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12/15/2004 Archived Entry: "Anderson Cooper"
[REPOST from 2 December 2004]
It will be interesting to see how CNN reacts to this one... (Disclaimer: I would not be posting this information if the story were not *all* over the Internet and discussed repeatedly on high-traffic sites like the Wonkette.)
It has been flashing from blog to blog that Anderson Cooper -- a wonderful journalist and host of CNN's 360 Degrees -- accidentally "outed" himself on November 29th during an exchange with Jerry Falwell on homosexuality. Here's the transcript: COOPER: But there are a lot of gay families out there, Reverend Falwell, there are a lot of gay families out there. I think there are like a million kids being raised by gay parents who say that if you want to protect families, you know, civil unions will give inheritance rights, will give Social Security, survivor benefits rights to... FALWELL: Anderson, that's all a red herring. If you want to leave something to your cat, you can do that in your will... COOPER: It's not a red herring. That's simply not true. It's not true. You know we pay taxes. The audio clip is available [Go to third link in the text].
Much has been made of changes made to the transcript posted by CN; the wording went from "we" to "you"... but that wouldn't necessarily mean anything -- after all, the transcripts always come with a caveat to the effect that the text is "rushed" and may be edited later for accuracy. The video clip is the clincher, of course. If there is cosmetic editing going on, I expect it is more at the prompting of CNN than of Cooper. On the other hand, he did respond to a query about the changes answered in an extremely civil manner but not very forthcoming manner, "Thanks for your email. Regarding your question, the transcript is incorrect. I said, "you." I don't know who makes the transcripts, but i will find out, and let them know of their mistake. i'd be happy to send you a copy of the tape. Let me know your address. ac"
Frankly, I was under the impression he *had* outed himself long ago...in fact, I'm *still* under that impression. I assumed Cooper was showing more discretion now due to demands from the CNN brass would be nervous about how the information would impact his female audience, which is huge. Moreover, being gay still doesn't play well in the Midwest. As it is, he may now be the first "known" gay broadcaster in a major news slot.
Two interesting points to watch: 1) will his ratings go down; and, 2) as I mentioned, how is CNN going to react? The latter response will not be an open one, of course, but it may be detectable. I wish him the best because the man is damned good at what he does.