Anderson Cooper Doesn't Need to Come Out for Ratings

According to a "source" at Gawker, Anderson Cooper is putting together a big coming out episode on his own daytime talk show Anderson, where he'll finally confirm his long-suspected status as a gay man. Cooper is said to be planning this episode for February sweeps, in order to boost his show's flagging ratings.

Ah, solid approach, Mr. Cooper. After all, everyone knows that worked perfectly for Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres, who both strategically announced their homosexuality in order to increase the popularity of their talk shows, and—uhhhh, wait. Actually, Ellen came out in 1997 and didn't get her show until 2003, and Rosie came out two months before her show ended. Huh.

It's almost as if when the decision to come out as a celebrity isn't tied to promoting their career, it has more to do with personal empowerment and being true to who they are as a person! But ew, that is, like, the most boring gossip ever.


Of course you won't see any hot rumors about Anderson Cooper choosing to make a deeply personal decision that affects his privacy, because YAWN. It's much more exciting to dish on whether or not it's true that Cooper is bringing longtime hottie pal Benjamin Maisani to the Anderson show Christmas party tomorrow night at the Russian Tea Room in order to publicly introduce Maisani as his boyfriend.

Now, that part of the story I can believe. Or more specifically, I totally buy that Cooper and Maisani will hang out at the party just like they hang out at the other places they go, and no one will bat an eye because seriously, can Cooper's staff possibly be shocked by the notion that he has a boyfriend? Look, I'm not saying he does have a boyfriend, I'm just saying it seems stupid for anyone to be shocked by this possibility.

The thing where he's supposedly coming out to boost his show's ratings, though—that's where I call bullshit. For one thing, if he wanted to make that kind of announcement for publicity reasons, I think he'd have done it by now. I think he would have done it last September when he spoke out on Jamey Rodemeyer, who committed suicide after enduring gay bullying.

For another thing, his show has already been renewed for a second season. While the ratings haven't been wildly impressive, they haven't been terrible either. This isn't the time for a desperate Hail Mary from Cooper, and even if it was . . . well, I just don't believe that someone who's been closemouthed about his sexuality for this long is going to suddenly compromise his values for a temporary boost in viewership.

Plus, as others have pointed out, coming out could negatively affect his ability to report from the Middle East. Whether or not you consider Cooper to be a serious war correspondent, the sad truth is that going public with his sexuality may put him in danger in the Islamic world.

At any rate, Cooper certainly deserves to keep his personal life private for as long as he wants. I'm not sure what's tackier—speculating on his sexual orientation, or implying that he's willing to sell out for publicity's sake.

What are your thoughts on this rumor? Do you think it could be true that Anderson Cooper will host a coming out episode soon?

Image via Flickr/tulanesally

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