Should news anchors be transparent about their sexuality?

Well, apparently MSNBC Rachel Maddow thinks so.

The "out" lesbian news anchor said in an interview with the Guardian that closeted gay anchors should come out. And, she said in a later interview that she's not referring to a certain CNN anchor.

"I'm sure other people in the business have considered reasons why they're doing what they're doing, but I do think that if you're gay you have a responsibility to come out," she says carefully - Maddow is one of two openly gay anchors on MSNBC, along with Thomas Roberts, a daytime anchor.

I frankly do not agree with Maddow on this one. While I'm all about being "honest" with the public, I think this information is extremely private and shouldn't dabble in the world of journalism. My sexuality is not the story nor is it important to the story nor does it change my unbias view of the story; it is, frankly, irrelevant.

Although, Maddow blogged that she was not directly talking about Anderson Cooper:

"In that interview, I wasn't asked about Anderson Cooper, I didn't say anything about him, he literally was never discussed during the interview at all -- even implicitly," she wrote. "I don't tend to be shy when I criticize -- you wouldn't have to read between the lines if that's what I was trying to do."

But, I'm not convinced. Anderson Cooper's sexuality has been rumored to be gay for quite some time; who else could she be talking about? I actually like the way Anderson Cooper is handling his sexuality with the media. He's blatantly keeping his personal life away from public because not only is it sacred but it would, ultimately, become apart of the story. One of the first rules in Journalism that I learned in college is that- you are not a part of the story. And, not all journalist live by that creed but that's how it should be.

Rachel Maddow, you've got this one wrong, lady!

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  • Agreed. Maddow is wrong on this issue. Seems like she's just being self serving in this case.

  • So do all the heteros reading the news, holding talks etc need to declare themselves? The whole notion is silly.

  • Now if only just a couple smoking hot Fox News anchors come out as bisexual (I'm looking at you Ainsley Earhardt, Courtney Friel)...that would add to their overall smoking hottness, and may even deliver peace on earth.

  • Couldn't agree with you more. Sexuality is totally irrelevant in this case, as is one's marital status, shoe size, or real hair color.

    Personally, I'm not even in the news business anymore, but always use "Ms." when asked for a title. I still think it's nobody's damn business (at work or on paper) if I'm married or not. Work is work; personal life is separate.

  • Regarding CNN's that anchor isn't closet, we all know, he's never stated he was anything other then who he is... he's put his partner in his book for crying out loud. Just because he doesn't say it on every show doesn't mean he is closeted. Now, to coming out, I think everyone should come out when they are ready, it's no body's business to make them come out...that's just wrong. As a bisexual in the media, I have to say this. I love Maddow, but do not out anyone, but it would be better for the LGBT if we see more folks out in the media... just like all the times I hear about other anchors talk about their kids, their spouses, etc.... as a single women with no kids I don't care about your kids or your spouse, but I do care that we all have the rights to talk about it, just like straights do.

  • To judge a news caster's bias, it's more helpful to know about their investment partners than sexual partners.

  • In reply to mattmchugh:

    Well said.

  • In reply to mattmchugh:

    Rachel Maddow has a responsibility to come out and ask why we are still in Iraq, Afghanistan, and bombing Libya. Then pursue into why oil companies can get away with charging outrageous prices and take in outlandish profits.

    Sure, we live in a democratic society and making a profit is the reason why people are in business, but when it hurts the citizens of this country, then it's certainly time to question why.

    Lets get on that, Maddow.

  • In reply to BrentStone:

    Thanks for the comment, WTM! I agree. Let's talk about things that are really affecting people in this country.

  • In reply to mattmchugh:

    I'll agree that it's nobody's business, but I think that where she is coming from is that more famous gay people coming out will have a positive effect on the acceptance of gay people. Also, they would be positive role models for gay teens and young adults.

  • In reply to FrankS:

    Although, FrankS, I do agree that the more famous gay people become, unfortunately, they have an obligation to "come out" and set an example for the general public. But, for some reason, I think that clause should exclude journalist. It really does, in most cases, interfere with our work.

  • In reply to mattmchugh:

    Maddow's proactive stance on her sexuality is a distraction from her profession as a journalist. If she wants to be a pitchman for snap on tools, let her do it on the Internet.

  • In reply to cubs39:

    Is it the same as your proactive stance as a straight person making you a jackass?

  • In reply to mattmchugh:

    If "sexuality is irrelevant," then why does it matter whether they are straight, gay, bi or transgendered?

    The only case it would matter, is if you thought that being gay or straight was somehow wrong and would bias the news.

    This reminds me of Obama's speech on race -- which i'm surprised you do not remember, Mr. Lenox. He said that the only way to get past race issues is to be able to acknowledge it without bias.

    Forcing yourself to tread lightly around the obvious fucking fact that somebody is black and/or gay only proves that you have an issue with it.

  • In reply to nixhexison:

    Dan, I'm actually quite familiar with Obama's speech on race, it was a very profound speech.

    I never implied, nor said, that being gay or straight or transgendered would somehow bias the news. It would, however, change the focus of the news. If Anderson Cooper made statement and came out to say he was gay, we, the world, would be focusing on his sexuality versus what's happening in Iran, gas prices, vicious tornadoes, the royal wedding (just kidding) etc... It just takes away from the focus of other more important stories.

    As a journalist, and I can only speak for myself, I try my hardest to stay away from the story because it prevents me from fully being unbias. My sexuality is irrelevant and I firmly believe other journalist should live by that creed.

  • In reply to mattmchugh:

    Well said, Matt!

  • I'm curious as to why you address Maddow, at the end of your post, as "lady?"

    Your stance on this is basically the same as DA/DT, which is not only offensive to the sensibilities of anyone with an IQ above single digits, its just plain unconstitutional.

    How does her lesbianism become "part of the story" when she's, say, discussing the Koch brothers corruption of the democratic process, or torture at Gitmo, or birther craziness. The fact is that it doesn't. She doesn't make it part of the story, YOU do.

    You have no idea why she thinks her sexuality matters, do you? It's not because she's a journalist, it's because she's a public figure, and, she rightly believes, that the more people are exposed to her being "different" the less different it will become. People's level of fear and hatred to the "other" is diminished when we learn that they are our friends, our neighbors, our children, and yes, even our newscasters. Your obvious lack of understanding on this topic is painful to the point where I can't help but wonder why you bothered to write about it. Better be careful, your bias (bigotry?) is showing.

  • In reply to shadow8:

    You would have preferred he used "sir"? This is obviously such a painful subject for you, that you can't see the forest for the trees. As a journalist especially, making a story of yourself when you are supposed to be a nearly invisible conduit of information, goes against the purpose and values of your career. Most of us - myself and Mr. Magee included - don't give a rat's patootie about someone else's sexual orientation. By making a story of your sexuality - which Ms. Maddow is so blatantly doing - she has made HERSELF news: exactly the thing any good journalist wants to avoid.

    It doesn't matter why Ms. Maddow thinks her sexuality matters. She is in a position of public trust. This is no different than Katie Couric's party pictures. Perfectly innocent for an ordinary person, but for a journalist, it changes the focus of any story from the facts, to the person conveying the facts.

  • In reply to gajillion:

    I couldn't said it better, Gajillion! Thanks!

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