It was only a matter of time before the wingnuts at Fox News came for Anderson Cooper for grilling Florida attorney general Pam Bondi last week. In the wake of the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, Cooper took Bondi to task for her past opposition to same-sex marriage.
In a recent appearance on Fox News’s Media Buzz, Bondi complained that the openly gay CNN journalist “flipped out” on her, and suggested that questioning her positions on LGBT rights was inappropriate after the most deadly mass-shooting in American history was aimed specifically at the LGBT community.
While never coming right out and saying it, host Howard Kurtz and Fox contributor Guy Benson danced nimbly around the suggestion that Cooper’s sexuality compromised his objectivity in covering this particular story.
“Do gay journalists feel a special anguish over the senseless slaughter of 49 mostly-gay Americans?” asked Kurtz, while Benson suggested that Cooper was acting more like an activist than a journalist with his line of questioning.
This is just another example of the insane identity politics favored by many conservatives that imagines that only straight white men can do their jobs objectively — whether that’s judging a lawsuit brought against a presidential candidate widely acknowledged to be racist, or covering possibly the most horrific act of violence perpetrated against the country’s gay community. It’s the sort of suggestion that keeps mainstream journalists in the closet while their straight colleagues feel no similar pressure. Cooper himself famously avoided coming out publically until 2012. If we can all agree that Donald Trump suggesting that federal judge Gonzalo Curiel is incapable of being impartial in the fraud case against Trump University because of his of Mexican heritage is the textbook definition of racism, we have to be able to acknowledge the blatant heterosexism in Kurtz and Benson’s attack on Cooper’s journalistic integrity.
h/t: On Top Magazine