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Anderson Cooper: "The Fact Is, I'm Gay" (The Daily Beast / The Dish)
Last week, Entertainment Weekly ran a story on an emerging trend: gay people in public life who come out in a much more restrained and matter-of-fact way than in the past. I asked Anderson Cooper for his feedback on this subject, for reasons that are probably obvious to most. FishbowlNY In an email to his friend Andrew Sullivan, Cooper said "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." TVNewser Cooper said he's never really hidden the issue of his homosexuality, just that he's never felt it necessary to be open about it. "Recently, however," Cooper wrote, "I've begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It's become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something -- something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true." NYT / Media Decoder For one of America's best-known television news anchors to be identified as gay was, until very recently, seen as a potential career-killer. But then, on Monday, it happened. And the TV nation seemed to shrug. Poynter / MediaWire A June 20 New York Observer cover story listed Cooper among a group of prominent people widely assumed to be gay but who decline to discuss their personal lives. Yahoo! News / The Lookout Cooper said he did not come out in his 2006 memoir, Dispatches from the Edge, because the book was meant to be about war and not about his personal life. HuffPost He is now at least the sixth cable news anchor who is openly gay. CNN's Don Lemon, who came out in his 2011 memoir Transparent, was the last host to do so before Cooper. Salon.com's Steve Kornacki, who also came out last year, is the co-host of MSNBC's new show The Cycle. CJR / The Kicker Cooper frequently reports from dangerous regions of the world, areas that are even more dangerous for gays and lesbians. Last February, Cooper and his camera crew were attacked by protesters in Egypt. Shortly thereafter, the National Enquirer reported that Cooper had been threatened by religious fundamentalists due to his homosexuality, breaking the unwritten rule in the mainstream media not to "out" celebrities before they do so themselves. Whether that report had any truth to it, it's pretty clear that Cooper's public declaration of sexuality could add a new level of danger to his foreign reporting. FishbowlLA Cooper's increasing visibility as a media personality has decreased his ability to "blend in," and in his new role as a talk show host he's a lot less likely to find himself in a war zone. But gay and lesbian journalists reporting in relative anonymity can no doubt relate to Cooper's reasons for staying silent on the subject. Gawker / Nick Denton It's awesome that the calculation has changed this much: that it's now more embarrassing to remain in the closet than it is to come out. But here's one quibble. The method of revelation was so obviously designed to minimize the story. It's part of the Independence Day news dump, along with the Cruise-Holmes separation, timed to be overwhelmed by fireworks and the smell of barbecue. If Cooper is going to compromise his personal privacy for "visibility," this is a particularly hesitant way to go about it. HuffPost Naturally, Internet users responded to the news with a range of reactions; "Anderson Cooper" quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. TVNewser CNN's star anchor is now the most prominent gay TV newsman in America. Even in a post-modern culture in which celebrities' coming out barely triggers a ripple anymore, that distinction matters. It matters because Cooper is a universally-respected journalist who has repeatedly distinguished himself in the field. The Daily Beast / Kathy Griffin My friend Anderson Cooper is the scion of one of America's great shipping and railroad families, the Vanderbilts. He's covered the military coup and eventual unseating of the democratically elected (albeit bat-shit crazy) Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He's covered the small wars in Africa that use children as slave soldiers. He knows more about the women of The Real Housewives than perhaps even I do. He's covered the seemingly endless large wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And by "covered," I mean he's really gone and covered them -- with a security detail and without; embedded with troops and unilaterally -- not from the relative safety of the Green Zone in Baghdad or the international zone in Kabul. He's sat down with despots in countries like Somalia, covered the atrocities in the Balkans and Burma. And he also happens to be gay.
Judge Orders Twitter To Release Protester's Messages (NYT / City Room)
A Criminal Court judge in Manhattan ruled Monday that Twitter must turn over to prosecutors messages sent by a Brooklyn writer during the Occupy Wall Street protests last fall. In doing so, the judge, Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr., indicated that although private speech was protected, the same did not apply to public comments on Twitter. AllTwitter Malcolm Harris was arrested October 1 while marching over the Brooklyn Bridge as part of the Occupy Wall Street protest. Prosecutors sought to subpoena more than three months worth of Harris' tweets so they could use them to challenge Harris' "anticipated defense" that police officers led protesters onto the bridge before arresting them. The Atlantic Wire Sciarrino is one of the first judges making decisions on this kind of thing, and his rulings will likely be cited as precedent down the road. In April he ruled that the subpoena on Harris was justified because it sought information owned by a third party. NPR / The Two-Way "If you post a tweet, just like if you scream it out the window, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy," Sciarrino wrote in his opinion. "There is no proprietary interest in your tweets, which you have now gifted to the world. This is not the same as a private email, a private direct message, a private chat, or any of the other readily available ways to have a private conversation via the Internet that now exist. Those private dialogues would require a warrant based on probable cause in order to access the relevant information." Bloomberg Businessweek Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson would have loved to post their opinions on Twitter as much as they loved to write for the newspapers of their day, Sciarrino wrote in his opinion. New York / Daily Intel Harris, meanwhile, said he's weighing his next move as well. "I'm not sure what the ruling is going to mean, but I remember something from civics class about an extensive appeals system," he told Daily Intel. "It's shocking they're still pouring these kind of state resources down the drain over a politicized traffic ticket."
