With the announcement this week that liberal journalist Steve Kornacki of Salon will take over weekend roundtable show, Up, MSNBC is adding its third openly gay anchor to the lineup.
Kornacki succeeds Chris Hayes of The Nation who is getting his own show on weekdays at the 8 p.m. time slot once helmed by Ed Schultz. It's the lead-in to The Rachel Maddow Show, the cable news channel's highest rated program. Maddow, who is gay, often called upon Kornacki as a guest.
Thomas Roberts, who was recently married to Patrick Abner in New York, also hosts his own midday show on the channel and was before that anchor for The Advocate's online newscast, which is no longer in production.
Kornacki came out in 2011 at age 32 in a very personal Salon column, titled "The Coming Out Story I Never Thought I'd Write," in which he recounted losing the man who seemed to be the love of his life after refusing to come out of the closet.
An excerpt below:
"You may be wondering why I was so afraid. It’s 2011, after all, and I live in Manhattan, surrounded in social and professional settings by gay people. It’s not like I come from a morally judgmental family; I never feared my parents or other relatives turning their backs on me. But 17 years of fear and hang-ups can be hard for a person to shake.
"My friends were confused about me, but I’d throw them off my trail by embracing the persona of a cynical, slightly neurotic fatalist. My buddies would urge me to approach an attractive girl at a bar, and I’d tell them it wouldn’t be worth it – not when I was liable to wake up with a sexually transmitted disease. Friends would try to set me up with girls and I’d remind them that most marriages quickly devolve into loveless, soul-crushing arrangements. They didn’t think I was interested in any kind of relationship – straight or gay.
"In a way, I can’t even explain why I kept this part of myself private for so long. But whenever I would contemplate a change, I would think back to my youth, and the fathers, teachers and coaches who had been my adult role models, all of them old-fashioned family men. How could I possibly be so different?"