Posted on | December 27, 2013 | 53 Comments
The weirdest thing is that Anderson Cooper himself introduced the topic in a discussion with Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan:
“My mom once wrote a romance memoir about men she had dated — and I use that term loosely — and she described one guy she was currently dating — my mom was 85 at the time — as the Nijinsky of cunnilingus. And she made me proofread the book.”
Much laughter ensued, and never mind the lifelong tragedy of Anderson Cooper’s mother, 89-year-old heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, who was the object of a notorious custody battle in the 1930s, who was married four times, and whose son Carter Cooper — Anderson’s older brother — committed suicide at age 23 in 1988.
We can only imagine what an old-fashioned Freudian analyst might say about Cooper, Savage and Sullivan sitting around laughing on national TV at Cooper mother’s sex life. However, I’m reminded of an observation Barbara Dafoe Whitehead made in The Divorce Culture: The emotional climate in certain types of families is hot or cold, but never appropriately and comfortably warm.
Anderson Cooper’s CNN show is third in cable news ratings, with 528,000 viewers, compared to 699,000 for Chris Hayes on MSNBC and more than 3 million for Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. Maybe people don’t want to watch gay men talk about old women’s sex lives.
UPDATE: Curious as to who the other guests were on that Anderson Cooper segment, I checked the transcript:
Joining me now is Dan Savage, author of “American Savage,” Andrew Sullivan from andrewsullivan.com, a CNN panelist and founding editor also of “The Dish,” also CNN commentator, Michaela Angela Davis and senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin . . .
OK, so three gay men, a former fashion editor at Essence magazine, and a Harvard lawyer who was on “Journolist” — with such a “balanced” panel as this, is it any wonder that Anderson Cooper reaches only 12 percent of the cable-news audience? Of course, I understand that when you’re producing a New York-based show the day after Christmas, it might be difficult to find, say, a Presbyterian heterosexual guest, but is CNN even trying?