Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Few Laughs & A Speaking Engagement

In the midst of a week of very serious news coming out of the Middle East, Anderson and the AC360 Team managed to offer a few laughs along the way and snuck in a couple of extra segments in the second hour ~

Monday - The SHOT:

Monday - The RidicuList:

Tuesday - The SHOT:

Tuesday - The RidicuList:

Tuesday - Building Up America:

Wednesday - The SHOT:

Wednesday - The RidicuList:

Thursday - Perry's Principle:

Thursday - Raw Politics:

Friday - Anderson & Isha talk England ~


Anderson Cooper had two speaking engagements at the Richmond Forum this weekend.

A few photos from the Richmond Forum Facebook page ~

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Anderson Cooper Addresses Richmond Forum

Though he graduated from Yale University, Anderson Cooper's real education came as a young reporter covering the conflict and famine in Somalia.

"It was in Somalia that I saw starvation for the first time," said Cooper, now the popular, globe-trotting and Emmy Award-winning anchor of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°."

Speaking to a packed audience at Richmond's Landmark Theater on Saturday night, Cooper, whose career has since taken him into disaster and war zones all over the world, described how he sat in a hut in Somalia with a husband and wife whose young son had just died of starvation.

"They were using what little water they had left to wash his body," Cooper said. "You could see the hollowed-out circles around his eyes. You could see the ribs which were unobscured by muscle or fat. I will never forget his legs were as thin as the twigs in the outer layer of the hut they were living in."

Cooper, who spoke as part of The Richmond Forum series, urged the audience not to turn away from the tragedies they see reported every day.

"It is very easy in this day and age to kind of look the other way," he said. "I think it is important for us not to look away, but to look directly at the things that frighten us most."

Cooper also charmed the crowd with stories of how he essentially stumbled into becoming a broadcast journalist. He didn't set out to be a TV anchor, he said, and he is suspicious when aspiring young reporters tell him that's what they want to do.

"It's like a kid telling me they want to be a politician," he said. "I think you need to be a real person before you want to become a fake one."

Cooper studied political science at Yale, and he focused his studies on communism. He graduated in 1989, just as the Soviet Union was crumbling.

"When the Berlin Wall came down, I was pretty much screwed," he said. "It was hard not to take it personally."

So he asked his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, for some advice on a career choice.

"She is a remarkable lady and a very fascinating lady, but practical she is not," Cooper said, recalling how as a teenager he had asked her for some advice on applying for a job as a waiter.

"Her advice was to wear a shirt with vertical stripes, because they are very slimming," he said.

Her advice on his career choice after college was to "follow your bliss."

Cooper found that bliss eventually in broadcast journalism. When he was unable to find a network job, he wasn't daunted. He sneaked into Burma with a fake press pass and a video camera in the hopes someone would pick up his coverage of a conflict there. His reporting earned him a spot on Channel One News, the cable network that broadcasts to schools.

Since then, as a reporter for CNN, he has covered some of the most significant news stories of our time, including the aftermath of the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

He has reported multiple times on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and most recently covered the revolution in Egypt, which he described as one of the most important historical events of our time.

"When you are covering conflict, you expect to see darkness, but you also find light," he said. "You expect to see horror, but you also find humanity."

And a couple of comments from those in attendance:

He delivered a great message on what living conditions are for so many people in other countries. He spoke about humanity...and how it's all a choice on how we treat other humans. It was quite touching and sincere. And I also enjoyed his humorous side too! He appears quite genuine.

I came away humbled by his approachable style, his insight into the world around him, and his ability to educate and encourage his audience to cultivate our own ownership as citizens of a world that extends far beyond our own backyards.

A to link to the Program book for Anderson Cooper's presentation at The Richmond Forum on February 19, 2011, click here.

From Twitter:

Richmond Q&A Video 1 ~

Richmond Q&A Video 2 ~

Richmond Q&A Video 3 ~

And two links to Blog posts from people who attended Saturday night's events(complete with photos) ~

From Nineteen Eighty + Seven - Anderson Cooper

From Veronica Garabelli - Anderson Cooper at the Richmond Forum

REMINDER: Anderson will appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Tuesday night. The Daily Show tweeted this today ~

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


ACAnderFan said...

The three RidicuLists were great this week. Its nice to see Anderson's lighter side on the show. The one about Jersey Shore was great. I love when Anderson makes fun of Jersey shore.

Love the clips from Anderson's speaking engagement this weekend. Thanks for posting them along with the pics.

judy said...

Had to laugh at Jon Stewart's remark. Looking forward to seeing the show on Tuesday.
AC must get mega bucks for speaking engagements or he wouldn't be doing them so readily.
Let's hope all these wide-eyed students of journalism follow him to daytime.

Wonz said...

