Kevin Naff, Managing Editor of The Washington Blade (which is a pretty funny name for a gay newspaper) outed CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and FNC anchor Shepard Smith in a recent column.
Cooper isn’t the only well-known TV personality hiding his sexual orientation. Shepard Smith, who hosts a popular program on Fox News and received widespread praise for his work covering Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, also dodges questions about his sexual orientation. Smith once chatted me up in a New York City gay piano bar, bought me drinks, and invited me back to his place. When I declined, he asked me to dinner the next night, another invitation I politely refused.
I'm not sure I understand this. I'm not part of that particular slice of our culture, so I have no real insight. But it seems to me that this serves no purpose at all. Why would a publication that celebrates that lifestyle seem determined to destroy the image of those who live it?
Because that's certainly what "outing" does. Some who are homosexual want to protect their sexual orientation. For example, for the past five years, I've published STLMedia.net, offering insight into what's happening in STL radio, tv and print. As a result I've become privy to much personal information about members of the media. I guard this carefully. I would not publish personal info unless it's pertinent to a news story, and even then, whatever I'd publish would be carefully edited to ensure that it was not personally damaging.
I've always thought that both Cooper and Smith were idiots (Smith was the guy who referred once on the air to citizens of Syria and Lebanon as "Syrians and Lesbians") but now I have another frame of reference in which to file them.
That shouldn't matter. But it's there and stuck in my mind and will always color my opinion of their words. Being thought of as an idiot should be exclusive of thought of as being gay. Now I can't help but think of Anderson Cooper and Shepard Smith as...
But Jodie Foster? How do you think John Hinckley, Jr., feels now? Now, he's an idiot!
And, of course, there are always our previous icons to consider. Talk about a Gay Idiot!
"He said, `How do you feel about kissing a 300-pound transvestite?' And I thought about it for a minute. I thought, `I'm sure I've kissed a heck of a lot worse,'" Hunter recalled with a laugh. "Divine was one of my favorite leading ladies."