Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Didn't See That One Coming.

Before I start complaining about the Anderless AC360 on Thursday I have something new to share from the Planet in Peril site? Enjoy!

Wow! I didn’t see that one coming. When Soledad did the tease on LKL I was gobsmacked (to use an Andersonism). I turned the channel to Big Brother, but I kept switching back. I was just so sure he was going to be back in the studio tonight. Could it maybe be because he told us he was heading home? As he wrote in his blog post on Wednesday “But let's not forget that tomorrow the cameras will leave, the anchors will fly home (myself included), but the people and their problems will remain.” So if the anchors will fly home, himself included, then why wouldn’t I assume the vacation was over? I give up!

What I would have done if I was AC? I would have stayed in NOLA for this weekends Southern Decadence. What’s is Southern Decadence you ask?

The Southern Decadence celebration is a circus gone amok with wildly aberrant, unusual, motley, slightly crazy bunch of avant garde attitudes in drag; that congerie of costumed marchers who take to the streets of the French Quarter in a route only the Grand Marshal knows on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. These strange creatures arrive mostly to imbibe of the grape; mostly to be outrageous and have fun doing it.
Not even the fire from a dragon's breath would keep participants and watchers from assembling in the 1200 block of Royal Street on the first Sunday before Labor Day for a celebration that has gotten bigger and more wonderfully insane each year since its casual creation in 1972.
That day, usually between 10 a.m. and noon, an unknown quantity of men and women, Gay and
straight, begin to assemble at the corner of Royal and Barracks Streets. They will huddle on the banquette in front of a favorite Gay watering hole named the Golden Lantern, the Home of Southern Decadence, there for over 35 years. They will spill out into the street.
No one ever knows exactly how many will show up, but recent years have seen the numbers grow into the tens of thousands. By around noon traffic will have to slow down or detour because Royal Street will be overflowing with marchers mostly costumed in drag, scare drag and traditional drag, and any other kind of rig they can conjure up from their imaginations. You will see the playful, the whimsical, the pretty, the ugly, the satirical, the witty, and the obscene. But whatever you see, it will always be totally decadent. It's a scene from a
Technicolor Fellini film extemporaneously created. It's a happening of haberdashery fit for an LSD Alice In Wonderland. It's a casting call for Lord of the Rings.
When the time c
omes to march, the Grand Marshal blows his/her/its whistle and the whole drunken, rowdy group weaves its drunken way down the streets of the Quarter, one year cutting through St. Louis Basilica when a Mass was in progress, another year giving attitude to the tourists in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel, or on the Moonwalk, or wherever they can go. The secret route always depends entirely upon the imagination of the Grand Marshal. But it's always decadent, outrageous, and, of course, includes all the Gayle's bars and other favorites; it's always an extemporaneous demonstration of cutting edge freedom of expression, a walk on the wild side, a flourish, a smile, a brave conceit of the past.

Doesn’t sound like Anderson, but it does sound like fun to me.

A special thanks to Annie Kate for finding the link to an interview Anderson did on WWL radio in NOLA Wednesday. Enjoy!
Don't forget Tom Foreman's Anvil of God is on Friday night. Have a great weekend everyone.

credit for Southern Decadence information from author Keith I. Marszalek posted on August 28, 2007


Jennifer said...

Tonight I couldn't get into 360. To me it was nerve racking. I'm sick of hearing about Senator Larry Craig what he did was wrong lets move on. It gave me a headache all day by just listening to it.

360 is not the same without Anderson. Tonight's show is just not as good as last night show.

Anonymous said...

They might as well just rename Anderson Cooper 360° to JUST 360° because Anderson is hardly on anymore, and when he is, he's only for an hour. I think Anderson should slow down with his work, and stop 60 minutes and anything else he is working on, and just concentrate on doing his CNN show. The entire show needs a new look, new title, new everything. Maybe it would be better if Anderson went back to hosting an hour show rather than a two hour show.

Evelyn said...

You know, I had a sneaking suspicion that Anderson wasn't going to be in the studio tonight so I opted to go to ISU's season opener football game instead. Needless to say, we lost, AND I got an Anderless 360 :(

Soledad did a great job, but really the Larry Craig story is just old and being blown out of proportion. They spent well over half the show on him and I just didn't really care all that much to be honest.

I visited the PiP site the other day and saw that's wonderful, can't wait to see the doc in its entirety. I also downloaded the wallpapers; they're great pictures!

Thanks for that great radio interview AnnieKate! As I've said before...Anderson is always so empathetic, impassioned and fervent when speaking about Katrina, and I truly admire him for it.

I don't know about you ladies, but I think everyone associated with ATA should embark on a little vacation in NOLA to see the Southern Decadence :) Great post Phebe!

swmpratt said...

