William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Anderson Cooper stands up, is counted

    Anderson Cooper’s sexual preference has never been much of a secret, but his coming out to Andrew Sullivan and the world in a touching e-mail truly resonates. Everyone's experience on this planet is different, and no where is that more true than in the LGBT community. Just because “Ellen” and “Will & Grace” were on television doesn’t mean it is easy for many to come out of the closet, and it doesn’t mean that people are rushing to assure that the LGBT community has the same rights as straight people. And it doesn’t mean that violence against the LGBT community has abated.

    Cooper coming out truly matters to millions of people. He is standing up and being counted. Well done, AC.


    Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles


    Gee, blue-eyed talentless son of rich heiress comes out to blowhard conservative-when-he-wants-to-be gay pretentious-Hayekian blogger (who never quite apologized for cheering us into Iraq on wrong-wrong-wrong pronouncements)

    Tomorrow: Jonah Goldberg - still talentless and obnoxious despite (I think) not being gay but having an obnoxious father who got him his job.

    And like our big surprise with Obama being president but racism continuing, Anderson Cooper coming out to Andrew Sullivan didn't end anti-gay attitudes in the world.

    Tomorrow: people still discriminate against short ugly people.

    Guess I'm more impressed with a Martina Navratilova or Bradley Manning.

    I thought his letter to Andrew was exceptionally well done and on point.  I agreed with his rationale for his stance on all issues he addressed.


    What "professional principle"? Does anyone ask about the sexuality of Dan Rather or Katie Couric or Ted Koppel or Wolf Blitzer? Should I care about anything more than whether these people actually ask tough questions and do their jobs? Was Rather right about Bush in the National Guard? That's my only concern.

    I've been around reporters - their job should be important, and should come ahead of all considerations, including sexuality, as a good amount of time good reporters are risking death and dismemberment, being fired and other job benefits. (do I recall whether the guy beheaded in Pakistan was gay?)

    Here's an interview with Oriana Fallaci back when reporting and journalism were a respected profession.

    If I hear a tough intelligent question out of Anderson Cooper, I'll worry about whether some coming out statement is an inspiration for someone. Meanwhile, I just wish he and his hack friends on CNN would do some real work.

    Exactly the same premises Anderson cited regarding journalism and journalists! 

    Knew  you really were an admirer despite your pithy attempt to disparage him.  

    The difference being, Fallaci was actually a journalist carrying out these premises.

    Anderson Cooper is like an observer for his own profession.

    What contribution has he made? What question has he asked to make a politician sweat? Even Dan Rather managed to get himself fired by his corporate backers for taking news reporting seriously.

    These are desperate times - Bradley Manning & Julian Assange are 2 of the best "journalists" we have out there, both in legal trouble. 151 reporters were targeted & killed in our war in Iraq, and now they're being killed in Pakistan - what did Cooper have to say on this? Did he question our escalation in Afghanistan and the flowery pronouncements of success coming out of the White House/Pentagon?

    Matt Taibbi has the hardest hitting journalism on our banking scandals - did Cooper ever ask a tough question about a bank? to a bankster? to the SEC & Fed? (seems there's some inkling from the gay community that Matt is gay, or should be - come out, Matt, come out! We need a real journalistic role model for LGBT kids.)

    I believe that Matt is married to a woman and might even have kids.  I've met him a couple of times.  Nice guy.  Speculating about his sexuality seems superfluous.

    Cooper is a celebrity journalist and, no, not the hardest hitting type out there.  Journalism takes all kinds and any publication or television or Web outlet needs all types to succeed.  You need your lifestyle people, your feature people and your investigative people and a whole lot of other talents in order to put together a fully formed news product.  I think Vanity Fair is a great example with its frequent spreads on the Kennedys and Marilyn Monroe, but also with hard core pieces by Sebastian Unger and the like.  The New Yorker is the same way with "fluff" about Seth McFarlane but also withering political and legal analysis.

    CNN just kind of stinks, sad to say and they do need some journalists with chops.