Judy, I have read your last 3 comments & I must respectfully ask, why you continue to comment on a program you don't watch very often, a program you don't like and an anchor you don't respect. It's obvious from your comments that you are constantly watching programs in direct competition with AC360, so I'm not sure how you accurately assess the show as a whole. Your comment of "AC must get mega bucks for speaking engagements or he wouldn't be doing them so readily. Let's hope all these wide-eyed students of journalism follow him to daytime." is nothing but mean. Yes, most speakers of Anderson's caliber are well paid for their appearances, but for all I know he may donate the money he receives from those engagements or he may not. He earned the money and it is his to do with as he pleases. The people/organizations booking him for speaking engagements obviously feel he is worth his speaking fee; his appearance at Richmond sold out so quickly they added the Sunday matinee, and comments from people who attended the event seemed to be very positive. That tells me that people are interested in what Mr. Cooper has to say and that he must be a very engaging speaker or he wouldn't be in demand. And who are you to step on the dreams of those "wide-eyed students of journalism"? Anderson won't be the first journalist to go enter the talk show market. From the press releases I've read, it's going to be a much different type of talk show covering the news and issues of the day. I, for one, prefer to see the finished product before jumping to conclusions.

I do agree with you that the middle class is slowly becoming non-existent, but 360 devoted about half of the program to what is happening in Wisconsin Friday night, but I guess because it wasn't the lead story, that didn't meet your approval. I watched the entire program and I can tell you I would have led with the news out of Bahrain and Libya. It was a much more compelling story with a personal account from a protester risking his life to share his story. I guess if you watch the entire program, you aren't as concerned with what leads the program off, but rather what the program covers in total. I'm guessing where Anderson Cooper and AC360 are concerned there really is no pleasing you these days.

President Obama did weigh in on the situation in Wisconsin and got bashed by people on the right for doing so and from you for not doing it "quicker and more profusely." POTUS has to finesse many issues and he's not going to please everyone. He's doing the best he can under some very trying circumstances. It seems to me that the Republican's are doing everything within their power to see that he fails. To me they are the failures and our country is the loser given their actions. Perhaps it's time more people that claim to support the President, actively campaign for his agenda, calling their congressmen, wiring letters and volunteering for OFA. It's easy to sit at a computer and type complaints, it takes a little more effort to become actively involved in trying to effect the change you would like to see happen.

To me, news shouldn't be about ratings. News should be about what's going on in our world and what people need to know. I guess that's why I don't follow the ratings for news programs. I did check though, and 60 Minutes was second only to the Grammy's on Sunday night, February 13th and had over 12million viewers, so apparently a lot of people are "Gaga for Gaga."

Wonz said...

My views on enjoying international news coverage (especially the historic international news happening now in the Middle East and Africa) nightly on AC360 are probably a little skewed because of my 15+ years in the international education field. Often students would come to my office with problems they were having or sometimes just to talk. Some were homesick; some just wanted to share their stories -- of their families, what life was like for them in their country and the often insurmountable odds they faced to attend graduate school in the U.S. Most felt it was a privilege and an honor, and valued their educational experience highly. Students came from a wide variety of countries and studied a wide variety of disciplines and some became friends. While I was happy to see them complete their educational goals I was often very sad to see them leave when their degree was finished and they returned to their home country. I've know students from Iran, but under the previous regime, obviously. I've had other students tell me of co-exiting with dangerous rebel groups in their local community, not knowing form one day to the next if they would have water and/or electricity, doctors without access to medical facilities to treat their local communities, etc. And mind you, these were all students with at least a first university level degree. So I understand the uprisings that are coming from the young and educated -- who have been suppressed for so long and they have simply reached a point where they are willing to die, if it means a better life for the next generation. I admire them, I pray for their safely and their success, I want to hear their stories, and I thank Anderson and AC360 for continuing to cover these types of stories.

There were several news outlets covering the news out of Wisconsin on Friday, but what other news program had an interview from a protestor in Libya? I admire Anderson and AC360 for giving voice to those who too often don't have the opportunity to be heard. And what happened in Bahrain on Friday, needed to be seen and apparently because of the media coverage, things in Bahrain changed over the weekend. But my guess is unless the international media continues to cover what is happening in Egypt and Bahrain, etc. it will be too easy for the progress that has been made to be taken away. Too many people have paid with their blood for us to turn our eyes away at this critical time. Listening to the protester from Libya, made me realize how insignificant my petty complaints are and that if I feel strongly enough about an issue I need to stand up and fight for it through various means available to me. It's easy to sit back and play arm-chair quarter back, effecting change takes effort.

I am sickened by the news out of Lybia today. Unfortunately journalists are not allowed into the country to cover the story, but people are bravely finding ways to get their sotries out.

I was in England in 1986 when the US bombed Lybia from British Airforce bases. There was an anti-Ameican sentiment in England, complete with an anti-American demonstration outside the hotel where I was staying. It was unsettling to come up out of the Tube one day to see the street blocked off and a bombed out EL AL Airlines office across the street from Selfridges. (Obviously we didn't get to shop there that day.) A definite eye-opening experience for me, to find myself an unwelcome visitor by many in a country I always assumed to be a safe place to visit.

