MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has denied suggesting that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper should acknowledge he's gay.

In an interview published Monday with UK daily The Guardian, the openly lesbian Maddow, 38, said being a role model for the LGBT community “gives [her] joy,” and added that gay anchors have a responsibility to come out.

“I'm sure other people in the business have considered reasons why they're doing what they're doing, but I do think that if you're gay you have a responsibility to come out,” Maddow told the paper.

In a Tuesday post titled Anchors Away, Maddow denied reports that she was hinting that Cooper should come out of the closet.

“Regarding The Guardian interview that's getting a lot of pickup today: in that interview, I wasn't asked about Anderson Cooper, I didn't say anything about him, he literally was never discussed during the interview at all – even implicitly,” she wrote.

“Although criticism of Mr. Cooper was intimated by The Guardian and picked up everywhere – I did not make that criticism in the interview, nor did I imply it, nor is it what I believe,” Maddow added.

Despite never acknowledging – or denying – that he's gay, Cooper has become a staple on gay glossy Out's annual list of the most powerful and influential gay people in America. (A distinction he shares with actress Jodie Foster.) Cooper, 43, ranked 3rd in this year's roundup, just ahead of fourth-place finisher Maddow.

Maddow, however, noted that “Closeted people should reasonably expect to be outed by other gay people if (and only if) they prey on the gay community in public, but are secretly gay themselves.”