    On the other hand, remember the Katrina coverage?  Anderson Cooper did make some Bush administration officials sweat back then.  That's actually when he moved up in prominence from "that guy they make stand in the wind in storms," to more of an anchor for the entire enterprise.  He's done more than you think.

    As for his sexuality -- he was asked, as he's been asked many times in the past and this time, he chose to answer.  I respect that decision, either way.

    Sadly, while we may not 'care' about his sexual orientation, (and kudos to you for that stance), too many others seem to consider this important and need to know.  To be fair, it is believed that the more who stand up and speak out will only serve to promote the need/wisdom for our society to truly support 'equality for all' and that sexual orientation does not negatively impact any person's value, character and ability to embrace the very tenets needed to be a positive, productive member of our society.

    That said, it does seem that your choice to respond with personal ad hominem attacks in an effort to disparage Cooper in other areas of his life is out of context with the intent of this post.  Of course, perhaps it's just one of those someone pissed in your cheerios times and you just want to vent and be pissy too. 

    If you want to address the lack of current journalistic acumen and quality reporting by the majority of the media's minions, write a post and have at it.  It's definitely needed.


    Alright, apologies, just the video at bottom in this link does have him trying to make politicians sweat during Katrina, and keeping them from glossing into a self-promotion piece. I still think Andrew Sullivan is a hack, but that has nothing to do with Anderson Cooper.


    Update: Following up, my "ad hominems" about Cooper were about typical nepotism/hoity toity connections in the Villager world. Luke Russert - what a piece of shit, but because Dad was an anchor, he's got a show. Worse, he thinks he hit a triple.

    This is not "ad hominem" - it's about professionalism. While I appreciate Cooper's asking tough questions at Katrina, it was still a long long way from Sam Donaldson holding Nixon's feet to the fire on Watergate or Helen Thomas in the briefing room. Cooper fumbled and let Landrieu ramble on with her "my daddy was mayor" and "let's pull together" & "thankee Mr. President for taking time out on your busy campaign vacation to come down to this disaster you let happen" before getting a shot in on rats on corpses. She spoke about 80% of the time and still never said what useful she would actually do. But at least he brought up some reality in the middle of her infomercial.

    Here's someone's perspective on the luke-warmedness of these guys before the "coming out" (which apparently was no secret 5 years ago, but whatever):


    And even Bob Somerby praised Cooper for a well-done Memorial Day piece recently. After trashing him for being completely unprepared for a piece on Penn State, and for needing a "hobby" show to go with his million dollar anchor biz. One he just reads the news, the 2nd he goes in and flounders about what the press has already reported - some think asking "pertinent" questions makes you look smart even if the class knows the answer.

    But in general, mainstream press is the enemy. Even "on the left" they don't ask real questions and analyze anything in depth. Maddow makes tons of mistakes, is roughly equivalent to Jon Stewart but she's not supposed to be doing comedy.

    And Andrew Sullivan helped parade us to war in Iraq, helped get liberals on board with the idea that the Muslim terror was worth all the mistakes. He's extremely racist and sexist, plus has his knee-jerk Catholic conservatism investing his views, but because he's gay and supports a few token liberal positions, he's created some kind of crossover appeal. Is that ad hominem? These are the jerks that are running our national messaging machine. People complain about Politico, but HuffPost is just a celebrity ad-stakes as well.

    Re: being gay, the more who simply get on with it and show they're kickass personalities and kickass professionals, the less there is to fear. But that ship's long sailed - Elton John was writing songs for kids animation 30 years ago, now Lady Gaga sings with President Obama. We've now got openly gay federal judges, ambassadors, mayors, soldiers. Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple, the most successful company on the planet, is gay. Gay marriage has >50% public support. There is no issue - it's becoming status quo.

    Re: homosexuality.  Yes, it's becoming mainstream in the US and in much of the developed world.  But not everywhere in the US and not everywhere in the world.  Discrimination is still rampant.  We have a long way to go.

