Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Seat at the Table

CBS Anchorwoman, Katie Couric, penned an article today about the Big Meeting preceding the Big Speech. According to Couric, very high-level senior officials in the Bush Administration met with network anchors and select cable anchors to discuss the State of the Union address.

In her article, Couric expresses frustration that she was the only woman sitting at the table. While there were women on the support staff near the door, she looked at her peers around the table and found no women. Among the men seated were Charlie Gibson, George Stephanopoulos, Brian Williams, Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer, Wolf Blitzer, and Brit Hume.

I hate to be too critical of Couric-after all, I woke up to her cheerful voice through most of my growing up years-but she seems to be completely oblivious that there were bigger problems than a lack of female peers.

The women's liberation movement popularly started in the 1970s. By that time, the Civil Rights movement had already been in full swing and the Gay Liberation Movement began with the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Yet, Couric fails to mention that not a single Queer or Non-White was present at that table.

I am of the belief that promotions should be based on merit, not on race/ethnicity/orientation. Affirmative action has no place in deciding who the anchor of the TV news should be. While women and ethnic minorities have had a long history of subjugation that kept them out of schools and certain jobs, Gay men in particular have often been able to hide themselves enough to bypass that oppression and attain higher education and jobs.

It boggles my mind that no Gay man would be fit as an anchor of a major TV news program. By even the most modest of studies, Gays and Lesbians make up at least 10% of society (some studies claim more!) Yet the always-liberal Katie Couric failed to mention that while women at least have some representation at nearly every level of society, Gays don't.


SF What? said...

I think your analysis here is a little off. If she failed to mention gays, why didn't she mention the lack of Jews or Muslims represented around the table? I am sure she didn't mention gays because well she is a woman and not a lesbian.

Andrewdb said...

What about Shepherd Smith and Anderson Cooper? Aren't both of them at least rumoured to be gay (not that I have any proof or photos or anything)

CaliforniaGrown said...

SF- I included that in my analysis. I mentioned specifically that there were only white men and one white woman there. But my point wasn't that there were no non-whites there. In fact, there should definitely be ethnic minorities and women (and Gays) anchoring. But my point was that Gays are not at all represented in anchor positions.

Ethnic minorities have a longer road to travel than Gays. You can't tell a person's sexual orientation by looking at him or her as easily as you can tell a person's racial background--we typically look the same as our heterosexual counterparts. For this reason, it interests me that we still haven't seen a Gay anchorperson.

CaliforniaGrown said...

andrewdb- First, welcome to the Land of Fruits and Nuts! Second, Shep and Anderson are definitely both rumored to be gay (and I would be a very happy man if either came out!!) In fact, I know VERY few people that argue that Anderson Cooper is straight.

But the fact is, neither is out if they are in fact gay. If they are gay, then some kind of force is keeping them closeted. Perhaps they fear losing their jobs? Their reputation? Their viewers? Or maybe they just don't want people prying into their business? Any way you slice it, they have decided it is in their own best interest to remain publicly closeted, which is a curious decision.

So, my point is, there are no openly Gay anchors.