Maddow Wants Gays in Media to Come Out, But MSNBC Agenda to Remain Closeted

A British media outlet's profile of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is generating considerable buzz for a specific remark she made, though another is equally curious.

In response to a question from The Guardian's Hadley Freeman, Maddow said gays in the media whom she did not identify should come out of the closet.

Here's how it was reported by Freeman --

Maddow is one of the the very few gay news anchors in America -- well, one of the very few openly gay news anchors. Does she feel frustration towards an equally well-known news presenter who is widely assumed to be gay but has never come out? For the first time, Maddow pauses: "I'm sure other people in the business have considered reasons why they're doing what they're doing, but I do think that if you're gay you have a responsibility to come out," she says carefully.

In response to speculation that Maddow was alluding to CNN's Anderson Cooper, Maddow wrote on her blog yesterday that this was not the case. She also elaborated on when gays should come out or expect to be outed --

Regarding The Guardian interview that's getting a lot of pickup today: in that interview, I wasn't asked about Anderson Cooper, I didn't say anything about him, he literally was never discussed during the interview at all -- even implicitly.

I don't tend to be shy when I criticize -- you wouldn't have to read between the lines if that's what I was trying to do.

I've long held three basic beliefs about the ethics of coming out:

-- Gay people -- generally speaking -- have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.

-- We should all get to decide for ourselves the "if and when we feel that we can" part of that.

-- Closeted people should reasonably expect to be outed by other gay people if (and only if) they prey on the gay community in public, but are secretly gay themselves.

Here's the second thing Maddow told The Guardian that stood out --

Of Fox News, she says simply  "When it starts to seem like you have popped in bed with a specific party, it makes it difficult for people to believe you are not doing someone else's bidding for them."

At MSNBC, on the other hand, "there are people here who are identified as liberals, but there is no political agenda."

In other words -- yes, we're liberal, but heck no, we have no agenda. Silly you, intepreting my emotive, arms-waving liberalism as even remotely political.

Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts