Anderson Cooper's Coming Out: What the Media Is Saying

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Anderson Cooper generated headlines by coming out Monday, and many in the media had plenty to say about his decision.

The CNN anchor and syndicated talk show host has long been rumored to be gay but has largely kept quiet about his personal life until penning a letter to The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan.

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"The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud," he wrote. "I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted."

The Hollywood Reporter chief TV critic Tim Goodman noted that the coming out was pretty “blasé” – and that’s a good thing.

“It turns out that Cooper coming out wasn’t a TV moment. It was just a moment,” he wrote. “And ultimately, probably better that way. It was even more blase than I had hoped. One day a famous gay person can say, so direct and eloquently as Cooper did, ‘I love, and I am loved’ and there won’t be a fuss, it won’t be a ‘TV moment,’ and it won’t actually be ‘news.’”

MTV’s John Mitchell wrote that “the news was greeted not by surprise or bewilderment, but with an amused smile. ‘Finally,’ the Internet sighed, and then everyone went back to work like nothing much had happened. That's because it didn't. Not really -- Cooper simply confirmed what we all already knew.”

He also noted that Cooper came out on the heels of actors Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto and Jim Parsons.

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“Hollywood's glass closet is shattering because the notion of it is increasingly outmoded,” he wrote. “Each time a man steps forward to prove that you can be gay and a heartthrob movie star (Bomer), be gay and be the lead on TV's biggest sitcom (Parsons) and be gay and be one of the most respected men in news (Cooper), there's less reason for the next generation to hide in plain sight.”

The Los Angeles Times’ Carla Hall echoed that sentiment. Her reaction to the news? “Finally!”

She wrote that Cooper “confirmed what virtually everyone with an Internet connection and access to gossip blogs has assumed.”

She applauded him for coming out publicly, especially “at a time when gay teens are bullied and a major political party would forbid gay people to marry.”

“What we hope is that being gay will become as innocuous a trait as being male or female, blond or brunette, bald or long-haired -- just another personal descriptor and not a lightning rod for debate, a litmus test for politics or a revelation that breaches some sensitive zone of privacy,” she wrote. “And the more that the Anderson Coopers of the world simply say that they're gay, the less it will be a big deal that they're gay.”

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Her colleague, Matt Pearce, argued that, for a celebrity, the decision to come out publicly still isn’t an easy one.

“The fact that no one was surprised that Cooper is gay, but that everyone was still fascinated by his acknowledgement, shows that the personal politics behind coming out have perhaps gotten less painful but certainly no less complicated,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Carl Swanson of New York Magazine also applauded Cooper and the way he made his announcement.

“Anderson Cooper’s subdued coming out is an achievement in the long march toward it just ‘not mattering,’ because it emphasized just how torturous it was that he hadn’t,” he wrote. “A public figure must now perform more contortions to stay jammed in the closet than come out of it. Cooper’s statement … certainly makes one realize just how banal the ‘why I stayed quiet for so long’ moment has become. The baroqueness of his self-justifications serve only to heighten that banality. Maybe that’s the real progress here.”

 

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