Agree - just not the same without Anderson. But I am looking forward to seeing Tom Foreman's anvil of God tomorrow night. I just hope there is no breaking news to knock it off again! This is what the 3rd try? Maybe that will be the charm.

Seems like a lot of scandals this year - Imus, now this Senator, the Vick case, etc etc. Is it really more or are we just hearing more than usual about them? I'd like some quiet for a while but I guess then AC wouldn't have anything to do! That wouldn't do at all!

Anonymous said...

That's an amazing song on the planet in peril preview. It really captures the feeling. Does anyone know what its called?

ACAnderFan said...

I didn't even watch 360 once I figured out that Andy wasn't going to be on I changed the channel.

@anonymous 10:22pm, I agree it should be called 360 not AC 360.

I have no idea why I actually thought that he might be on. From now on I am just going to assume that he is not going to be on...then if for some weird reason he is actually on it'll be a nice surprise.

I like the planet in peril trialer. Looks like it's going to be pretty good.

aries moon said...

Wednesday's NOLA show was excellent and AC had a great appearance on Oprah, so I didn't really get upset that he wasn't anchoring on Thursday, although it was a little surprising.

I'd love to see AC in one of those colorful Afro wigs that those guys at the Southern Decadence celebration have on! Yeah, like THAT would ever happen.

I'm looking forward to his return on 360 next week (hopefully) and his co-hosting stint on Regis & Kelly AND that Narco thing that he's hosting on CNN. We have a lot to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

Oprah said on her show that Anderson has been vacationing in NOLA this week so he. When he returns (I asuume) on Tuesday, it will have been almost two weeks he will have not been on the air. I am not going to count this last wednesday since it was barely worth watching.

beaslma said...

wow you guys are harsh. Doesn't the boy deserve breaks? I mean i flip a little more myself when he isn't there but i'm ok with it. Soledad did a great job last night. 360 is till a great place for new, AC or no AC. If you are watching just for AC are you really getting anything out of it?

That said SD is a blast. I went a year ago (not really knowing it was happening just went down to see the cost on the 1 yr mark) and ended up smack in the middle of SD. It's the most fun i've had in a long time. However i'm thinking the CNN brass wanted AC out of there asap. However there's a Fox anchor who goes EVERY year.

so yeah guys give them a break, even when AC isn't working, he's working so chill.

Anonymous said...

wonder if he came back so quickly for Kenny Chesney's concert in NYC

Anonymous said...

that video is amazing! is there a link for just the video? i'd like to share it with a few message boards that i post on :)

ACAnderFan said...

Well since Anderson can't even be bothered to show up for his own show anymore I am glad that CNN has finally decided to show Anvil of God. It should be good.

I think that 360 needs to take a look at its self and figure what its goal is...what direction do they want to take the show in becuase right now the only direction the show (and AC) are headed is rock bottom. Although maybe Andy and his show do need to hit rock bottom. Once you hit rock bottom the only way to go is up.

Phebe said...

Here's the link to the video Erin
As for the background music, I'm not sure who recorded it. I'll see if I can find out. It sets a great tone for the series, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Ann @ 10:22pm. When was the last time that Anderson actually hosted his show? I just do not understand what is going on. I mean, I know that it takes a lot of energy to do all of his specials and everything. Anderson deserves a break like everyone else, but this has been going on for a while. I have just been really disappointed with the show.

Acanderfan, I have to agree with you fully. I have been thinking the same thing about everyone at 360 needing to take a look at where they want to go with the show. There has just been so much going on, and they only cover a fraction of it. I know that people keep saying that his ratings have not been suffering that much, but I can not see how that is possible. I love Anderson's ability as much as everyone else here, but I know that it will not be long before I just completely quit tuning in.

Anonymous said...

The last time Anderson hosted 360 was on Wednesday, August 22. Personally, I am not to count August 29. That said, I will assume he will not return to his anchor chair until Tuesday, September 4, which is just a day short of being two weeks out of the anchor chair.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone watch the Diana memorial service this morning? I watched it on MSNBC because they played it in its entirety. Someone at the Sphere said they spotted Anderson standing with a group of other anchors there.

Anyone have any info on this or saw him?

Anonymous said...

Phebe, I'm pretty sure the background music is by Enya. I don't have a source for you, but I do have several of her albums & it sounds like her.

m.minkoff said...

