Howard Kurtz, a news anchor on the FOX Sunday show “Mediabuzz,” suggested on June 19th that the sexual orientation of the journalist Anderson Cooper prevents him from reporting on news events concerning the gay community without bias.
The remarks were prompted by Anderson Cooper’s interview of Pam Bondi, Attorney General of the state of Florida, in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. Cooper questioned Bondi on the shooting, noting that she had worked hard to ban same-sex marriage in Florida. He asked Bondi whether she worried that language she used in the past may have promoted violence against LGBT individuals by suggesting that gay people are “a danger to society.”
Kurtz began by asking his show guest, Guy Benson, editor at the conservative Townhall.com, if Cooper was “like more than an aggressive journalist” when interviewing Bondi. Benson agreed, and Kurtz went on to assert that “the only way this line of questioning makes sense is if your underlying assumption is that any opposition to any form of gay rights legislation is rooted in bigotry or hatred.” Kurtz remarked that gay journalists, such as Anderson Cooper, would turn coverage of events such as the Orlando shooting into opportunities for activism.
This is a similar argument to the one Donald Trump made recently concerning the U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing a case against Trump University. Trump claimed that Curiel’s Mexican heritage would bias him against Trump, who has campaigned on the promise to build a wall along the southern U.S. border.