Thursday, October 09, 2014

What's On Your Mind? (Piers Morgan edition) 10/9/14

We always suspected there was no love lost between Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan. Their forced friendly batter during program throws was a dead give away, but we had no idea the depth of Piers' animosity until recently.  He fired the first salvo on October 2nd on Politico:

“Could I have done with a better lead-in? Yes,” Morgan says. “Anderson is a great field reporter, but does he drive big ratings at CNN, outside of a big news cycle? I don’t see any evidence of it. And yet the whole bank was being bet on him at 8 and 10 o’clock.

Then there's the October 17th issue of The Hollywood Reporter where he wrote of his attempt to throw Cooper under the bus to the network boss, Jeff Zucker:

I suggested to Jeff (Zucker) that Megyn Kelly would be a perfect primetime star for CNN — young, beautiful, slick, razor smart, bursting with opinions, humor and authority. I was convinced she'd give me a much better lead-in than Anderson Cooper, who for all his qualities as a reporter is stiff in a studio and gets annihilated in the ratings every night by O'Reilly. Jeff nodded and replied, "I tried to get her." 

And his little AC dig on Access Hollywood Tuesday:

As with any PR department worth its salt CNN's had to jump into the fray to defend it's chosen one in a statement to Politico today:

For the two-and-a-half years that AC 360 served as the lead in to Piers Morgan’s program on CNN, it always delivered a higher rating than Piers’ program.  And for the 7 months that Piers Morgan’s program led into AC 360, 360 always delivered a higher rating than Piers’ program. It is sad that Piers is trying to find a new job by misrepresenting how he performed in his old one.

So that signaled a start to the Twitter wars as Piers followed up with this:

and then this:

@sullydish is Andrew Sullivan, a Harvard educated blogger (The Dish) who published Anderson Cooper's article outing himself in 2012.

And he finished the day with this:

We're still waiting, with bated breath, to see what's coming from Morgan next and will update the post when there's more.

Our take on this? Beware Piers no one is better at caustic, cutting Tweets than Anderson.  You are outclassed and definitely outwitted.
It's time for us to make some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show!

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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Anonymous said...

Yes, this is right up my alley.
I am no fan of Piers Morgan, but when it came to the gun control debate and his feelings about it,
I believed in what he was saying
100% and I didn't resent it that he compared England to the USA.
Having been to London twice, the Bobbies or police, just carry clubs, even in airports!
It was the Obama Administration that failed terribly to pass any legislation after Sandy Hook, nothing, nada, zip, and that will be the Obama legacy, unfortunately.
It was HIS biggest failure and I don't want to hear it was Congress. A stronger more hands on President who didn't delegate, would have gotten it done.
Obama has said "We lead from behind." Ridiculous!
As for Pier's and his anomosity towards Anderson.....some of it is true. AC is a great field reporter, but as an anchor, and or talk show host, well, Piers has a point. That's why Anderson stayed at CNN and CNN bosses did try to get Megyn Kelly, but Roger Ailes knew when he had a star.
Ailes knows talent. Sorry.

Jaanza said...

Sorry, Piers Morgan, you're no Larry King.
However, Morgan is right when he stated CNN made Anderson the foundation its primetime. That's because Anderson is still CNN's biggest star. Also, it's true Anderson is often better as a field reporter with a big story than he is as an anchor on a slow news day.
Morgan is being a whiny baby; Anderson should just ignore him and his tweets.

Having said that, Thursday's 360 didn't start out too good. Again, I was late, getting to 360 three minutes in when Anderson was talking to a female reporter about ebola in Spain. Then came a very deja vu report from Elizabeth Cohen on how Thomas Duncan was treated at the Dallas hospital. But later the panel was different, this time Sanjay Gupta was there with Seema Yasmin.
Meanwhile Hayes was covering the latest 'teenager shot dead by cop' story in St. Louis and revisiting the latest in the Michael Brown grand jury investigation.

Susan Candiotti was back for the story on the Hammond IN police officer who smashed a car window and tasered the guy in the passenger seat. Candiotti reported on an excessive force incident the same cop had back in 2006 with Yolanda Gray. Sunny Hostin and Mark O'Mara paneled and talked about police forces and relations with blacks.
Hayes covered the Secret Service sex scandal.
Looking at just the first two segments, Hayes' news felt a whole lot newer than Anderson's news.

