Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Live from NOLA It's Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper opened Wednesday's AC360 from New Orleans with "And good evening everyone, we are back in New Orleans tonight. We are going to be here for the next several nights showing you what 5 years later looks like, up close. Five years after Katrina destroyed much of this area, 5 years into a reawakening. A rebirth that is as encouraging as it is for now incomplete."


NOLA, FIVE YEARS LATER: A discussion with Julia Reed and James Carville

SARAH PALIN, HER GROWING FAME, Her influence in Alaska and beyond: A report by Gary Tuchman

THE PALIN EFFECT, Big wins for underdog primary picks: a follow-up discussion with James Carville and Ed Rollins

PAKASTAN FLOODING CRISIS WORSENS, More rain expected, more aid needed:
Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks from Islamabad, Pakistan

360 News & Business Bulletin with Alina Cho

360 INVESTIGATION GETS RESULTS, State A.G.'s put Craigslist on notice: Amber Lyon 'keeping them honest'


NINTH WARD FIELD OF DREAMS, Mission to build new football field, track: An interview with Brian Bordainick, athletic director and force behind the project and G.W. Carver HS principal Lee Green To donate follow this link.

EXTRAS:Photo credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images for CNN

From the September 2010 issue of Men's Journal an interview with AC by Kevin Gray.

As he did after Katrina, CNN’s top disaster reporter isn’t just bearing witness; he’s standing up for the Gulf.
Five years ago Anderson Cooper decamped to the Gulf of Mexico to become the voice of angry residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. This summer he’s reprised that role while covering the oil spill there, using his prime-time CNN show to needle both the feds and BP execs. When the company’s chairman claimed that BP cares “about the small people,” Cooper opened his show with a list of residents left jobless from the gusher and decided: “This is a land of giants.” We reached Cooper by phone as he entered his sixth week on location.

Men’s Journal: You seem frustrated down there. What’s going on?
Anderson Cooper: A number of things. One is you’re dealing with a private company, BP, which doesn’t have a history of being transparent. Though they’ve promised transparency, they haven’t lived up to that promise by any definition of the word. They rarely inform the public about what’s going on — it’s like reading tea leaves trying to figure out what is actually happening. I’m just doing my job, which is trying to get the facts, and it’s a very difficult thing to do here given the many obstacles in the way. People are desperate for information, and I think it’s important to give voice to what people are going through here, as well as what is happening with the actual spill.

MJ: You’ve been in the Gulf for a while. Do you get story or compassion fatigue?
AC: Frankly, no. You’re around people in desperate situations, and so one’s own minor difficulties seem sort of meaningless.

MJ: I saw a video from Haiti earlier this year where you carry a bloody kid from a mob throwing rocks. Ever get involved like that before?
AC: No. I’ve been in plenty of situations where people were injured and being attacked around me, but you know, this was a weird situation where a child was not a combatant and was injured, couldn’t get up, was in the line of getting hurt even more because rocks are being thrown, large chunks of concrete, and all it required was for me to bend down and pick the kid up and run. So to me it was a no-brainer; it was very instinctual.

MJ: Where do you draw the line?
AC: There is a line, and the more you’ve been in the field, the more you’re aware of where the line is. I think that if you give a lift to somebody to get them to a feeding center or to a doctor, or if you come across somebody who’s been raped and they ask you to give them a lift to a hospital, I don’t think that’s a big deal — as long as you acknowledge what you’ve done. If you’re in a situation where you can help a little boy who’s got a concussion or blood pouring from his head — to me, that’s not a huge journalistic issue. But you know in your gut when something is happening just for your cameras, and you remove your cameras from that situation.

MJ: What kind of situation is it where people are doing things just for the camera?
AC: Riots. I was in a riot in Somalia where a woman was being beaten by a crowd — she was accused of being a prostitute, and she had grabbed a knife and was trying to defend herself, and the crowd had ripped off her blouse and were set on killing her. Suddenly the crowd turned on me, and I decided to withdraw from the situation. But anytime someone is very eager to be on camera, I’m generally wary of that.

MJ: Is there ever anything you want to show but can’t because it’s too gruesome?
AC: You see a lot of stuff, and it’s a judgment call. Do people need to see — or should they see, or do they want to see — a corpse that’s been eaten by dogs? During Haiti, I was at a place where a building had collapsed and crushed about 100 people. In one part there was nothing left of a person but some liquid and a piece of hair from their head. I had that in the story and then realized before it went to air that maybe that was something that was too extreme for some people, and I took it out. But I tend to believe people should see the reality of what’s going on and what other people are forced to deal with and live through.

MJ: Right after you graduated college, you made a fake press pass to get into Myanmar to cover student radicals taking on the ruling military junta. How did you not get yourself killed?
AC: It was the first combat zone I’d ever been in. Karen fighters smuggled me across the border in a truck, then in a dugout canoe. No one even checked my pass — I think they were just glad to have someone interested in documenting their struggle.