Sports Illustrated And NBC Partner On A Sports Magazine Show (SportsIllustrated.com)
Sports Illustrated is coming to NBC and the NBC Sports Network. FishbowlNY The magazine is teaming up with NBC Sports Group to launch the creatively titled Sports Illustrated, an hour-long, monthly sports program. The show debuts July 24, at 9 p.m., on NBC Sports Network. AdAge / Media News Magazines have long wanted a bigger role on TV, but have found the most success either in one-off specials or supporting parts on series like Project Runway, which has included Nina Garcia in her capacity as an editor first at Elle and then at Marie Claire. NYT / Media Decoder Last month, Sports Illustrated announced that it would lay off editorial staff members and consolidate the work done by its print and online divisions. Terry McDonell, editor of the Time Inc. Sports Group, had asked reporters and editors to volunteer for buyout packages by June 21. Depending on the number of people who volunteered, he will decide whether he has to lay off any of the magazine's 210 editorial employees. It is still unclear whether any employees have been laid off. Mashable This is the second TV-related initiative Sports Illustrated has announced in the past year. In November, the magazine said it was working on a documentary series, Sport in America: Our Defining Stories, that will air on HBO in 2013. WSJ While it is curious that Sports Illustrated is reaching outside of its corporate organization for a television partner, the magazine has had a bumpy history with some tie-ups under the Time Warner umbrella.
Dottie Mattison Is New CEO Of Prometheus Global Media (Adweek)
Guggenheim Partners senior managing director Dottie Mattison has been named CEO of Prometheus Global Media, the group that owns music, media and entertainment brands Billboard, Adweek, The Hollywood Reporter, Backstage, The Film Expo Group, and Clio Awards. NY Post In the last few months, Mattison, who joined Guggenheim in 2010 after a stint as general manager of Walmart's apparel group, has been acting more and more like the CEO, sources said. WWD / Memo Pad Mattison succeeds Richard Beckman, who left as CEO last week after a protracted period of disagreement with Prometheus' owners, Guggenheim and Jimmy Finkelstein's Pluribus Capital.
Chicago Tribune To Investigate Journatic's Use Of Fake Bylines (JimRomenesko.com)
Journatic CEO Brian Timpone says fake bylines were often used for the company's Blockshopper.com real estate stories, and clients -- including the Chicago Tribune -- asked to run those pieces on their hyperlocal sites. Journatic said that was OK, but never removed -- or apparently told clients about -- the made-up bylines. Poynter / MediaWire Tribune editor Gerould Kern: "Publishing stories under false bylines is a violation of the Chicago Tribune's ethics policy. It has never been acceptable and will not be tolerated. We expect Journatic to adhere to this policy." Chicago Tribune A national radio report this weekend revealing that hyperlocal content provider Journatic used false bylines in several stories that ran in TribLocal online has prompted an investigation by the Chicago Tribune. The Atlantic Wire But the worrisome part about all this is that places like the Tribune use this service in the first place.
Facebook Considers Buying Apps In Its Own Backyard (WSJ)
As newly public Facebook Inc. attempts to branch out to new areas such as e-commerce, it is searching across its own social network for acquisitions. AllFacebook Amin Zoufonoun, Facebook's head of corporate development, told the Journal that the company is still searching its platform for new ideas. The company purchased Instagram to become a bigger player in the mobile market -- which was the subject of IPO concerns -- and Karma to enhance revenue options outside of advertising and fees from third-party games.
Hue-Man To Close Brick-And-Mortar Store (Publishers Weekly)
Ten-year-old Hue-Man Bookstore and Café in New York City is the latest bookstore to close its physical space in order to reinvent itself. It has begun liquidating inventory and selling fixtures; its last day in its current location will be July 31. Crain's New York Business Hue-Man CEO and co-owner Marva Allen said that she could not afford the rent for its space on Frederick Douglass Boulevard near 125th Street once the store's lease expires, but that some aspects of its bookselling business would continue. In addition to selling titles from the Hue-Man website, she will be hosting events at neighborhood venues, like the one she has planned for Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade's new book in September. GalleyCat In an open letter, the staff explained that they are working on building "our amazing bookstore of the future," continuing the bookstore's work in some new way. The email also looked at the current state of the publishing industry, predicting that "the industry will be forced to reconcile the future place of 'real books' in their business models" at some point in the future.