    Re: nepotism in media.  It's endemic.  Is the New York Times really run by the best publisher it could find?  No, its leader was born into the job.  Chelsea Clinton doing fluff stories on NBC and Luke Russert walking around like he earned his spot are both annoying, to say the least.  Anderson Cooper would not be where he is, were he not a Vanderbilt, it's true.

    The media world is mostly not hoity toity.  The jobs largely pay badly in exchange for exceedingly long hours.  But, the jobs have many perks, including more freedom from corporate life then you find elsewhere and, most importantly, wide access to society and the chance to work on something different, if not every day, most any day.  I made the switch from journalism to a corporate job and was shocked by how much more money I can make for working fewer hours but also by how my new job is pretty much the same thing every day.  I keep wondering, "do they expect us to do this forever?"  They do!

    When you combine an interesting job with bad pay, you wind up attracting workers who don't need the money.  There are a lot of rich kids in the profession who are doing it because they don't need it to get rich.  The real nepotism problem is not so much Cooper and Russert and Clinton, those are just high profile examples.  The real problem starts early, with the kids whose parents can bankroll them for a year-long unpaid internship in New York or San Francisco.  Mine couldn't do that for me and I flamed out during a Mother Jones internship in 1997.  Mother Jones paid me a $100 a month stipend while I slept on a hospital mattress in the living room of an Oakland apartment shared with three other guys and an incontinent cat.  There were really good people at MJ at the time, including Ken Silverstein, Kerry Lauerman and Ana Marie Cox.  But I stood no chance of making an impression on them, living in beatnik discomfort.  I think I lasted two months.  When I quit, an editor warned me that I was botching my chance to ever work in magazines.  That turned out to be wrong.

    Interesting followup - thanks.

    Ah, if only you had chosen not to modify your original response. 

    You're doing it again.  sigh.  This blog post topic has nothing to do with what you are blathering on about.  Again, as usual, you are choosing to hijack another's post and going off on a diatribe that is self serving and without regard for author's intent/message.  I repeat, if you want to vent and rant about nepotism, lack of journalistic chops, Sullivan's flaws and whatever/whoever, write your own damn post. 

    Yeah auntie, he does it on purpose, but if you just quit reading what he writes, all threads get better. See it does get better, but you have to make it get better, by ignoring some commenters, always.

    Yeah, the 'anything goes as long as it's pro-Obama' style mistress. I'm so sorry I ruined the echo chamber and forgot to support this Oprah moment. I keep forgetting celebrities are a lot like you and I, only with a shitload more money and a book deal behind every life crisis. And who could begrudge Andrew a bit of human interest time - all that war mongering and anti-Islamic posturing must be wearing on a soul. But hey, I was kind and ignored your gaming conventions - no need to pile on every droll moment. Knowing you'd ignore me anyway. ;-) LoL

    Scolding! Who knew you'd get so good at it! Sorry PP and I aren't licking quite enough spittle form the uber-wealthy that run the American media today. Oh wait, sorry. That wasn't your issue you wanted discussed about Andrson, was it? Apparently yours was, "My, how brave that Anderson Cooper is!" Huzzah!



    They say "ignorance is bliss"

    What is wrong with you?

    The post is about Anderson Cooper, and apparently we're supposed to huzzah him coming out? Why? The guy was born part of the 1% and has stayed in his comfort zone his entire life. If he was viscerally anti-Obama, you'd hate his guts, and say, "So what if he's gay?" So.... somebody else says, "So what if he's gay?" Gee, cardinal sin.

    There's no hijacking, PP's saying, "Big wow." Which is, in fact, my response to a whole batch of people who function as mouthpieces for the system. I don't give a rat's ass whether they're gay, or female, or have an Aunt with a tragic disease, or whatever. That's fine, that's grand, that's terrible - but they're still shitty people. Maybe you and TMac are so into pablum world that you think dear Anderson is something special, but can you actually imagine any of the great news voices of the past having accomplished so LITTLE with the opportunities AC has had? I doubt it. Which means, he's taken opportunities when Americans - especially the 99% - could have learned something, and he's pissed them away.