We are all citizens of the world and while we live in unique cultures, we all basically want the same things and each of us has a story to tell and deserves a chance to be heard. Thank you Anderson and AC360 - you are my go to program for international news...and lately I have not been disappointed

Anonymous said...

@wonz - Kudos. I used to comment here a lot and stopped because it got tiresome to debate with people who had so little respect for an anchor that they still chose to track every single day. Particularly laughable are the ones who admit to skipping the show for more trite viewing and then complain about AC's lighter daytime plans.

I couldn't agree more that the coverage of the historic protests in the Middle East has been outstanding and hope the show doesn't cave to people telling him to move on. Wisconsin is important too and it got it's due coverage.

As far as I'm concerned, the past month of shows has been amazing, and I hope it continues at this high-quality level.

aries moon said...

Thanks for the clips of the forum--I think AC has actually cut back on the number of presentations he gives--I remember him doing more of them when I first started watching 360 several years ago--there were times when he'd have to cancel them often because of some big breaking news story. I loved his comments about writing--he certainly has developed his own distinctive voice as a writer judging from his Reporter's Notebooks and the blog posts he used to write eons ago--I don't know how much writing he does on 360, but I suppose the writers there can tailor their writing to match his style when necessary.

I agree that 360's international coverage has been outstanding--and I was especially impressed that for several nights they devoted a large block of the first hour discussing it.

judy said...

@Wonz: WOW, Your comment is totally inexcusable and I wouldn't be "bullied" into yesing you to death.
From implying that I'm not an Obama supporter, I was and still am, but I don't support ALL he does, to: I rarely watch 360, when most of the time I do and comment on it in total.
Some commenters are afraid of dissent and while I'm not, there are those that agree with me.
But to rant about getting paid well is ridiculous and yes he has even implied that "making his
own money was an early motivation of his," to the wide-eyed comment...there are few journalism jobs out there, and who am I, is totally disrespectful and out of order.
It is a shame that you can't or wouldn't be more objective in your comments....and perhaps if you were a public servant who paid into a pension fund all of your life, you'd feel differently about foreign affairs being the lead story when it has so little relevance to what YOU actually do...and I'm not sorry I offended although, to be quite honest, I had no intention of doing so.
Again your comment was totally out of order even though you are an ATA Blogger. There was no excuse for your intended rudeness.
Maybe if you invited a more free an open discussion you'd get more commenters but you are obviously afraid of dissent.

Wonz said...

To set the record straight - I have been a "public servant" my entire life. First at a park district office while in H.S. and college and then for a state university upon earning my bachelor's degree. I have paid into state pension funds my entire working career. I was in a union at one point, but that ended with a promotion to a poisiton that was not part of the union.

Given comments you have left on ATA, (For example; Friday's post - "Sorry, I spent my time watching Bill Maher, whose sister was a former teacher." and Thursday's post - "I only tuned in for Sanjay's report on Gabby Gifford's experience in rehab and how it felt to go through the motions." and "Spent most of the hour watching the Ed Show because he was in Wisconsin and as a former public servant, that is what is most relevant to ME." and the many "I reached for the remote" comments) you led me to believe that you rarely watch the program in full. If that's is not accurate, then I'm sorry.

Sorry if you found my comments "inexcusible" and think I was trying to bully you. I was just stating my opinion, to which I'm entitled, the same as you are entitled to yours. I'm not afraid of dissent (I don't control or moderate comments) and my comment/opinions had nothing to do with me being an ATA blogger or they would have been in the form of a "Blogger's Commentary" and not left in the comments section.

Lauren--NY said...

Wonz, you are eloquent as always, never rude, and I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, corporate-owned media has forced ratings to become a deciding factor in too many programming decisions, not just on CNN. Thank you for supporting 360's coverage of international news on a public platform.

It's also worth pointing out that the current news from the Middle East will likely affect US foreign policy for decades, so it's closer to home than most realize. Anybody who thinks that these stories are irrelevant to us is sadly misinformed. Keep an eye on gas prices in the coming months, for one thing. That is, if you care more about gas prices than about people being blown to bits by their own government.

Judy, I've been an ATA reader for two solid years plus, and it is the vitriol in the comment sections that has driven commenters away, not a lack of open discussion. To the contrary, Phebe and team are much more generous than I would be when it comes to allowing comments. The concept of the ATA team being afraid of dissent is absolutely ludicrous, as it is their dedication to allowing it that results in fewer comments (see Anon 2:57). They make a point of taking the hit because they believe in open discussion, and I admire them for it. I assure you there is no history of censorship on this blog, and I'm sorry you feel so "bullied" by the very dissent you claim others fear. Frankly, for someone who abhors "rudeness," you made a lot of assumptions about the career of someone about whom you clearly know very little.

Anonymous said...

@Lauren in NY: If dissent was acceptable, there would be more of it. It is far easier to just go along and say kudos, than to voice your own opinion.
Most of the time this blog just gets a few commenters that actually reply in depth.