You know, I think I heard Anderson say awhile ago that he was afraid to go on a vacation because he might find someone else at his desk when he came back - or something to that effect. Well, I'm a pretty level-headed person and I'm trying to be rational here, but the fact of the matter is that viewers, even dedicated viewers, can lose interest. So I think Anderson is taking a big risk in being away from his anchor desk for so long. That, combined, with the lousy programming that's occurred this summer, may lose him a lot of viewers. I personally am totally disgusted by the celebrity coverage on AC 360. It doesn't matter who is at fault, AC, execs, producers - I am just not interested. I want to see news, I want to hear about things that matter. An ordinary crime is an ordinary crime no matter who commits it. To cover Michael Vick instead of the earthquake in Peru was just indefensible. If AC 360 is going to be entertainment news, I'll watch something else. The problem is especially severe in a one hour show which is actually about 40 minutes minus the commercials. If 10 minutes is devoted to something like dog fighting, that leaves 30 minutes for the rest of the world's news. If it were a slow news night that would be one thing, but that is usually not the case. I really hope things improve in the fall or I'm going to be an ex 360 viewer.

In my personal opinion, Anderson gets bored with anchoring and needs a lot of variety in his work. That's fine for him, but if he thinks he can just anchor every now and then and throw together a crappy show which is pandering to ratings and still maintain loyal viewers, he is sadly mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Wow, m.minkoff, I could not have said it any better. I am still cheesed that Anderson devoted more time to Imus than the Peru earthquake, and how much about the war do we hear from Anderson? Not much. Geez, he devoted more time to Paris getting out of jail than he did to Hurricane Dean!!! Well, I am just all around disappointed. I am glad that I am not the only one!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 10:22, maybe the show should be 120 since Anderson as definitely not been giving us a 360 view lately!!!!!

ACAnderFan said...

I think it's safe to say that alot of us are disspointed in AC and 360. m.minkoff, I agree with you.

I just can't believe that Anderson has the audacity to just show up and anchor whenever he pleases and to give us mediocre shows and still think that he'll have fans. If he dosen't watch out he is going to lose fans and if he loeses enough of them it's very real that 360 could be cancled. I hope that never happens though.

I hate to be so negative towards Andy and 360 but sometimes the truth hurts. I only hope that Andy and 360 can get their act together before it is too late.

Phebe said...

Just a quick note to ask that you all be respectful of other's opinions. I've had to reject a few comments today. Not really because they criticized the blog (we're pretty thick skinned), but because they were critical of other commenters. We're all entitled to our opinions, just keep them friendly, please.

sydney said...

I wasn't the least bit surprised that Anderson wasn't there - disappointed, yes, but not at all surprised.

As far as last night's show is concerned, Anderson or no Anderson wasn't really the point for me, it was that they spent more than 1/2 of that measley 1 hour on a "story" that's not only getting old but, in the grand scheme of things, is not that important. It really dampened my enthusiasm - even Raw Politics couldn't cheer me up.

I really liked the Heroes segment at the end of the 2nd hour, but that was about it.

sydney said...

Oh yeah, I first caught the trailer on the 360 blog yesterday. I guess it did its job - I'm all pumped up for PIP now! I'll just have to make sure not to compare it to Planet Earth on Discovery, because that was outstanding.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to the bloggers who are critical of Anderson's vacation time, I have a different perspective. Vacation time is a standard part of employment and usually accrued according to the number of years employed. Anderson's contract may also include comp vacation time for hours traveling. He works hard without complaint for a good 11 months of the year. Most of the main anchors on TV take at least two weeks in August. ( I read that somewhere) Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs have been off about two weeks this month. Anderson has had his vacation interrupted several times over the last several years. As much as I miss Anderson anchoring his show, he needs vacation time and is entitled to it.
As far as AC/360 goes I enjoy the show and leave it to the experts and those rating viewer numbers to determine the quality of the show.
I watch it because I like him and the show. Most of us do not watch TV all day and do not see things over and over again so it is fresh for me at 10 ET.
There is data out there that says the average American watches about 15 minutes of news daily and repetitive and taped programs are scheduled accordingly.
Hopefully Anderson will be back next week and we, (his loyal fans), will all be happy again.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if Cooper is on or not... The show is the problem! Is it good to watch him anchoring his own program? Sure, it is. However, AC360 has been such a complete waste of time lately. Not even his telegenic image will fix the "entertainment" problems CNN is currently suffering of.

And yes, "to cover Michael Vick instead of the earthquake in Peru was indefensible." M.minkoff couldn't be more right

m.minkoff said...

@anonymous 3:34PM, I don't begrudge Anderson his vacation time. The quality of the program in recent months is my biggest concern. I don't watch tv all day and cannot speak for anyone else. In fact AC 360 is one of the very few tv shows I watch at all. I do get news from the Internet, but I watch Ac 360 for more in depth accounts of stories that matter. I especially have appreciated the Keeping Them Honest segments. I do get unhappy with the program when major stories such as Hurricane Dean and the earthquake in Peru are given little coverage. I get unhappy with 360 when celebrity stories go on for days and days when a brief mention would have been enough. We all know that GVS beats 360 in the ratings most nights with her heavy emphasis on crime and celebrities. Sometimes I have to wonder if 360 hasn't adopted a "If you can't beat them, join them" mentality. But it sure would be a waste of the immense talent of Anderson Cooper if that is what the show is to become. I wouldn't be participating in this blog if I didn't admire Anderson Cooper. But that doesn't mean that I will continue to watch his show if it is boring, repetitive, or mindless.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:34pm

You have an execellent point!! That is the best advise that I've read. He is entitled to take the two weeks vacation altogther including several comp days during the summer.