    Also, go be a hatchet-head on someone else's post. 

    hatchet head? 

    Never mind.

    I'm still waiting to see if you can figure out the connections between a blog about Anderson Cooper and criticisms of his journalism. It's a helluva gulf between those two dots, but I'm confident you can make the leap, if you really really try. 

    Otherwise, I guess I'll have to bide my time with your seemingly endless repetition of those all-time Gosblog faves: "This blog isn't about that (you're so vain);" "That's an ad hominem (why do you say those words I don't like?);" Why don't you do something positive with your life (like tutoring  Alaskans who are hard-at-thinking);" "Stop your whining (my bunions hurt);" and of course, that all-time recent new fave, "Bless you sacred little baby Obama - We believe in your healing powers."

    I suggest you reread the post.  It's not about Cooper and his career or anything other than the topic of his standing up and speaking out in a positive way regarding being gay and how it can have some positive impact for others.

    FYI: Those who attempt to use sarcasm, often do so because they have nothing to contribute of significance in communication. They therefore resort to sarcasm. They may think what they are saying is funny, but most often the statement is off target and not amusing at all. This is different from wit which has more intellectual content and is meant to say something uniquely as opposed to just wanting to spout off.  As stated, this form of negative communication is how they try to cover up their inability to contribute intelligently or with factual knowledge of the topic. 

    Apparently you can't understand why a lousy journalist like Anderson - i.e. someone in a position of enormous responsibility - who fails to usefully cover hundreds of issues important to real people (issues like ill health and unemployment and theft by the rich and military secrecy and, oh yeah, what's that, clashes over one's sexual persuasion), should somehow be enabled to have his private sexual life stand separately, and given a "yay" for that.

    See, by your logic, Aunt Sam, Cooper should be applauded even if he ran anti-gay pieces during his media work-life. Got it? To me, that wouldn't wash. Now, while he may not run anti-gay pieces, I do know that he is truly a master of the light-weight skimming over, the failure to probe too deeply, that afflicts most of the American media.

    And in my books, these people are near the top of the list, when it comes to failing real people and their real issues. You feel entirely free to pour out bile against the Rush's of the world, and the Republicans, but it's as though you can't see that the sold out nature of the polite/moderate media has done even more dreadful damage to the 99% by completely caving in any forward motion for the Democrats.

    More widely, try to actually think about a post and its possible connections, what's said and not said, instead of doing this thing you do of cheering a post when you like it, but then shouting that anyone who criticizes is out of line for even commenting on the post. Or worse, commenting about how someone must be a shitty person in their real-life, who does nothing constructive or positive. I mean, seriously, we have no idea who you actually are, in real life, and for most people it's considered not acceptable to attack someone's real life. But you? You feel entirely comfortable setting yourself up as judge and jury on precisely who is making a positive contribution in this life. 

    In the context of a specific issue, we all here deliver our opinions/judgments.  Yet, few here attempt to disparage, ridicule, disrespect and enter into personal insults, attacks such as you do on a consistent basis.   When any disagrees with your stance, they are immediately subject to your vitriolic diatribes. 

    It's tiresome and most often serves only to take away from the blog author's intent and message as well as dissuade too many from joining in what should be, a positive discourse on many of the well written, finely honed and intelligent blogs that are presented here. 

    You will no doubt continue to sling your arrows with glee and take pride in your efforts to disrupt and make it all about your opinions, judgments and snark.  You seem incapable of making your points simply utilizing facts and viable knowledge about the topic. Simply put, you're behavior is that of a bully -  so carry on, but know by doing so, few will give any of your remarks any credence.



    You're the one that started in on me saying I was just trying to vent and piss in someone's cheerios. Not "ad hominem"? 

    My comments were all about how Anderson Cooper isn't a great example for kids coming out for the nepotism/comfiness/weak performance of his career & personal situation. Which was kinda germane to this blog.