Inside The Cult: Politico At A Crossroads (HuffPost / The Backstory)
On an early May evening, Politico executive editor and co-founder Jim VandeHei rallied his troops on the 30th floor of Allbritton Communications, located on the Virginia side of the Potomac and blessed with a clear view of the Washington Monument rising above the nation's capital. VandeHei praised his staffers' dedication and hard work in a pressure-cooker newsroom where "winning the morning" is a mantra and burnout is part of the diet. VandeHei, who's fond of saying that his most successful worker bees have a certain "screw loose," also embraced the idea that everybody at his politics-obsessed enterprise should just keep swallowing their Kool-Aid.
Weather Channel Buys Weather Underground (paidContent)
The largest weather news and information provider is about to get bigger. The Weather Channel Companies, parent of the cable network and Weather.com, is acquiring San Francisco-based Weather Underground with a pledge to keep the oldest Internet weather brand going. TechCrunch The Atlanta, Ga.-based Weather Channel has long had a strong brand name, wide reach, and big revenues, but I've personally found its Web and mobile presence (centered around Weather.com and its related apps) to be pretty wanting. The 17-year-old Weather Underground, meanwhile, runs Wunderground.com, easily one of the best digital weather forecasting and tracking websites out there, along with a suite of solid mobile apps. This deal will put Weather Underground's awesome technology to use on a much bigger stage, bringing better information to a large number of people -- which is almost always a good thing. NYT / Media Decoder The purchase price was not disclosed, indicating that it is not material to the operations of the Weather Channel, which is owned by a consortium that includes Comcast, Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group. VentureBeat The Weather Channel will also acquire Weather Underground's entire staff, along with its San Francisco office, which The Weather Channel will use as a regional office of its own.
How ProPublica Changed Investigative Reporting (The Guardian / Monday Note)
Paul Steiger is one of the men I admire the most in my profession. Five years ago, at the age of 65, and after a 16-year tenure as the Wall Street Journal's managing editor, he seized the opportunity to create a new form of investigative journalism. Steiger created ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom dedicated to the public interest and to deep dive reporting.
HBO Renews The Newsroom (TheWrap.com)
Will McAvoy and the rest of the journos on HBO's The Newsroom just received a bulletin they have to be smiling about. THR / The Live Feed After debuting to the premium cable network's third-best drama series bow, HBO has picked up the Jeff Daniels starrer about the inner workings of a cable news network from the Emmy-winning creator of The West Wing and the and Oscar-winning scripter of The Social Network. TVNewser It debuted June 24 to 2.1 million viewers, a solid, if unspectacular start for the series. That said, other HBO shows, such as Game of Thrones, launched with similar ratings, and have gone on to become bona fide hits.
Discouraging News For Show Biz Writers (LA Observed)
Would-be scribes take note: There's only one Aaron Sorkin. Only 4,338 writers reported earnings in 2011, according to the Writers Guild. That's a 2.3 percent drop from a year earlier and the lowest level in at least six years. NYT / Media Decoder By and large, the number of major studio films has been falling, and writers' earnings have fallen along with the picture count. But television earnings, until now healthier, also dipped last year, by 1.2 percent, to $559.2 million, after rising for three years straight. Deadline New York Meanwhile, writers' total reported earnings dropped 5.9 percent to $911.7 million, the lowest level since the 2008 recession, although the Guild says the numbers could improve as late reports come in.
The Wall Street Journal Weighs In On Supreme Court Decision (WWD / Memo Pad)
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board took the unusual step of dedicating its entire editorial to a single topic -- the Supreme Court's decision last week on the Obama administration's health care law. Clocking in at 1,848 words, the piece is also a leviathan by its usual standards.
Media General Reorganizes TV Stations Into Two Regional Units (TVSpy)
After selling its newspaper assets, Media General has announced a corporate restructuring that elevates James Conschafter and John Cottingham to key leadership roles for the company's television stations. The Associated Press The Richmond, Va.-based company agreed in May to sell 63 newspapers to World Media Enterprises Inc., a division of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The $142 million deal was completed in June. Media General still owns The Tampa Tribune and smaller newspapers in that market. It is in talks to sell those newspapers to other buyers. Once the newspapers are sold, Media General will operate as a pure broadcasting company.
Herman Cain Launching His Own Web TV Network (TVNewser)
Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain wants a piece of this Internet TV action. Cain is launching a new Web TV network called "Cain TV" on July 4. Mediaite The trailer is the best worst thing you will see all day.