During a Friday segment of CNBC's "Squawk On the Street," co-anchor Simon Hobbs outed Tim Cook. Yes, you did indeed read that right — a journalist on the news network outed the Apple CEO, who, despite his vocal support for LBGT rights, has never spoken about his sexual orientation.
Here's how it went down: During a discussion about openly gay CEOs with New York Times columnist James R. Stewart, CNBC's panel listened as the writer talked about the "cool reception" he received while attempting to contact several gay business leaders. Hobbs responded to that admission with the following flippant sentence: "I think Tim Cook is open about the fact he's gay at the head of Apple, isn't he?"
Sure, the fact that he was questioning his own thought process should have been indication enough that he should have stopped the second he said "I think," but, hey, live TV?
"Oh dear," Hobbs said, after a pause. "Was that an error?"
Yes. Following his words, the panel, as BuzzFeed noted fell "completely silent." Responded Stewart:
I don’t want to comment about anybody who might or might not be. I’m not going to out anybody.
Since the segment aired, Cook has not issued any comment — and, in fact, hasn't posted anything on his Twitter feed since June 25, when he was busy hiking in Yosemite National Park. Watch the video of the moment below. (Warning: You will lose at least partial respect for humanity... or at least CNBC.)
Cook has never confirmed his sexuality, but has long been a vocal supporter of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, penning an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last year imploring Congress to pass the legislation.