Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Anderson Cooper 360 & AC360 Later Tuesday, 10/29/2013

8:00PM  AC360:
*The Affordable Care Act (3 segments)
*Recent NSA "scandal"
*Racial profiling
*Possible new surfing record set
*360 News & Business Bulletin:  Isha Sesay
*The RidicuList

10:00PM  AC360 LATER:
*The Affordable Care Act (Which turned into a 4 against 1 POTUS bashing segment)
*NSA/spy games
*Should marijuana be legalized
*"Fat" letter
*What's your story?

For this blogger, the best part of AC360 Later was that Andrew Sullivan pushed back on David Gergen.  Didn't think I'd ever see that happen on AC360!


Robe Lowe tweeted about being in the halls of CNN today and Showbiztonight posted this photo of Lowe and AJ Hammer with Anderson's photo and the question, "@andersoncooper did they pull off the pose?"

From the Portland State Vanguard, an article on the 2013 Simon Benson Awards ~

Anderson Cooper being interviewed by Oregonian Editor Peter Bhatia.

Setting records for audience size and funds raised, the 14th annual Simon Benson Awards dinner on October 22nd proved to be the most successful in Portland State history.

With speeches from Award laureates, standout PSU students and CNN news anchor and journalist Anderson Cooper, the dinner inspired an especially celebratory atmosphere at the Oregon Convention Center.

Dubbed by emcee and PSU Geology professor Dr. Scott Burns as “Portland’s premier philanthropic event,” the event set new records for attendance and funds raised, with 1,832 attendees raising more than $1.2 million for the night—an unprecedented success that prompted PSU President Wim Wiewel to proclaim the 14th Awards dinner the “most successful Simon Benson awards ever.”

Award honorees for 2013 include long-time PSU donors Rick and Erika Miller, and PSU alum Bill Stoller. As the recipients for this year’s Simon Benson Award for Philanthropy, the Millers have donated gifts totaling $8 million toward the expansion of PSU’s School of Business.

Stoller, this year’s recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, co-founded Express Employment Professionals and the Stoller Family Estate, the first LEED Gold-certified winery in North America.

Continuing a similar trend of increased gifts to PSU, the financial success of the Simon Benson Awards dinner has risen dramatically in recent years. Figures supplied by PSU indicate the dinner raised $285,000 in 2010, $465,000 in 2011, and $1 million in 2012. Proceeds from the evening go to the PSU Foundation and are utilized to fund scholarships, university programs, and faculty endeavors.

Monetary figures ultimately took a backseat to human generosity, with speakers’ stories providing inspiration and insight into more than financial matters.

The keynote speech by Anderson Cooper and his subsequent Q&A with Oregonian Editor Peter Bhatia drove home the evening’s message of generosity.

Amid bursts of jokes on topics ranging from politics to celebrity to his own self-image, Cooper related details from his early career, including the decision to go to “places that [were] dangerous” as a means of meeting “[little to] no competition” from other journalists.

While reporting from war-torn and impoverished countries in the 1990s and early 2000s, Cooper began to recognize the importance of helping people when the opportunity arose.

Acknowledging the importance of being a dispassionate observer, Cooper related a story about dropping his camera and aiding a badly injured boy during a riot in Haiti. His decision to help the boy was subsequently criticized by other journalists and media figures, but Cooper dismissed these criticisms.

“There are times when it’s important to just be a person and help someone,” Cooper said, later emphasizing his belief in “being a human being first [and a reporter second].”

His coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 subsequently solidified Cooper’s beliefs in the importance of recognizing and honoring the humanity of every individual.

“The frailty of the heart should not be denied,” Cooper said, later adding a further realization of his journalistic drive: “I knew I couldn’t stop [suffering in the lives of others],” Cooper said, “but I could give testament to their lives.”

While Cooper provided the night with humanistic insight from expertise, it was Zanele Mutepfa who gave the evening an emotional and motivational center. A junior at PSU, Mutepfa is the founder and director of Empowering Sisterhood, a community-building initiative in PSU’s Diversity and Multicultural Student Services specifically designed for African and African-American women.

