Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Anderson Cooper 360 on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Anderson Cooper anchored AC360 in the 8pm and 9pmET hours from the NYC studio.  The second half of the second hour is every reason that AC360 going down to one hour is a good idea.  Anderson lost control of the panel and it was a hot mess.

Anderson and Andy posted the following video to their Instagram accounts today.

The Saturday, April 14th show in Chicago is sold out.  It was also announced today that Anderson's April 15th appearance/speaking engagement at the Bergen Performing Arts Center has been cancelled due to a scheduling conflict. 

Anderson did a couple interviews for the upcoming AC2 Live shows ~

First from the Toronto Star:
Anderson Cooper is the face of serious news, but he’s bringing his ‘fun’ side to Toronto Anderson Cooper and longtime friend Andy Cohen head to the Sony Centre March 24 to talk about world events and pop culture.
By TONY WONGTelevision Critic Mon., March 19, 2018

Anderson Cooper is CNN.

And the network is seeing soaring ratings under Donald Trump’s presidency, with Cooper at the helm as the most recognizable face of the brand.

However, his own brand extends beyond the news channel: Cooper, 50, is also familiar to viewers as a correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes. (His highly anticipated interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels over her alleged affair with U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to air on that show March 25.)

Television was never far from Cooper’s life: the Yale graduate’s exposure started at the age of 3, as a guest on The Tonight Show with his mother, socialite Gloria Vanderbilt. (His ancestors include Cornelius Vanderbilt, the shipping and railroad tycoon who founded the family fortune.)

Cooper is at Toronto’s Sony Centre March 24 with longtime friend and Bravo TV host Andy Cohen, the executive producer of the Real Housewives franchise, to talk about world events and pop culture in their first foray across the border.

AC2: Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen is billed as a night of “deep talk and shallow tales.”

The Star talked to Cooper about his talk show tour and the state of journalism in perilous times. The interview (which was conducted before Cooper talked to Daniels) has been condensed and edited.

First of all, I don’t think I’ve watched as much CNN in my life. Just when I’m about to watch Game of Thrones, your president does something crazy. Can you tell him to slow things down? We run on a more leisurely news cycle north of the border.

(Laughs) It’s really been non-stop the last two years. What’s amazing is that normally you work all day for a broadcast for the night and then you have to throw it out. The show we were working on yesterday got scrapped because the New York Times broke a story around 10 p.m. or so, and we ended up going live with breaking news.

How did the talk show tour come about? You know critics have Andy to thank for begetting the Real Housewives franchise. And now we have the Real Housewives of Toronto and Vancouver. But I hear when he first met you he apparently just wanted to date that Vanderbilt boy.

Someone tried to set us up on a blind date that never happened. And we became great friends. We had the same circle of friends and started hanging out. He was a young producer at CBS News and I was a young correspondent at ABC News. I did an interview with him one time in New York about his book and it was so much fun. My agent was there and he said Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller used to go on this tour. It never occurred to us to do something like that. But we’ve done 30 or 40 shows already and we keep going.

I once asked Dan Rather, who was fired from his job for getting a fact wrong on 60 Minutes, whether journalists are held to a higher standard than presidential candidates. That was just before the election. And since then, CNN has also fired journalists that didn’t get it right. What do you think of the situation now? Are you held to a higher standard than the White House and should you be?

I wouldn’t necessarily compare standards. But journalists should absolutely be held to the highest standard. It’s important that we’re correct and we’re right. At CNN we work very hard to make sure that happens. If a mistake happens you apologize for it and fix it as soon as you can. And make sure it doesn’t happen again.

This is my pet peeve, and I’m sure you heard this before, but if someone is lying, whether it’s Democrat, Republican or the president, why don’t you just say they’re lying, instead of using euphemisms such as “falsehoods”? Why sugar-coat it?

We do use the word lie. But you have to use it pretty selectively. A lie implies intent. It implies a desire to manipulate the facts. Sometimes it’s hard to know for sure whether it’s a misunderstanding or something more deliberate unless you’re in somebody’s head or you can prove a clear trail that somebody knows something demonstrably false. That to me is a pretty high bar. But I’ve certainly said people have lied when we know for sure.

Your boss, Jeff Zucker, hired Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as an analyst for CNN while, at the same time, he was still being paid by the Trump administration. So there you had someone who really wasn’t an analyst but a propagandist elevated on the same platform as someone relatively more objective. And there are other examples where CNN has put so-called analysts on air who are clearly shills. Does this kind of false equivalency damage the journalism you’re trying to do? How does that sit with you?

I certainly think CNN has a variety of people on the air. Some of them are objective analysts, some of them have affiliations. But we can make the same argument there are plenty of people at other networks who have worked for campaigns or are associated with campaigns. It’s important to have voices of people who have experience and who represent different points of view. And I understand if some viewers don’t like that, but I have no problem with people giving their view as long as they’re identified properly.

But it must be frustrating for you to hear these kinds of entrenched views, where guests deflect without answering the question.

I don’t know if frustrated is the right word. You’re trying to do things in a reasonable way and it can be difficult. I always want people to be saying things that are accurate and that also accurately represents what they believe. But my job is to facilitate a conversation between people of opposing viewpoints.