    Your answer was roughly "don't criticize, everyone who comes out helps create kumbaya". Which is quite wishful fantastical thinking. 

    In any case, it's a political blog, and if a post praises someone I think of dubious politics or merit, I'll state my case.

    I guess I appreciate you asking me to write more on the topic (below), but I kinda think I said what's relevant in this context. No real special knowledge, no larger treatise at the moment.

    No, Aunt Sam, the bully label won't work. I'm rarely here, and when I am, and I do argue, I am almost always in the minority. As well, it is consistently you - and a couple of others - who question and then criticize what others are doing "in their real life," and then attack them for being whiners who do nothing constructive or positive. In my view, this is far nastier behaviour than calling someone an idiot or somesuch run of the mill insult. If your screen name was NastyPrick instead of Aunt Sam, you would have been run out of here for violating the TOS about the 2nd time you did it. If you can't handle me hitting you back hard for the sort of silencing behaviour you use, then too bad. There's a thing I was raised with, around respect for people. And the idea of insulting an older woman goes completely against that code. But if someone behaves as you do, and then is called on it, and yet does it again anyway - as you did with me a while back, insisting on questioning what I'd done in life, and then, after I'd listed it, dismissed it anyway - then I say to hell with that person, and age and sex matter not a whit. Your behaviour is consistently that of the church-going lady who hides her nastiness behind her position. just look at today's little venture of yours. PP questions Anderson Cooper, so in response, you attack him. It is the worst disease this site has, and it happens anytime anyone criticizes a figure like Obama or Cooper or Pelosi or one of the preferred public officials. Attack those people, and the commenters here attack YOU. It's been enabled for years here, so it saturates the culture, and you're one of the ones most prone to do it. Go on, read back up the thread. PP attacks Anderson, you attack PP. And then somehow YOU magically think you get to pull the word "bully" out and use it on me? You must be kidding. 

    Communism developed from a Czar chasm.

    The wise owl said "To whit! To woo!"

    Glad you're so factually up to speed to help us out.

    Another gay person out in show business - who's long been known to be gay anyway - that helps kids how? It might help Cooper's career, that's about it.

    Significant gay pride from Google, Facebook, Electronic Arts & Zynga last week - being gay in high tech is no longer a big deal, and clustering of gays might be helping to drive technology and new creativity.

    The CIA has held gay pride for 10 years, 3 years ago State even extended medical benefits to gay partners, now the Pentagon has repealed DADT and the academies are doing gay pride.

    Alternatively, an out gay hockey or basketball or football player? Gay cops? Construction workers? Or often high school in general? Or in often less accepting black & Hispanic culture? Small towns or rural areas? Those are situations where it's tough to come out, and they don't have million dollar bank accounts and multiple job offers as backup.

    So if you want to talk about facts, contribute some. Otherwise I see this as just feel good piece that misses real issues of where gay acceptance is missing.

    You'd think with repealing DADT 9 months ago, a Lieberman bill moving through on gay federal benefits, majority acceptance of gay marriage, that we would stop just having blanket assumptions about how tough it is to be gay. It's not Stonewall anymore for most. Certainly not Anderson Cooper.

    Breaking: "Hair stylist in San Francisco's Tenderloin district comes out as gay - news at 11".

    It's obvious you are well informed on this topic (gay rights/pride, legislation, et al.)hope you write a blog about it as this is a topic many could benefit from more education and awareness.  Please consider doing one.

    [Reply to A-man, more room here]

    Somehow I think you missed my noting the places where being out is problematic - "an out gay hockey or basketball or football player? Gay cops? Construction workers? Or often high school in general? Or in often less accepting black & Hispanic culture? Small towns or rural areas?" Which would include Matthew Shepard, et al. (past problematic - brutal)

    If a newshost on Fox comes out, then it's more a big deal - both in terms of being out in that right-wing political environment, and that it's beamed into living rooms and bedrooms that wouldn't watch them lib'rul stations - the "heartland" where much work on acceptance has to be done.