Delivering her speech, Mutepfa drew on her personal story to illuminate her sense of gratitude to PSU donors as she offered details on her early life in Zimbabwe, including the death of both her parents before she reached age 11 and her subsequent adoption by a “simply amazing” American family.

In 2009, Mutepfa returned to her village in Zimbabwe to mourn her parents.

“It was the first time in nine years that I was able to return to Africa,” Mutepfa said, “and feel the sun of my homeland hit my face and the people of my heart gaze into my eyes. I promised myself I would learn and embrace my culture, my family’s traditions and most importantly, the legacy my parents had left behind.”

After detailing the story of a woman committed to tending the village, Mutepfa spoke of an afternoon when she volunteered to watch the woman’s children.

“Immediately, six girls [swarmed] around me, singing and dancing,” Mutepfa recounted. “One of them pulled my arm and said, ‘Take me to America with you. I want to learn. I’m a smart girl, just like you.’”

As the girl began to recite poems and demonstrate her prowess in solving mathematical problems, Mutepfa found herself delightfully baffled by the child’s talents—and suddenly discovered her calling, too.

“My heart [filled] with pride, hope and a profound sense of responsibility,” Mutepfa said. “At that moment, I believed that it is my responsibility to get a college education and achieve a position that would allow me to grant opportunities for young women, worldwide.”

Mutepfa also praised PSU donors for helping her achieve success.

“My parents have the same heart for generosity as each of you in this room,” Mutepfa said. “Because of you, there are programs at PSU … which allowed me to found and serve as the director of Empowering Sisterhood. This program empowers women by providing mentoring resources and encourages community outreach.”

With a playful joke about “[working] for Big Bird” as an intern at Sesame Street Workshop in New York this past summer, Mutepfa outlined her ambitions for empowering women and children through educational media.

“I aspire to build my career in the media industry as an author and TV personality, serving as a catalyst for women and youth,” Mutepfa said. “I believe the media is the largest educational platform in the world.

“Therefore, if I can travel the world and broadcast stories [that] influence people globally, I would be fulfilling my ultimate purpose. I believe everyone has a story to tell; they just need someone to amplify them.”

And in a surprise moment, after a standing ovation from the audience that Mutepfa said made her “[feel] at home,” she received exactly the kind of amplification that she had championed moments before.

“Shortly after my speech,” Mutepfa said in an email to the Vanguard after the awards dinner, “Anderson Cooper [followed] me outside and offered his mentorship and guidance [to me]. He said, ‘There you are. I’m Anderson Cooper. So, you’re interested in the media?’”

“I must say,” Mutepfa said, “Mr. Cooper has kept his promise and we’ve stayed in [touch]. I feel honored and blessed.”

From CNN's press release on October 2013 ratings ~


AC 360 (8p): Is registering the largest growth vs. a year ago of CNN’s weekday primetime line-up (up +27% in total viewers and +19% among demo rating) and was the network’s top-rated weekday program in demo 25-54 (211k). FXNC and MSNBC continued to register notable declines at 8p, with O’Reilly Factor down -28% in total viewers and -41% in younger viewers 25-54 while MSNBC’s All in Chris Hayes was off 33%/46% compared to a year ago. AC 360 Later (10p) was up +6% in total viewers (528k vs. 497k) and up +5% (180k vs. 172k) in the demo vs. a year ago.

Last October cable news viewing was elevated due to 2012 presidential election coverage which included the four Presidential Commission Debates. As a result, all three cable news networks were down in the overall primetime (8-11p) and total day (6a-6a) dayparts vs. a year ago.

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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Jaanza said...

When I got to 360 Drew Griffin was on screen doing more ACA bashing. The gist of his jabber was the ppor victimized insurance companies forced by the ACA to cancel policies, having their advice ignored and then being told to be quiet.