360 devoted an entire segment to the news that the suspect, Martin, in UVA student Hannah Graham's disappearance, had his taxicab seized by the police. This news could have been boiled down to a blip in the Bulletin, which came at the end of this segment.

I didn't have a problem with Poppy Harlow's report at the time it was broadcast. Harlow covered the story of a woman, Candance Anderson, whose boyfriend was killed when she crashed her GM car into a tree. Candance was convicted of a lesser manslaughter charge but is trying to get that erased due to new findings regarding the faults of certain GM cars. It was a good report but not earthshattering and certainly not Breaking News.

Breaking News came after the Harlow report. At :51 into the hour, Anderson finally got to the Breaking News of the St. Louis shooting. I barely paid attention to Anderson's questions to Jason Carroll because I was wondering why this Breaking News came after the Harlow report.

There was a Ridiculist at the end of the show. Not one of the better ones unless you really really like scatological juvenile humor (it was about a Seattle guy caught shitting on a stranger's lawn). Maybe I was simply not in the right frame of mind to enjoy the topic.
It would be awesome if Anderosn devoted a Ridiculist to cutting down Morgan, even though I just said Morgan should be ignored. I'm imaging some Monty Python-inspired snides like "Twit of the Year" and "You're one of the most boring, tedious, monotonous, cloth-eared, flatulent, swivel-eyed, fornicating little gits I've ever laid my eyes on!" If Anderson's going to respond to Morgan, he's got to make it count.

Anonymous said...

Piers is a smug little twit, who always has a smirk on his face. While I don't always like the direction 360 takes I still think it is a lot better than say AB. And it isn't Anderson who first deemed the show the centerpiece for the evening line up it was Jon Klein. Personally I think if Klein would not have pushed Anderson into the spotlight after Katrina things would be different. Piers seems to be blaming everyone but himself for his shows shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

I tried watching Piers Morgan on many occasions and it was unbearable. He is so smug, very weak looking and has no charisma. He can not blame Anderson for that.

aries moon said...

Piers Morgan is doing himself no favors by publicly trashing Anderson and trying to bait him into a response. Regardless of Anderson's ratings, Piers has only himself to blame for his inability to attract viewers. When he started at CNN he used to boast that he would make CNN #1 all on his own--he bragged about his interviewing skills and how big stars and major political figures would be a nightly part of his show--that rarely happened and we were left with Piers and his obnoxious personality. For all of Anderson's ratings issues, he does have respect as a reporter and a fan base that's fairly loyal AND Anderson is actually likable--can't say the same for Piers. That Tweet about Anderson not being able to fight his own battles was particularly low and shows Piers for the unappealing bully that he is. Whether AC responds to this mess or not, he is clearly the better person in this scenario. I'm wondering how AC feels about Jeff Zucker now. I'm more convinced than ever that AC should've left CNN when he had the chance. I agree with ATA that Anderson could easily rip Piers up with one devastating tweet or statement if he wanted to--he certainly deserves it now.

Anonymous said...

Am in agreement with most of what what was said about Piers Morgan.
He was not a likeable personality,
and he was arogant to boot.
But he did bring the gun issue front and center, and for that he should be given credit.
Anderson, for all those "loyal" fans, can never be pinned down to any issue, other than gay rights.
He's sympathetic when he needs to be, but stays far away from any sort of platform to call his own.
And while some may say, that's the way management likes it, viewers like to know which side of the fence HE leans one here can actually say "they know him."
This is the major reason Fox News will keep on winning the ratings war. They have star power galore and they all lean right....whether we like it or not. And viewers by the truckload seem to like it.

Anonymous said...

I remember all of CNN & Piers' hype when promoting his program before it aired. He said on several occasions that he was hired to turn CNN around. Guess what? It was apparent after week one that that wasn't going to happen, yet I believe Zucker gave him a one year extension on his original contract that was signed by Jon Klein just before his departure. Zucker should have been looking for a replacement for Piers as one of his first actions, but instead he invested his time and effort on an unsuccessful morning program - so now CNN is a mess in all time slots. The small success with original programming is not news content and doesn't belong on a news network, IMO. There is talent at CNN but it's obvious Zucker doesn't know how to use it. His constantly changing schedule in prime time will never build ratings.