    I was happy for Obama's "evolving" publicly on gay marriage, even if conveniently timed and still half-baked in states' rights, simply because I think it will have a greater catalyzing effect than the polls show yet. Anderson Cooper? Who knows - already past its 15 minutes fame.

    As for Sullivan's "apologies" on Iraq, it reads like a 7-year-old's trying to figure out what he did wrong. He didn't realize war was mean and bad - "But what I failed to grasp is that war is also a monster", he thought left-wingers were being knee-jerk reliving Vietnam (he earlier likened them to a "Fifth Column"), he thought Iraq a cakewalk like Bosnia/Kosovo, he didn't realize ethnic divisions meant ethnic divisions, he thought Bush moral & Cheney/Rumsfeld competent, he believed he had WMD's.

    And never addresses the vehemence with which he attacked those who didn't toe his line.

    He wrote this piece of shit in 2008, having had 5 years to make himself look at least adult, or at least self-respectfully string a rope around the chandelier realizing he'd never be anything but a hack writer.  But Sully doesn't want to grow up - he moves from man-crush to man-crush: Hayek, Reagan/Thatcher, Bush, Obama - and his caricatured villains - communists, extreme liberals, terrorists, the Clintons. Hussein is still "evil" and Obama will still stun us with his long game (that stupid liberals are too impatient to appreciate, unlike Andrew). 

    Here's the jackass once again eagerly rushing in:

    Yes, Obama has waged a war based on a reading of executive power that many civil libertarians, including myself, oppose. And he has signed into law the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial (even as he pledged never to invoke this tyrannical power himself). But he has done the most important thing of all: excising the cancer of torture from military detention and military justice. If he is not reelected, that cancer may well return. Indeed, many on the right appear eager for it to return.

    Burned 5 times, he can't wait to be burned again. Of course there's no transparency on what may be torture in Bagram,we're still doing renditions to sadistic governments and punitive expeditions in Afghanistan & Pakistan, overseeing "interrogations" in Yemen with no record, and keeping any and all info on Bush-era torture from coming out, while Obama puts a premium on prosecuting whistle-blowers unfavorable to the government line.

    And curiously as Sully recognizes a host of faults in Obama, he invests his Catholic faith that Obama's the savior at the same time. (and kicks a few far-left hippies in the kidneys for being too impatient and not getting past illegal war and indefinite detention to recognize the long-term miracle: the reformed smoker is curing cancer). Instead of ever considering that his profligate faith just might be the problem, and that a bit of cynical eye towards politicians and his own political perception might be a useful trait. Okay, he's willing to consider that in retrospect, but never, it seems, in looking forward. "Fool me once, won't get fooled again."

    As for the AUMF, that's a copout - it was given in Sept 2002, and it along with a massing army did pressure Hussein to allow inspectors back in, which allowed us to prove pretty definitively that Hussein had no WMDs. War 6 months later shouldn't have been a slam dunk, but it was these hyped up CIA-supported WMD lies - 45 minutes to attack, yellow cake in Africa, biological stations in the desert, Mr. Integrity Colin Powell - that allowed Bush to rush through without review. 

    As an aside (or to the point?) Andy has been brutal on Hillary (and Pelosi et al) for her clever "nepotism" for marrying a younger law school classmate as guaranteed ascent to power as wife of defeated US Congressional candidate Arkansas DA, plus using him to get appointed elected to the Senate and running a presidential primary campaign where she got 50% of the vote - all obviously because of Bill.

    So how is it Anderson Cooper gets reprieve from Sully's scorn of nepotism? Is it that Cooper doesn't have "cooties" as claimed of Hillary? That he doesn't claim to be a "feminist" which Hillary obviously isn't because she married a (later) successful man? He's not right-wing, which once upon a time was Sully's main concern about nepotism attacks . (to be fair, coming from England Sully doesn't always recognize difference from "elected" and "appointed") Or maybe it's just that Cooper's gay and Sully's gay, so that's alright, whereas should a vicious fringe left-winger object to punching a female candidate, that's extremist loony speech worthy the Moore Award.