It wasn't looking good for a 'both sides of the story' report but surprisingly Jim Acosta evened things out. Acosta stated only 15 million individual health insurance policies had to be cancelled because they do not meed ACA regulations. That number comes to a total of 5% of all Americans. So, Acosta continued, when Obama said 'you can keep your health insurance if you like it' that is true for the vast majority of Americans. Furthermore, it's the insurance companies who are doing the canceling, not the ACA. Anderson pushed back on every ACA-positive point Acosta was making. The segment ended with Anderson saying some of the 15 million the new plans will cost more, Acosta said yes but they'll get better coverage.

In the second segment ACA panel I was glad to see Howard Dean there to counterpoint Ralph Reed and Dean did a great job. Dean had a lot of good comments and but unfortunately near the end, when he brought up the success of Romney-care in Massachusetts, Reed said Romney-care was a 'totally different situation, "it's apples and oranges". Reed talked about the difference in numbers from MA to the entire USA and I wish there had been time for Dean to say something back about the principles of the ACA and Romney-care being the same but time ran out.

In the segment about the NSA spying scandal, Anderson talked to Glenn Greenwald who dissed Cheney, Crapper and the NSA. Greenwald said every country spies, the cost/benefit of the US system isn't good to spy on allies and its own citizens and the danger of Snowden is vastly overexaggerated. Anderson pretty much read the questions on the paper in front of him and let Greenwald rant all he wanted.

Anderson's interview of Rob Brown, who was detained by Macy's for buying an expensive watch, was okay but another case in which Anderson mostly sat back and let the other guys, in this case Brown and his attorney, talk on.

I really don't care about monster waves. Hayes had a climate change panel.

It wasn't until Hayes' last segment about SuperStorm Sandy anniversary and the impact on Gov. Christie's political career that I noticed 360 didn't cover Sandy. I watched Hayes interview NJ Rep. Rush Holt because it was so much smarter than Anderson's Ridiculist. I did tune in to find out the topic but didn't watch because the topic (eating cat vomit off the floor on TV) was geared more towards 11-year-old boys.

Good news about CNN's ratings in today's post leaves me with mixed feelings. First, 'yay! ratings are going up!' and then it's 'are ratings going up since CNN started to slant to the right?'

In the past, I've commented here hoping Anderson to interview a furloughed Federal employee and soon he did. Then I wanted a segment on the NSA spying on allied leaders and it happened. I'm still hoping Anderson will interview someone who signed up for the ACA and is happy to have it. Bonus points if that someone suffers from asthma or diabetes or some other costly pre-existing condition that makes individualized health insurance incredibly expensive.

Or Anderson talking about his recent shoulder surgery. Doctor bills, radiologists bills, the cost of the hospital stay and cost of the painkillers and how much his insurance covered and how much he had to pay on his own. And then Anderson wondering what it would be like if he didn't have health insurance paid for by CNN, if he was still an independent roving reporter but not a Vanderbilt. Just something to let viewers know that he gets why having the ACA is so important.

aries moon said...

Yes, Sully pushing back on Gergen was a BIG highlight of AC360 Later and he was correct in putting most of the blame for the current state of the NSA on the Bush Administration. Gergen seemed pretty pissed that someone DARE question his viewpoint. Frank Bruni and Sully had good points about how uncomfortable we are about the NSA 'spying' on us but at the same time we expect the info they obtain to protect us from terrorism or other threats. You can't have total transparency in some situations--a point that went over Anna Navarro's head. Wasn't happy to see Navarro back on the panel, but there are very few conservatives that I can stand to listen to for any amount of time.

I am not happy with Anderson/360/CNN's coverage of President Obama or ACA, but that Portland Vanguard article with the wonderful story of Zanele Mutepfa and Anderson taking an interest in her was very moving and reminds me why I continue to watch him.

Anonymous said...

@aries moon: I always enjoy reading your comments because of your intellect and articulation on current matters, but you are conflicted about Anderson and the reason you watch 360.
Anderson's taking an interest in one person and his trip to revage torn Haiti....just another example, is pure show.
How he REALLY feels about the disadvantaged, is obvious every day on 360 and how he really feels about the POTUS and this administration negates,IMHO, any good he does, as a presenter.
And may I remind you, he gets "mucho dinero" for his speaking engagements. College students are easily swayed. Adults know better, or they should.