I tried to watch Piers' program once, when George Clooney was a guest and couldn't make it through the hour. I'm a big fan of George, but Piers made it all about himself and it was too sickening to watch. I never bothered to turn on his program again.

CNN made a huge mistake the way they treated Larry King. And IMO Anderson would have been perfect for that time slot and format. Instead, Anderson got moved to 8pmET and has suffered the rating consequences of that move. I believe that Anderson was ready for a change and Larry's format would have allowed him to do in-depth interviews, yet travel/report on breaking news stories. Piers was horrible when there was breaking news and didn't last long anchoring when major news broke.

Piers is about where he belongs. The MailOnLine is about equal to the National Enquirer when it comes to accuracy in reporting. It's a sensationalist rag that will print about anything to grab a reader's attention.

As much as I'd like to see Anderson rip Piers on Twitter, I don't think it will happen. I think Anderson is taking the high road and not stooping to Piers' level.

-- Jenn

Anonymous said...

First off, I'd like to address the person who posts that they would like to see 60 Minutes give Anderson the boot. Why? Anderson is now on his 9th year as a part time contributor for the show. He isnt even listed as a full time correspondent. He works for CNN. He does maybe 9 segments over a 10 month period for CBS/60 Minutes. And it bothers you that much? Geez! It does take a genius to figure out how he may have gotten a slot. Gloria and Nancy Reagan are like sisters. Nancy Reagan and Mike Wallace were very close friends. Was there a bit of prodding to get Anderson on that show? We'll probably never know. But he does a good job. And just to clarify, Steve Croft has done his share of celebrity interviews despite what a previous had denied. Lebron James and Clint Eastwood come to mind. Scott Pelley interviewed Hugh Jackman last year. A bit of trivia... Anderson, Steve Kroft, and Lara Logan have one of the most watched 60 Minutes shows ever. 17.9 million people tuned in on October 6, 2013. Now to Mr. Morgan. It also doesnt take a genius to figure out that he is only doing this to draw attention to whatever new venture he has going. Would he have drawn as much attention if he had taken a swipe at Wolf or Jake Tapper? No. As someone said on another post today, Anderson stays out of trouble (no tapping of celebrity phone lines), has no criminal record, doesnt create controversy, and doesnt make inflammatory remarks about other people unless prodded (ala Rush Limbaugh and Star Jones). To finish, sometimes I wonder when I read the posts on ATA if Anderson ever comes on this website and has a look at what we are saying?

Anonymous said...

Thank you anon: 9:14 AM: Finally someone intimated that Anderson "had connections."
Yes, it is true that Nancy Regan and Gloria were close, BUT I doubt
if the "Regan connection" got him his job with 60 Minutes.
Anderson could write a book on "networking." Let's try, hello, Barry Diller, ding dong.
Anyone home?
Now there's someone in media that AC hooked up with a LONG time ago, and it wasn't by accident.
The name Vanderbilt didn't get him his job at CNN, but something tells me, media honcho Barry, did.
As for 60 Minutes, CBS thought they had a "Woodstein" after AC told off Mary Landieu or whoever, during Katrina, HE got it because of his, have to say, field reporting.
As for his being a good replacement for Larry King,.....dream on. His talkshow was a bummer. How quickly we forget. But then again, how many "sharks at sea" can you interview?

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of Cooper with the popcorn. If I remember right that was when Rosie O was feuding with Donald Trump. Classic Anderson stuff that we see way to little of these days.

aries moon said...

I think AC would've been great as a replacement for Larry King too, he's good at interviewing celebs and politicians and the format would've given him a little more latitude than he has on 360. I didn't always care for his talkshow, but Anderson can be a very good interviewer.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed Anderson's talk show. I think that Anderson would be better with a format like CNN Tonight. It seems like they have more interesting guests than on Anderson's show. I am not fond of Don or the new anchor Alison.

Anonymous said...

No, Anderson is just where he should be, sitting in the anchor chair getting feeds or tweets from
sources he doesn't have to chase.
And the occasional something on 60
Minutes which has no depth, other than the ocean.
And there is always a murder, or death by disease victim whose family member needs comforting, and he can supply the needed rhetorical phrase: "So how does that make you feel?"
Some day someone may even surprise him and say, "Good."