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what came before | what happened after

Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan posted an article on The Daily Beast. What most of the world took from that article was the headline in which Anderson Cooper confirmed his sexuality. And because he is so well known the article was everywhere immediately.

Here's the thing; that sentence started the sixth paragraph of what Mr. Cooper wrote. What I took away from it was how absolutely professional he is and always has been.

"Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.

I've always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn't matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn't set out to write about other aspects of my life."


Now, I stress that Anderson Cooper is a great journalist because he is. He reports the news neutrally and fairly. He's first on the scene and not afraid to end up in scary situations. He's one of my top five TV journalists. The other four are Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. (The last two probably don't count because they're comedians, but I get more honest news from them than whole other channels combined.) And what he wrote in Andrew Sullivan's article just reenforces everything. He has no need to tell the general public (everyone close to him already knows) but he's doing so because he feels that "visibility is important" in the face of where we need to be as far as just being seen as human beings.

My reaction was to repost the article's link on my twitter with the comment "Forget about The Newsroom, if we want to showcase great journalists why not give Anderson Cooper the extra hour on TV?" because he really is the epitome of what Sorkin is trying to say made this country great. I didn't care about the gay thing because I already knew that.

Later on in the day a friend retweeted this tweet and I felt slapped in the face though I don't know by who and I don't understand why. I feel that it is the reaction of someone who saw the headline and didn't bother looking beyond it. "The more u make Anderson a hero for being gay the more u perpetuate that there's something wrong w it. Troops r heroes he just prefers dick"

I have no idea who Owen Benjamin is so I don't know how to react to what he said or how he said it. So I'm going to leave him out of it and just address the words themselves.

No one is making Anderson Cooper a hero for being gay. He is a hero for being a journalist who goes where he needs to go and gets his job done. The fact that he is already a hero and public figure is why he's been swept up in this country's obsession with celebrity and why people are interested. Also, I disagree that having this well known, well liked public figure or that well known, well liked public figure tell the world that they are gay perpetuates that there is something wrong with it. Quite the opposite in fact. To me, each time a public figure casually says "Oh and by the way, I'm gay" it helps bring to the foreground the reality that we're not big scary monsters, that there's nothing wrong with us, and its as natural as having a different eye color.

I think its the second statement that slapped me. Yes, our armed forces are heroes and we don't do enough for them. Not anywhere near enough. But that has nothing to do with this. And heroes are allowed to prefer dick as well. Or didn't you hear?

Comments

( 2 opinions heard — Express an opinion )
gwylliondream
Jul. 4th, 2012 01:08 am (UTC)
"I love, and I am loved."

Nothing else should really matter.

diable_sinistre
Jul. 4th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
Exactly ^.^
( 2 opinions heard — Express an opinion )

Anymore A Killer

the time has come

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