    There does seem to be some contradiction in what you're saying - on the one hand "...noting the places where being out is problematic..." but then saying it isn't stonewall for most.  And what seems to be the key question of the blog is whether AC coming out helps, hinders or has no real impact at all on those LGBT who are in those places where it is problematic.  Maybe the quality of AC's journalism has something to do with the nature of that impact, but in American mainstream culture obsessed with the entertainment world I really don't think so. This is a different question than "does one personally care whether he came out." 

    Washington DC and NYC are full of out gays. "Problematic" isn't the same as "raids by police" a la Stonewall 1969 - not a contradiction. And for a kid in Wyoming, the travails of a rich talking head in an accepting community in New York, where Rachel Maddow has been out for years,  is probably like man-on-the-moon stuff.

    problematic like getting jumped and beaten up by homophobic thugs, or problematic like being shunned by family members, or problematic like being discriminated in the workplace and taunted or worse, problematic like being bullied at school until one commits suicide. 

    And who knows maybe that kid in Wyoming who sees AC come out can realize that maybe he or she isn't alone. 

    Check out Dan Savages It Gets Better Project website for gay youth.  The knowledge that there is a possible better life beyond the torments and isolation of being young and gay is a powerful thing, and unfortunately the message is one that needs to get out there.  Heck for that kid in Wyoming, maybe now they can dream about going to a place like NY when they get older, where people like AC can be out and accepted.

    Maybemaybemaybe. Someone may be affected. Many more won't. The news moves on. (Do high schoolers even watch TV news anymore?)

    You make excellent points.

    But the key point, I think, is: Does AC's coming out help or hurt or do nothing?

    If it helps--and I think it does--then it helps. End of story.

    The fact that he's a mediocre, privileged, queue-jumper is beside the point in this regard.

    It is a worthy point if the question is: Is AC a good journalist?

    But it seems perverse to diminish someone's good act (coming out) because he doesn't measure up in a variety of other ways.

    AC isn't watched just by "libruls," but by wide cross-section of people.


    Anderson Cooper is primarily considered liberal - from issues like Iraq, Katrina, Rev. Wright, etc.. If you can find some reference aside from wishful CNN spin that his audience is mixed or conservative, please let me know.

    Okay, I'm not going to argue the point.

    For me, he did a good thing of whatever size and moment.

    It's worth some acknowledgement (to me) and moving on.

    To his credit--AFAIK--HE isn't making a big deal of it, doesn't think it's a big deal, and isn't pushing it. Other people are.

    In terms of his demographic, I only mentioned because I know who are center-conservative watch him and like him.

    But I don't know what the big numbers are.

    This is good news, Wolfie, and an excellent post.

    Good for Anderson Cooper. I think it is brave. 

    He stinks. He's celebutrash. And so now we know he's gay. Gee, some kinda progress. Gay people who are bad at what they do. Who knew?

    In further news, Cooper revealed that for the last two years he has been starring in the avant-garde sex romp, The Oh-My-God Particle, under his stage name, Biggs Hose-on.

    Uh, is that where they seed the particle accelerator to isolate hardons and leptons? Hear it was a smash hit, especially all the yodling.

    Think this is the accelerator (serious)


    There were almost 17,000 murders in 2010, and with gays presumably 10%, that would be 1700 murders. Philly alone has 320 murders a year.

    Instead, last year there were 30 LGBT murders nationwide, from an LGBT population of roughly 30 million?

    Per the report, since it's so statistically few, it's hard to get a trend, could be mostly random, but was high in 1999-2000, then low (10-20 for 2000-2006) then last few years were  21, 29, 22, 27, and now 30.

    In 2011, 20% of murders were involved with sex work, similar to previous years.

    47% of murders were Black, 1/3 Latino, 7% Asian. Only 13% were white.