Brandon Griesemer of Novi, Mich., made more than 20 calls to CNN with death threats recently. Have you personally had death threats over the coverage of the president and do you believe Donald Trump is perhaps indirectly responsible for this kind of reaction to the news media?

I’ve had death threats certainly over many years. I wouldn’t attribute this to any particular case or situation, but I’ve certainly had threats over the years.

We’re living in more partisan times. Are the days of the neutral, take-no-sides Walter Cronkite type anchor over? It seems that everyone has to have an opinion, everyone editorializes and now we expect that from our anchors.

I’m sort of old school. I try not to wear my opinion on my sleeve. But I try very hard to represent different sides of a debate. I don’t really express my opinion very often. I will challenge someone with facts. But it’s not my job to challenge someone with opinion. There’s plenty of shows that do that. And as an anchor your job is just to report facts and let people decide.

Some days, given the language flying on the airwaves, I feel like I’m watching a Saturday Night Live parody. Now that you’re allowed to say “sh--hole” on the air, how much fun is that?

I wouldn’t say it’s fun. But I can tell you it’s an exciting time to be in the news business, that’s for sure.

So what can we expect when you and Andy finally decamp in Toronto?

One of the great things about the tour is getting to know the city with one of your best friends. Andy likes to go days early to, as he says, “suss it out.” I’m not sure what that means. But I fully expect Andy will “suss out” Toronto for several days before I arrive. I really love Toronto, I think it’s a great city, but I don’t think Andy knows it very well, so I’m excited to bring him there.

But it’s not really about politics. People have enough of politics. It’s a night of fun. It’s just hanging out with us. We’re telling stories from the world of pop culture and news. It’s really designed just to make people laugh. Andy always says it’s the best version of me, because it’s a side that friends see of me when we hang out.

AC2: Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen is at the Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., on March 24 at 8 p.m. See sonycentre.ca for information.

And from the Orlando Sentinel:

Anderson Cooper talks Stormy, 'SNL,' keeping them honest 
By Hal Boedeker
Contact Reporter Orlando Sentinel

When Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen bring their stage show to Orlando in June, the CNN anchor could be talking about Stormy Daniels.

“We’ll see what happens,” the CNN anchor said Monday. “I like to incorporate all the stuff that’s going on in our lives. I’m sure Andy will ask me about it. Andy always likes to stir the pot. Andy always likes to try to get me in trouble with what I talk about onstage.”

Adult film actress Daniels is a major story these days. She has alleged she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006. The Wall Street Journal reported that she was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about the affair shortly before the 2016 election.

Cooper has an interview with Daniels for “60 Minutes.”

“It’s scheduled to run this Sunday. It’s all I can say,” Cooper said.

“AC2: An Intimate Evening With Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen” is set for June 16 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. The evening is about fun and laughter, not politics, Cooper said.

That was true when the two men brought the show to Orlando as a fundraiser after the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016. Cooper and “Watch What Happens Live” host Cohen also take questions from the audience.

CNN last week announced that Cooper’s “AC360,” which airs at 8 weeknights, will be reduced to one hour this spring to make room for Chris Cuomo at 9.

“I totally think it’s a great thing,” Cooper said. “I’m happy not to be doing two hours every night. Two hours in a row is a lot of live television. I think Chris is a great voice to have in prime time. It brings great energy to our prime time.”

Cooper added that the two-hour schedule was never supposed to be a permanent thing and started after the Malaysia jetliner went missing in 2014.

“There started to be so much news, we just extended my hour in order to cover the news,” he said. “I’m happy to be able to go home at 9 o’clock and have dinner.”

Cooper is famous for the slogan “keeping them honest.” Is that harder these days?

“Yeah, it’s always hard. It’s a challenge,” he said. “We haven’t seen a time like this. I think it’s a particularly challenging time for journalism, all of us feel a responsibility to be accurate and fair. That’s what the job is.”

President Donald Trump has lambasted CNN regularly. Cooper explained his approach in polarized times.

“You focus on the facts, you focus on finding out the facts and holding people accountable for what they say,” he said. “If people are saying things that aren’t true, you point that out. I am a big believer in keeping your head down and just doing your job. Doing our job is holding this administration or any administration accountable.”

Cooper said he doesn’t approach the Trump administration any different than he did the Obama administration.

“My job is not to be friends with any administration or know these personally. My job is to report on them,” he said.

Cooper praised Alex Moffat’s performance as him on “Saturday Night Live.”

“I think it’s pretty straightforward. There’s not much to work with when you’re doing me. I think he does it really well,” Cooper said.

Why say there’s isn’t much to work with?

“I’m not giving my personal opinions, I’m not trying to foment arguments,” he said. “I’m kind of old school. I grew up watching the greats on the evening news. I believe in playing things down the middle.”

Cooper said there’s no reason to have Moffat on his CNN show. But the anchor added: “I’d love to meet him and maybe give him one of my ties. Seth Meyers was the first one to do me on ‘SNL.’ When he left, I was sad to see him go because nobody else would be doing me anymore. I’m glad somebody else has taken it up.”

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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