Letter to the Editor: On Borden Herve's Column

The following is written by John Patrick "JP" Schutz in response to "Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Anderson Cooper and the High Price of Privacy" written by Heather Borden Herve


Dear Ms. Borden-Herve:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your email. It means a lot that you would take the time to clarify for me what I was missing in your article. And might I mention, thank you for supporting those who are different, be it we of the LGBT community, or any other minority that is outwardly or inwardly different from the majority of whatever population by whom they are surrounded.

It is so difficult in this age of modern and immediate media, where we quote someone quoting someone paraphrasing someone who it turns out was actually parodying someone, to know where the author is placing her/his tongue firmly in cheek to make a point, or is actually espousing a certain point of view. Not your fault, really, just a sign of the times.

Had the article been entirely about Mr. Cruise, where there indeed may be some dichotomy between his actual lifestyle and one he presents to the world, I likely would not have commented, especially since if - and I say "if" - the above is true, then he has indeed lied by his history of denial of gayness or homosexuality.  That sort of situation where one is questioned and denies, especially angrily and hurtfully to those who live that lifestyle, might warrant a correspondent to label that fabricated for the public lifestyle a "lie" -- much like certain former Yankee pitchers denying the use of performance enhancers during their major league career despite all the evidence to the contrary. 

It was the inclusion - and the appearance thereof, intentional or not - of Anderson Cooper in that statement with Mr. Cruise that so highly rankled me.  Cooper simply is - we don't ask of Chuck Scarborough or Diane Sawyer or Brian Williams the explain their romantic and sexual lives to their viewers, why should he have to do so was my thought.  And when someone like the aforementioned trio does have to "explain" their sex lives to their viewers it is because they have somehow publicly cheated on a spouse or done something illegal or unethical. Cooper never denied his sexuality, nor has he harmed anyone with it.

Following the logic of when a newscaster might have to "explain" their sex lives, if:
1. When a newscaster cheats on a spouse, or sexually harasses an employee, or posts inappropriate pictures on the 'net, or otherwise sexually misbehaves and is either criminally or ethically guilty of such incorrect behavior they owe an explanation; and,
2. A newscaster who is gay owes an explanation; therefore, 
3. A newscaster owes an explanation for misbahavior and criminal or unethical sexual behavior or being gay; then,
4. Being gay must be a form of misbehavior or criminal or unethical sexual behavior.

I am glad that was not your intention, nor belief, but it was tough from context to determine if that were so or not. Adding the commentary about "favorable" lifestyle, which I know perceive you were utilizing as "this is what the gossip mags and celebrity sensation television shows say" NOT what you yourself think. Again, it was tough to tell when to put the voice in your "mouth" and when to give that voice to the "gossip" media. It seemed that it was you - not the media you were quoting - that felt that since Mr. Cooper "passed" as heterosexual, since he's just your average guy - or at least your average guy who grew up privledged and well-cared for - that he was somehow "lying" or living a false lifestyle. Hey, I like baseball, can swing a hammer, fix a busted furnace boiler and lots of other regular guy things - and up until my recent marriage (performed on the occassion of our 22nd Anniversary) where I began to wear a wedding ring, women from 10 years younger to 10 years older frequently noticed my "naked" finger and let me know subtly or blatently that they were "available" until I gently explained. The thought processes of those you were critiquing would then be that I was somehow "lying" because people chose to believe something about me that THEY came up with, while I had never told them ANYTHING about me, nor did I pretend nor misinform nor lie to cause this erroneous conclusion. 

It was THAT type of thinking that pushed me to write and see here, I came to an erroneous conclusion about YOU. For which I humbly apologize. You did not specifically state at any time that these were your views, it could simply be concurred or assumed from reading through the column. And like the women above were with me, I was incorrect with you. And as I try to be with any such flattering misconceptions, you too have been gracious and kind in dispelling my misconceptions.  

I thank you for the learning experience, and hope you will accept an apology. If you would like to remove my comment from your blog column, by all means feel free to do so, or, if you would prefer to put our two responses to each other out in the public, I would welcome that too. I'm not afraid to admit when I am wrong, and it pleases me to do so in this case. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

John Patrick "JP" Schutz


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