MJ: If you were ever in need of rescuing, what agency would you want rescuing you?
AC: It totally depends on where, and on the situation. I tend to want local knowledge, so that would call for local police. But at the same time I’ve been in situations where the local authority is not functional. In Haiti, I did not see any Haitian police officers around for days, so in a place like that I’d hope for some sort of international group. Certainly one of the lessons of Katrina is that, at least initially, you’re kind of on your own. It’s you, it’s your family, it’s your neighbors, and you need to be prepared to take care of yourself.

MJ: You seem to work nonstop. What’s your idea of a vacation?
AC: Most of the time when I do get away for vacations I get called back to work for something, but I was in Namibia over Christmas in one of the most remote areas, where there’s a nomadic ethnic group I stayed with called the Himba who live very much like they’ve lived for centuries. Basically twig huts and goats.

MJ: What other places are high on your bucket list?
AC: I haven’t really spent as much time in South America as I would like, but there’s always someplace still left to go. I’m interested in Equatorial Guinea, which is a desperately poor country. It has huge revenue from oil but a leader who is legendarily, how should we say, corrupt? It’s not the
sort of place that people typically would want to visit, but it’s a government that’s emblematic of traditional problems with kleptocracies. Congo is a real interest of mine. I’ve been going there since I was 17 — when it was still Zaire — and I’ve been back a lot since. I get bored really easily, and I tend to sort of keep moving. A week is enough vacation for me at any time.

MJ: You bought a decommissioned firehouse in New York City to live in. I’m guessing you haven’t spent much time there, but how’s the renovation going?
AC: Hasn’t started. But it’s a really cool space. I want to keep it as a firehouse and restore it as much as possible to its original condition.

MJ: So you’re keeping the pole?
AC: Yes, keeping the fire pole, definitely.

MJ: You swam with great white sharks on 60 Minutes. What was that about?
AC: I thought it would be interesting — and it’s not something you get to do every day. I was scared of sharks, and I don’t like there to be things that I’m scared of. I think you should jump headfirst into the things that scare you most. So getting into bloody water with great white sharks circling around was certainly high on that list of things that scared me. It was an extraordinary experience.

MJ: Have you tried conquering other fears that way?
AC: On a more ridiculous level, public speaking. Being on camera is easy for me, but speaking in front of several thousands of people, it’s a different skill set. Making speeches gave me a nervous pit in my stomach, so I forced myself to do it: I gave the commencement address at Tulane in front of 12,000 people. And it was fine.

Rise-N-Shine, the makers of Go Away Gray reportedly has offered Anderson a million dollars to try their product for 60 days and share his experience. They say,“We feel like Anderson Cooper is a really visible and well-respected figure and thought he would be a great spokesperson for the product and the company".
The company is willing to deliver the cash to Cooper after using the pills for 60 days and sharing his experiences with the new look via social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
Do you think they have any idea what loosing the gunmetal grey locks would do to our favorite anchor?

AC360 Transcript

AC360 Podcast

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.


Anonymous said...

I think this was the best episode that I've seen in a while, I really enjoyed the little Katrina flashback. To me it seemed like they could have left the whole Craigslist segment out and kept it mostly Katrina related though.

Am I the only one that has difficulty understanding James Carville when he speaks?

Also something I've been wondering, Do you all think Anderson reads this blog?

Jaanza said...

It was fantastic seeing Anderson back at work, back in New Orleans. I loved the video history montage at the start and the chat with James Carville and that other lady.

But then too much time was spent on Sarah Palin. And the repeat of Amber Lyon's report about Criagslist's Adult section was unnecessary; the new news about a state's Attorney General looking into it could have been wrapped up in three sentences during the Bulletin. And we could have seen more about NOLA.

Thank you for the Mens Journal interview; it showcased the "old" Anderson and I loved his word for the government of Equitorial Guinea - kleptocracy.

I hope there's more coverage of New Orleans and the Gulf tomorrow.

judy said...

From your photo, I say AC shouldn't experiment with his gray locks. He looks like Frank Sinatra and gray is why AC stands heads above the rest, no pun intended. He doesn't need their million anyway. He's the "silver fox."
AC may have been back, but he could have been a million miles away. We got maybe 20 minutes of a live presentation. IMHO, anyone could have taken his place tonite. Much of it was pretaped and the Craigslist was old and stale and a throw away and that's why CNN deserves to be last. When is CNN going to respect their viewers??
Sorry, if I had to grade 360 tonite it would get a D. and Anderson has to take some responsiblity for such a lame presentation.
Thanks for the Men's Journal article. Already read it on ATC...I think.

Tedi B said...

I enjoyed the Katrina coverage tonight. I can't wait for the next two nights.

Anonymous said...

Great show tonight. Seriously though, no one cares about craigslist.

Di said...

With the brown he looks just like the guy that I dream of every night. The one who’s eyes hold me, making me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. The one who’s eyes I have seen when I’ve closed mine for twelve years and who’s eyes I will likely see when I close mine forever. The only site to get the hair almost right.

aries moon said...