Let's see what's happening for this coming fall. I am sure he will be back anchoring his show for a full hour or two.

Hearing impaired gal

swmpratt said...

Thank you Anon @3:34 - very well said.

I know we are all disappointed that we did not see Anderson. But he is entitled to vacation - how would you feel if people jumped up and down and got mad when you took YOUR vacation?

He works hard. Sometimes the shows are not as good as others - but then sometimes the news is not as interesting as other times.

Give the man a break - ask yourself this - would you rather not see him for a week or two while he vacations and recharges his batteries or not see him at all because he burned out and quit? He could always get a job doing something well paid where he is not visible to us AT ALL.

Just remember - it could be worse. Now enjoy your holiday! I plan to!!

Unknown said...

Why does everyone just ASSUME what Anderson is doing? None of us work at CNN. The man isn't perfect but he works ALL the time why isn't he entitled to a week or two off? He works during most of his vacation. When he is working, doing stories or traveling that is considered "working". Just because we don't see him doesn't mean he's lounging around in his PJ's at home saying "screw my audience I'm staying home today"
What else do people want from him? Why not make him work weekends on the air so he'll never have time off.

Everytime he's away or on vacation people start getting upset about him not being on. Why ASSUME the worst about him? I never understand why people that are his fans alway assume the worst thing about him and 360. None of us know what's going on so why just automatically think it's something negative. Until we know what's going on I just assume he's working his butt of as usual or taking a much needed vacation. He's a grown man and knows what he's doing.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Purple tie... well said.

Anonymous said...

thank you phebe!!!

and i just want to say i agree w/ the last anonymous who said AC is entitled to a vacation and i also agree 100% with purple tie.

Anonymous said...

You know, I have no problem with Anderson taking a vacation. Anderson is one of the hardest working people in news, and he deserves a break like everyone.

Vacation or whatever aside, you can not deny that the show has not been up to par lately. No, I do not know what is going on behind the scenes at CNN. But, what could be going in that has been bringing down the show so badly? I really do not think that it has anything to do with Anderson being on vacation. In the past, every time that there was a sub, the show still met the same standards. But lately, the show has not been great even with Anderson there. It has to be more than just that. I mean, Lou Dobbs has been away from his show for a while now, but it has still been as informative as always!

I hate to say that watching 360 has been a waste of time lately, but it has been for me. (Please, don't shoot!) Any show that gives me more information about Don Imus and Michael Vick than the Peru earthquake and a major hurricane is a waste of my time! I just hope that Anderson and the crew gets the rest that they deserve and the show is restored to what it once was. I think that is something that we all can agree on! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

He doesn't work as hard as you think, pt.

swmpratt said...

I don't know how many of you watched Anvil of God but it was an amazing special. Tom Foreman did a masterful job of presenting the battle of Falluja and the soldiers in Bravo company that fought in it. He gave a good understandable overview of the battle and then gave enough of some of the individual soldiers to get you involved in it.

I don't think I have seen a special this good in a long time - I realized at times I wasn't even breathing.

If you missed it watch it when it repeats. Its a magnificent piece o work. Hooray for Tom Foreman!

aries moon said...

Anvil of God was engrossing, disturbing and sad. This is the type of programming CNN does best as well as Christiane's God's Warriors series.

Anonymous said...

Tom Foreman should be given a show on his own. He's been the star with Raw Politics during these terrible times AC360 is going through.

Some people seem not to be reading into what most of us are trying to express. They seem to be more interested about AC's whereabouts, if he got tanned, if he's finally rested, etc. I personally don't care if I don't see Anderson on; he could take a month leave if he so wishes (and I think he deserves it). The programming of his show has gone down hill, it is complete recycling of the most absurd celebrity stories, almost no attention to really worthwhile matters...

The responsibility for the lack of substance is not Anderson's absence. Even with him anchoring, the show isn't what it used to be. It is far from it. There was a time when 360 was refreshing, different, a must see. Nowadays, I find myself no longer expecting to be informed. It is as some of us has said, a complete waste of time. A mere resemblance of the E channel.

"Who are they going to talk about now? Maybe Beckham's knee surgery and his enraged fans, Britney's new baby, rudi giuliani's gay affair?"

What kind of disaster will have to go on for them to actually modify their agendas from egocentric American figures to human beings who need their story told?

The show's ratings seem to have risen in the last three weeks, probably due to this entertainment disease gripping cnn, let us just hope it is not permanent, and news will be news again.