put in jeopardy overseas because of coming out, he could always leave CNN and join the Today show.
    the longer he wimps out dishonoring himself, the more 360 tailspins into mediocrity... the show has lost its verve.
    anderson should pull a 180 and save 360.

    Posted by: A.J. | Apr 11, 2007 12:30:51 PM

  14. Those criticizing Anderson's work MUST HAVE missed that stirring, cutting-edge, revelatory interview he did with Ms. Angelina Jolie-Pitt in which both Anderson and Angie exchanged stories about how much they FELT for the suffering of starving African orphans...
    Anderson: I was so moved.
    Angelina: I was more moved.
    Anderson: My orphan friends/interviewees died the next month.
    Angelina: Mine died in a week,
    Anderson: I cried for weeks.
    Angelina: I made Brad cry with me.

    Posted by: Ray | Apr 11, 2007 12:34:44 PM

  15. What a lovely, irrelevant analogy, ignorant of the fact that BUSH's LIES GET PEOPLE KILLED. For that ass backwards choice of words alone, I hope Cooper stays silent all the way to the grave.

    Posted by: 000000 | Apr 11, 2007 12:56:49 PM

  16. There are a lot of people on this site who think that KO is some sort of hero for going after Bush (as if it's so very brave of him or something), and not just an attention getter--and now he's going after a ratings rival at another network with the same hyperbole and nastiness. It all seems a bit desperate to me. By KO's logic if Anderson does not come out he's a hypocrit or a coward and if he does, his career is in jeopardy. Nice move Keith! That will really help your ratings.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 11, 2007 1:11:35 PM

  17. I think Anderson Cooper is doing the right thing. He is living out. The best thing to do is live out. What if Anderson Cooper dates men and women? Should he come out as Bi?

    A lot of people don't talk about it because maybe the person they are dating wants to remain an unknown to the world?

    Good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all it is up to him to decide when he wants to officially announce to everyone his orientation. Maybe he is already doing it, in his way.

    Posted by: T. Zac | Apr 11, 2007 1:18:24 PM

  18. I don't have much of a problem Anderson being the closet but he should of continue to support/attend gay rights events like he did in the past before working at CNN. Now he avoid like a plague because he afraid of further labeling as being gay. To my knowledge, Anderson never did once attend a NLGJA event supporting a organization for gay journalist which he is one.

    As Anderson put it and I quote

    "The whole thing about being a reporter is that you're supposed to be an observer and to be able to adapt with any group you’re in, and I don’t want to do anything that threatens that."

    According to this quote he believes once a reporter reveal he/she is gay, he/she can't be a real journalist. Maybe this is why he don't support NLGJA because they are not real journalist according to him.

    Posted by: John | Apr 11, 2007 1:24:45 PM

  19. Anderson has the right to be in the closet, if that's what he wants and thinks will be best for his career. It's not a choice I would make, and I don't think it makes him look particularly good, but it is his choice. He doesn't owe the gay community anything, and I don't think it affects his work all too much.

    Mika, on the other hand- it's his choice not to come out, but who does he think he's fooling? He make the most unabashedly gay album of the year, and he's surprised when anybody asks you about his sexuality? That's plain annoying. His choice, but not smart or appealing.

    Posted by: Steve Galgas | Apr 11, 2007 1:25:59 PM

  20. Keith should mind his own business and, for the final time, Clay Aiken is not gay!

    Sheesh!!! Get over it already!!!

    Posted by: Foxy | Apr 11, 2007 1:33:02 PM

  21. As dependable and predictable as the sunrise or Reichen taking his shirt off is the appearance once again of someone declaring the anti-intellectual nonsense that “we all know _____ is gay.” What horseshit. Entirely beside the point of whether or not ________ is gay or should come out if he/she is, but still thundering horseshit, just as is the assertion that "he's living out." Even Mary Cheney deserves more credit in that regard than Cooper.

    Only slightly less stupid is the repeated suggestion that fear of being offed by some homophobe in Buttfuchustan plays any role in Cooper’s two-faced hiding behind silence. Given that he has been in some dangerous places for his “craft,” it’s all the more despicable that he’s more afraid of losing fawning fans or social approval generally for being honest than for getting killed while exposing war, etc.

    Cooper is simply a coward. It’s his “right,” but it’s my right—and Olbermann’s—to tag him for it.

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 11, 2007 1:41:02 PM

  22. I say good for Anderson for keeping his boundaries. Let him be who he wants to be, rather than who we want him to be.

    Roseanne had a really good point yesterday, you know, even if she's apologizing today...

    Posted by: Shawn | Apr 11, 2007 1:42:37 PM

  23. I really did not understand what is it about Anderson Cooper that is making so many people literally ENRAGED at him making the choices to live his personal life the way he sees fit..

    But yesterday I tuned in to his show on CNN for the whole Imus scandal, and I got it -- The man is so self-possessed, you would not have guessed he was currently the subject of a slanderous cover on Out mag. He just doesn't seem to let any of the drama permeate his job, and that is pissing off a lot of people who think he should stop everything he's doing and call a press conference to apologize to them for being mad. pleaase.

    Posted by: Da | Apr 11, 2007 1:44:50 PM

  24. You're right, DA, though I don't see how self-possession relates. Nobody cares about the greater good that his disclosure could provide, theoretically. He's the next in line to feed the fascination with other people's business because Anna Nicole and Sanjaya have served their purpose. And how they bitch because he won't play their game. Ellen doesn't get this much flack for regressing and excluding Portia from all anecdotes about their personal life in her opening monologues.

    Posted by: 000000 | Apr 11, 2007 2:08:35 PM

  25. This, too, always comes up, the groundless claim that anyone is asking him to call a press conference to come out. With all due respect, he "ain't that much." But the minimum he does need to do if he wants people's respect, if he wants them to stop calling him a hypocrite when he exposes [and makes money on] every other "very private" aspect of his life this side of his dick size but then defends his silence on being gay, as Olbermann and Musto and others have accurately pointed out, under the excuse of "private life." As the saying goes, ya can't have it both ways, Mary.

    The next time he's asked—and it's only a matter of time—all he need do is say "yes" or "no." Yes, I, too, would like to see him at the benefits and in a Pride parade, but his people [WE] would at least benefit from the ongoing association of his prestige and popularity with being proudly gay. Where it would and SHOULD impact his job directly is when he's interviewing [as he has] some homohating, lying pig like Falwell and instead of reinforcing their nonsense by his silence and softball questions [which he DOES], he should say, "Hold on, Rev. I'm a gay man so I know from first hand experience that you don't know what you're talking about." In short, he's in a rare position to do something constructive but refuses. He's like someone gorging on a turkey leg ignoring the starving children around him. He could "feed" knowledge, understanding, respect, but there he twirls, chomping away.

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 11, 2007 2:09:00 PM

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