I always wondered why Anderson Cooper got more attention than Don Lemon. The former always looks like he’s trying really, really, REALLY hard to be a serious news anchor, adopting his best Walter Cronkite/Edward R. Murrow pose while the latter just seems like a nice guy delivering the news. He actually has the audacity to smile every now and again.
I had meant to blog earlier about the latter coming out, but spaced it. It seems he also has an interesting story to tell:
In the two-plus weeks since Don Lemon announced he is gay in tandem with the release of his new memoir, ‘Transparent,’ the CNN anchor has received both kudos and criticism.
The praise is geared toward the courage it took to openly embrace his homosexuality as a public figure. The criticism lies mainly with the language Lemon used in his announcement. Lemon told the ‘New York Times’, where the news of his announcement first broke: “It’s quite different for an African-American male…It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.” Lemon also mentioned black women specifically, expressing his concern “that black women will say the same things [about me being gay] as they do about how black men should be dating black women.
This is actually a book I might read. Lemon seems the most telegenic of the CNN anchors and reporters; most seem out of place delivering and commenting on the news.
I hope for Lemon’s continued success — and not just because he comes across as such a nice guy, but also because it would signal that Americans recognize that one’s sexuality doesn’t compromise one’s objectivity in the newsroom.
Perhaps he’ll become for TV journalism what Ellen has become for day-time talk shows. And we’ll see that one’s sexuality is increasingly incidental to one’s success.