Having Anderson anchoring the program again was great and the Katrina piece was well done--I especially liked the segments where the reporters talked about their experiences--hearing Jeanne Meserve's account really made me think back to when I first heard her emotional reports in 2005--she was generally one of the most reserved reporters around and hearing her break down as she tried to explain what she was seeing and hearing was sort of unexpected and I knew then that Katrina was becoming a disaster of major proportions--then Anderson's excellent reporting presented an even more devastating picture. I just wish they had spent the majority of the hour on Katrina instead of throwing in Palin and porn--both of which seemed completely out of place--but I guess they had their reasons, hopefully there will be more focus on Katrina/NOLA on the remaining nights.

I read the Men's Journal interview last week and enjoyed it--AC really doesn't do that many interviews so it's always interesting to find out what he's got to say.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the interview from Men's Journal. Reading it is like reading his book again. It is NEVER boring :) He is inspiring. So is his reporting and writing.
And hmmm No Go-Away-Gray will be great I think :D :D

Anonymous said...

Judy, I agree with you 100%. Just because it's New Orleans, Anderson has to be there? I kept thinking that Don Lemon would have done a better job tonight, providing more passion and insight into his anchoring. Seems like Anderson just showed up and read the teleprompter, with very little prep work.

How many times have we seen this Craigslist report now? It makes me sad just how bad/boring AC360 has become. Yes, I know I can change the channel and it's probably going to come to that, especially with college football season fast approaching. I'm hoping for a better show tonight.

On_Love_Street_With_Jim_Morrison said...

Happy day Anderson is back!!! I was however very disappointed with 360. What was the point of Anderson even being in NOLA since only a small portion of the program was devoted to NOLA/Katrina anniversary.
I did however like the retrospective piece with the various CNN reporters sharing their/thoughts feelings on what happened after the storm. I thought that was a very good piece.

Nice to see Sanjay in Pakistan. He's a good reporter and it will be interesting to see his reports in the days to come.

I think Anderson ought to go for the Rise-N-Shine offer. Its only for 60 days, and he can give the $$ to charity which would make him look really good. Besides I think he would look cute with dark hair.

Anonymous said...

I liked the show last night. It was nice to have Anderson back. Hope he stays live tonight and tomarrow.

Thank you for the MJ interview.

All I am gonna say about the changing of Andersons hair color. dont ever leave the silver fox the same


TK said...

Keep the "Gray" throw the brunette away! Love the Gray!

TK said...

Also, couldn't they "photoshop" his blue-blue eyes back into the picture?

Anonymous said...

From the MJ article: "I was in a riot in Somalia where a woman was being beaten by a crowd — she was accused of being a prostitute, and she had grabbed a knife and was trying to defend herself, and the crowd had ripped off her blouse and were set on killing her. Suddenly the crowd turned on me, and I decided to withdraw from the situation."

What does he mean? Did he just abandon the woman?????

Anonymous said...

I was so thrilled to hear Anderson Cooper's voice again. Enjoyed the Katrina work. I have been watching Spike Lee's documentary this week, and AC's reports dovetailed nicely.

Happy to see that Gupta is in Pakistan. Looking forward to some real reporting there - finally!

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 9:36 AM Have you read his book?

Anonymous said...

Saw the craigslist piece on CNN this morning too. I guess they are proud of themselves. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

@7:32AM: A big THANK YOU. The AC we knew during Katrina would have been on a plane to Pakistan. The AC we knew during Katrina is no longer with us and I'm sad about that. For me the passion is gone.
And in his place is a person that is just playing the part.
Sorry...and yes there will come a time when I WILL change the channel, like the rest of the cable world.

Anonymous said...

According to TVN AC may have graced us all with his presence, but his total was a 540. If you're going to "phone it in," because you HAD to be there, why bother???
If the anchor really is doing us a favor being there, I don't want to watch.

Tedi B said...

If people don't care for Anderson "phoning it in" or whatever other thing they say why not switch over and watch Keith or Greta phone it in live in the studio where they don't bother to go to Pakistan either or Nola. Sorry, it just gets old sometimes.

Remember this whole discussion a few weeks ago? What did Anderson do while he was in Nola? He was a slacker? Well, I guess the fact that he was working on other projects didn't matter. Ah, the man ain't perfect but he's sure not as bad as some make him out to be. Seriously, watch something else if you don't like him. Hearing the same thing day after after day after day gets old (Like a broken record). I understand that his show sucks sometimes and he's not 100% everynight but the same things being said over and over just gets old. MY OPINION, I know.

I don't know what he does all day long in Nola either but, damn, why expect the worst of someone? Why assume he's sitting around getting a manicure and filing his nails while being fed bon bons at the Ritz? Yeah, that's really his style.

Anonymous said...

AMEN Teddy!

AC Fan in CA/IL said...


Lauren--NY said...

@ Tedi B--Well said, girl. 100% agree.

Anonymous said...

@Tedi B. What gets old is a "bad"
360. Oh, and don't forget tomorrow is repeat night.