Monday, May 16, 2011

Yawn: Another TV Talking Head Comes Out

Fire up that Profiles in Courage Award. By my estimate, Don Lemon is now the 896th "celebrity" to come out of the closet in the past decade.

Now 45, though he looks much younger, Mr. Lemon understands the television news business from long experience, gathered through jobs at such local stations as WCAU in Philadelphia, WMAQ in Chicago and WNYW in New York.

So he has no illusions about what he is getting himself into with the book he has written about his career — and life. In “Transparent,” Mr. Lemon has a lot to say about reporting for television and about journalism in general. But he knows enough about news to recognize what will get this book noticed.

“People are going to say: ‘Oh, he was molested as a kid and now he is coming out.’ I get it,” he said.

Few national television news anchors or hosts have publicly acknowledged being gay. Rachel Maddow is perhaps the best known. Her MSNBC colleague, Thomas Roberts, has also come out as gay.

Mr. Lemon has not made a secret of his sexual orientation in his work life; many of his CNN co-workers and managers have long been aware that he is gay. But he still acknowledged that going public in his book carries certain risks.

“I’m scared,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for.”
Dude, you're on CNN. You're already shunned by 99% of the country.

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