Anderson Cooper Inches Out of the Closet
CNN's silver fox, Anderson Cooper, has long been rumored to be gay, but has never publicly confirmed it, although it has been an open secret in New York media circles. Now the national tabloid press has revealed to the rest of America that Cooper and a gay bar owner are living together.
The two reportedly bought and renovated an old firehouse in New York's West Village. Tabloid stories also claim that the pair was planning to adopt a Haitian orphan. Cooper was among those journalists who reported from Haiti in the direct aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
Cooper himself denied the latter rumor. A Feb. 4 tweet read, "while the plight of children in Haiti has touched us all, stories about me adopting a baby are completely false."
Gossip site Gawker noted in a Feb. 5 article that when the story broke in tabloid weekly The National Enquirer, the main focus was on the rumored adoption, with Cooper's alleged relationship with hunky enjamin Maisani "casually" referred to in the course of the article. Gawker noted that rumors about Cooper and Maisani have been in the media at least since last October 29, when the New York Post ran an article claiming that Cooper and "muscular friend" Maisani had taken a trip to India together. Maisani owns Eastern Bloc, a popular, if slightly louche, gay bar in Manhattan's East Village.
In an article from last October, Gawker offered a biographical sketch of Maisani, saying that he's from Paris but attended school in the U.S. before becoming a bartender and eventually opening Eastern Bloc. The article also claimed that Maisani's real first name is Antoine, and pinpointed the start of his and Cooper's relationship as taking place in the winter of 2008, just about a year ago.
Right-wing commentary site FreeRepublic.com, where gay-themed stories frequently excite intense interest and commentary, saw posts that expressed mixed views about the rumored adoption. Some praised Cooper for helping alleviate suffering, and for his reportage in Haiti; others dissed him for allegedly being gay.
One post referred to an incident in which a church group, without official permission, attempted to transport a number of Haitian children across the border, only to be detained by Haitian authorities. "Let me get this straight - a Church group is arrested for trying to help Haitian orphans, but a single, unmarried homosexual is going to be allowed to adopt one?" the posting read.
"All the right NYC people will have a Haitian baby and one of those faggy little dogs," another wrote.
Some seem not to have heard rumors regarding Cooper's orientation before now. "This is the first time I have heard that Cooper was gay," wrote one, adding, "My objection to him is simple due to the fact that he is a poor excues [sic] for a journalist."
Wrote another, "As much as I disagree with the lifestyle he has chosen, I give him props for the earthquake coverage he provided. He was there early on and saw and smelled misery most of us can't even comprehend. I'm sure seeing first hand the misery and suffering those children were enduring tugged at his heart strings. Having watched a lot of his coverage on CNN, I believe it is a sincere gesture."