Unzipped's Rick Andreoli to Appear on CNN Tonight

Ariana Rodriguez
LOS ANGELES — Unzipped Media Executive Editor Rick Andreoli will appear on tonight’s episode of CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” at 6:55 p.m. PST.

CNN journalist Jeanne Moos interviews Andreoli via phone to discuss Levi Johnston — father of Sarah Palin’s grandson — as a gay sex icon.

Following an interview on cable network’s Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” in which Johnston said he’d pose nude for an adequate sum, Unzipped made an offer to Johnston that included a cover story and a full-nude photo layout.

Without fully disclosing the details of Unzipped’s offer to Johnston in tonight’s televised interview, Andreoli told XBIZ the offer is what caught the attention of CNN.

“In the interview, I discuss Johnston’s rugged masculinity that makes him a gay sex icon,” Andreoli said. “He has this quality that makes him stand out as a man that’s not from L.A. or New York, which makes him attractive to gay and straight audiences.”

The segment on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” also will discuss an announcement posted today on Gawker.com that said Johnston has accepted an offer from Playgirl magazine to pose in his underwear.

“If Gawker is correct — and I have reason to believe it is — Levi will pose for Playgirl,” Andreoli said. “Our offer demanded him to pose nude and we weren’t going to put money on the table if we had to compromise that proposal.”

Andreoli said he considers his elected position of queer pop culture expert amusing and is grateful for the publicity that the hubbub surrounding Johnston is generating for Unzipped. However, he added that he’s not sure how Johnston’s consent to appear in a nude straight magazine will affect his iconic status in the gay community.

“It may or may not affect his standing,” Andreoli said. “It depends on whether they get the bang for their buck.”