    Transgender women were 40% of the victims, non-transgender women 7%; gender non-conforming 3%.

    My 3 takeaways are: women especially transgender have a tough time; minority risk should be brought down, and this has little to do with Anderson Cooper.

    And police acceptance of LGBT crime reports should improve.


    Probably one shouldn't try to break this down to some kind of proportional summary in terms of looking at its significance.  The point is that there are individuals within this culture (and thus products of this culture) who are driven to murder someone simply because of their sexual orientation. I think you will agree that for the most part, people don't just going around murdering people for this or that attribute.  Personally, I don't fear someone will cap my ass because I have blue eyes or like to go to out to dinner for Mexican food rather than Chinese food. 

    And this doesn't touch upon the number of hate crimes that don't end in murder.  And the numbers we have as they indicate in their report is based on self-reporting.  I don't have to tell you about the psychological issues involved in coming forward about being a victim in these kinds of cases.

    Is AC coming out going to have some kind of major impact on these stats?  Of course not.  But no one single person's actions is going to have this kind of impact.  But does his act join in with many others, to collectively help us move forward slowly and gradually, yes.  That he is a high profile individual on a major cable news network (regardless of its content quality) help lift the profile of those who are part of the LGBT community in the eyes of those who are sheltered from it?  I believe so.


    Right, never look at the detail, just look at the composite and panic.

    I can't draw any conclusions, that 30 is a low number nationally, that 40% of the murders are transgender females (how many in the sex trade? how many in a minority ghetto?) - I just have to wring my hands about how terrible someone would be targeted because of sexual orientation, and can't think about what the other conditions are there.

    Of course it doesn't touch on non-murders, so we can do some more hand-wringing and oh-my-gods. 

    But if you're off giving paid sex in a poor crime-ridden black or Mexican ghetto, then yes, your chance of getting your ass capped increases, while other factors could increase the danger. (like if they think they're having sex with a natural woman and find out she's a transgendered man, yes, that might create some difficult moments)

    And where a Matthew Shephard might be interested in Anderson Cooper, I really doubt Frank Ocean would be.

    Anyway, forget it - not supposed to analyze or draw conclusions.

    I not saying one shouldn't analyze or draw conclusions.  What I am saying is the method by which derived your conclusion leads one to miss the significance of the statistics.  There are roughly 313,963,000 people in the US.  If there are 17,000 murders, that means murder is something that impacts directly 0.00467% of the population.  Using your methods, we should say that murder is not something we should concern ourselves with.  When one thinks about all the tax dollars spent tracking them murderers down and then prosecuting them...

    Of course, there are other factors involved in many cases, including the environments they end up living in.  Of course, also, I have known a number of folks who, because they were so emotionally messed up from dealing with their sexuality among other things, that they turned to drugs and alcohol to kill the pain and this led them to be living in not so nice neighborhoods as a result of their addiction.

    The point I am trying to make is that murder is not something most people engage in.  The fact there is a facet of our culture that facilitates such a hatred/fear that people (men usually) are driven not only to violence, but murder, is significant.  And just like network executives looking at the Neilsen numbers, one figures for every guy that actually murders someone for being not straight, there are plenty of others who would like to and would pat him on the back.

    One merely has to go onto the various websites for "guys" to see the homophobic hatred/fear in the comment sections, as well as the various memes that run out there right now that basically say you're not a man if you are gay.

    I have known those who have been attacked simply for being gay, visited two in the hospital on separate occasions.   All of them by the way in liberal Seattle.

    (Transgenders have always been the ones most likely to experience this kind of violence.  Many experience difficulty finding acceptance even within the LGBT community.) 

    The key here is that while one kid might relate to a Frank Ocean, another kid might better relate to Anderson Cooper.  That AC isn't all things to all people doesn't diminish the good he might possibly generate by coming out. 

    It's kind of one those: if one gay kid out there feels a little more empowered, a less alone in the world, then it was worth it.

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