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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Tinker’

What Anderson Cooper’s Gay Acknowledgment Means

I’ll take ‘Remarkable Grasp of the Obvious’ for $200, please, Alex.

Though Anderson Cooper‘s sexuality had been an open secret forever, his emergence from the closet today – via an email to The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan, made public with Cooper’s permission – is still big news.

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. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he is movie-star handsome and a Yalie.

Viewers forgave Cooper long ago for having hosted “The Mole,” and his occasional fit of girly giggles on “Anderson Cooper 360″ is seen as endearing. No one disputes his work ethic: In addition to reporting for “60 Minutes,” he launched a daytime talk show in the fall.

It’s no mere coincidence that Cooper is on assignment for “60″ and unavailable today. He’s never been comfortable publicly discussing any part of his personal life, let alone his sexuality. Today, in a sense, he let someone else do the talking for him.

Regardless, it was a cause for celebration among fellow ‘out’ TV anchors.

“This is a fantastic thing,” says MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts, a CNN alum. “This allows the success and happiness in his personal life to catch up with the success and happiness in his professional life. The two should not be mutually exclusive. I’m glad he can have that balance.”

Roberts came out publicly in 2006, when he worked at CNN. He and his partner of 12 years, Patrick Abner, community liaison for a pharmaceutical company, plan to be married in September in New York. Cooper is invited.

So is Cooper’s CNN colleague, weekend anchor Don Lemon. He labels today’s

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A Kiss Before Flying. Jane Velez-Mitchell Has No ‘Issues’ at NLGJA Fundraiser

Actual news got in the way of last night’s annual New York fundraiser for the journalism group NLGJA. Soledad O’Brien, who was to co-host with her HLN colleague Jane Velez-Mitchell, couldn’t as she moderated CNN’s Trayvon Martin town hall which airs tonight.

Don Lemon jetted up from Atlanta to co-host with Velez-Mitchell, who mixed and mingled before making a beeline for Time Warner Center herself to participate in the town hall.

Velez-Mitchell made the biggest splash of the night when, during her welcome remarks to the crowd, she pulled her girlfriend on stage and planted a big kiss on her. “I won’t be doing that!” Lemon joked. “Ben doesn’t like that kind of thing,” he said glancing over to his partner, Ben Tinker, who is a producer in CNN’s medical unit.

CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker talked about his network’s commitment to diversity in the ranks and on the air. CNN was the lead sponsor for the event which was held at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom in SoHo.

Also spotted in the crowd: NBC News VP Alex Wallace, former “Today” show co-anchor Meredith Vieira, “CBS This Morning” co-host Erica Hill, MSNBC’s Willie Geist, former MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer and Fox News meteorologist Rick Reichmuth.

We chatted with FBN’s Gerri Willis who told us she has a new appreciation for the work of the Supreme Court after anchoring her show from Washington during oral arguments on the health care law. We also caught up with Fox News’s Alisyn Camerota and new Fox News political analyst Sally Kohn, who is settling in to her role as progressive pundit both on air and online, which

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