Tuesday morning on AirTalk, we talked with Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon about his contention that new Apple CEO Tim Cook’s supposed sexuality should be referenced by journalists. Even before taking over Apple last week, Cook had been listed at the top of Out magazine’s annual Power-50 list.
However, Cook has never publicly commented on his sexuality, nor any other aspect of his personal life. Salmon assumes that Cook’s lack of complaint about being described as gay confirms the reports’ accuracy.
Our second guest, BNET’s Erik Sherman, thought it would be wrong to even characterize Cook’s sexuality, let alone make a point of it, when the Apple CEO hasn’t been public at all about his personal life.
For me, I was torn about doing this segment. The topic itself was terrific and elicited superb listener feedback in calls and online comments. Both of the guests were well spoken and strongly argued their positions. Had I been a listener, I certainly would’ve stayed tuned in.
Thursday morning on AirTalk, we heard from listeners about Kobe Bryant’s anti-gay slur that was picked up by a TV microphone and cameras during Tuesday night’s Lakers game at Staples Center. Bryant was fined $100,000 by the NBA and issued a series of apologies throughout Wednesday.
It opened up a fascinating listener-led conversation about how some men use the term, or even the word “gay” as a pejorative. This connects with the idea that, for some men, attacking a man’s manliness or sexuality is the ultimate challenge. Kobe essentially copped to that in his apology, describing how angry he was in the moment when he let fly with the invective.
I was also thinking about the Kobe incident as it related to the comedic plot of the play, “God of Carnage,” which opened Wednesday night at the Ahmanson Theater downtown. Yasmina Reza’s script takes us from a seemingly civilized pair of married couples trying to deal with the aftermath of one of the couple’s kids knocking out two teeth of the child of the other couple’s, to the gradual unveiling of the highly uncivilized feelings that lurk just beneath the surface.