Monday, March 31, 2008

To Everything There Is A Season.....

As you can see, there have been a few changes made here at "ATA". After much debate, we've decided to change the focus of the blog to John Roberts. This wasn't an easy decision for us, but it's become obvious that we've loss our bliss with Anderson Cooper and AC360. The nonstop political coverage has just made blogging the program too difficult.
We knew it was time for a change when we realized that the conversations in the ATA office have become more and more focused on John Roberts and American Morning. We're not exactly sure when the shift started to occur….it was gradual. I think the week before last, when JR was on vacation from American Morning, was what finally pushed us over the edge. We found ourselves watching vintage JR over and over and over.

So after going through JR withdrawal for a week - we knew we had to do something. This wasn't an easy decision and we feel like we've let you down, but we've prided ourselves on being honest with our readers. Look for a redesign here at ATA (or ATJR, as it will be known from here on out). For now we'll just get by with a slightly amened banner and a promise of better things to come in the next few weeks.

So lets get this party is a bit more vintage JR for your enjoyment!

If you still aren't feeling the JR love we've got one more little John Roberts gem for you. He's being featured this week (what a lucky coincidence for us) in TV Guide! Just follow the link to read more about the object of our affection.
So bear with our work in progress and give JR some time to grow on you, as he has grown on all of us. Our sister blog, All Things CNN, will remain unchanged. We'll still be providing information there about all of the CNN correspondents including Anderson Cooper.

Of course, things here at All Things Anderson will be back to normal tomorrow since all of this is just part of our April Fool's Day celebration. You do realize that it's April 1st, right?

Great thanks to my partners in crime Book Asylum and Cyn. Enjoy your day and we hope to see you back here soon. ~ Phebe

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

Sunday, March 30, 2008


(Photo credit: WireImage)

Anderson attended the 22nd Genesis Awards on Saturday evening at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

The Genesis Awards, presented by The Hollywood Office of The HSUS pays tribute to the major news and entertainment media for producing outstanding works in television, film, print and the arts which raise public understanding of animal issues. Genesis Awards are presented annually at a star-studded ceremony drawing representatives from the media, entertainment, social, business and humane communities.

Planet in Peril won the Outstanding TV Documentary Award. For a daring undercover investigation into the pervasive and illegal trade of exotic animals in Thailand's street markets. (Source: LA Times)

For a full list of the nominees click here.

For a list of the winners click here.

(Photo credit: WireImage)

Planet in Peril wasn't the only project that Anderson had contributed to that won an award. In the Outstanding TV Newsmagazine - National category, CBS's 60 Minutes won for multiple episodes. Here's how the LA Times described the award:For a series of unparalleled reports on the world's endangered wildlife, including elephants caught in an ivory war on the Sudan border, and the decimation of the gentle mountain gorillas of Africa.

Thie week's recap of 360 in :60 includes two episodes with Anderson.

Your puzzle this time is a picture from last week's 60 Minutes interview that Anderson did with David Beckham.

I'll leave you tonight with a couple more pictures from the Genesis Awards.

(Photo credit: WireImage)

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

Taking the Political Relative to the Nth Degree

Gas is at an all time high, fighting is escalating in Basra, and the number of foreclosures is going up, up, up. Instead of the mainstream media covering these headlines, they are instead covering the petty fighting between Hillary and Obama. They are diverting attention from themselves by digging up junk on each other in the hopes it will be the next headline.

The latest diversion tactic was Hillary saying "{Wright} would not have been my pastor. You know, we don't have a choice when it comes to our relatives. We have a choice when it comes to our pastors and the churches we attend. ... Everyone will have to decide these matters for themselves. They are obviously very personal matters ... I think the choice would be clear for me." This reminds me of all of the dirt that has been brought up over the years on different politician's relatives.

Back during the 2004 Presidential election Anderson did an Nth Degree on the subject of political relatives. Here's the clip.

Tonight taking the political relative to the Nth degree. They say you can choose your friends but not your relatives and nowhere is that better demonstrated than in the rough-and-tumble world of politics. Every election year it seems along with the details of where candidates stand on free trade and flat taxes, we also find out the sordid details of their nearest and greatest. Remember Billy carter, lobbying for Libya, brandishing Billy Beer. Then came Neil Bush and Roger Clinton.

This week the next installment of oh, brother. The press has swarmed over details about John Edwards' brother Wesley Blake. The "New York Daily News" reports that WBE has numerous arrests for driving under the influence. But in this day and age does anyone really care? Republicans and Democrats, who doesn't have some skeletons in their family's closet? In fact, a few familiar mess ups make today's plastic politicians at least seem a little bit more human.

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

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oh Friday!!!

Hello everyone. What a week! Anderson was in LA again tonight and I was in New York for three days so unfortunately I have no cool Anderson sightings to share. Anderson should be back in New York for Monday and he apologized to Larry for keeping it so cold over in the LA studios.

Friday’s 360 started with Ali Velshi speaking with Anderson over the phone about breaking news that the White House will be unveiling plans on Monday to help the shaky US economy involving the US Federal Reserve.

Politics was up next. Obama started his bus tour in Pennsylvania, Clinton is getting pushed to quit the race and McCain released his first general election ad. Jessica Yellin brought us the story of some senators who are pushing for Clinton to leave the race.

Anderson spoke with Candy Crowley (in again during her vacation) and Mark Halperin about Clinton eventually quitting the race.

Randi Kaye spoke with Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell about some comments he made about whites voting or not voting for Barack Obama. I don’t think he was trying to be racist but I don’t think he was completely correct either. It is true Hillary Clinton leads among the white voters but Obama has a number of white people who are voting for him as well.

Candy and Mark joined Anderson again to talk about the Rendell comments. I enjoyed Anderson’s tilt of the head when Mark said that this political season is getting more coverage then OJ and Anna Nicole combined by people like him (meaning Anderson???)

Gary Tuchman did a piece on the Michigan Primary redo no-go. Legislators Buzz Thomas and Tupac Hunter want to split the delegates in Michigan. In this matter, I don't care who it helps, Michagin and Florida broke the rules and they knew it. Now they are paying the price.

Anderson and Erica were so great tonight. Obviously both are glad it is Friday! Anderson did not think he would be able to get through What Were They Thinking but always the professional, Anderson made it through. Although the insight of Wolf and Lou’s concerned conversation over body piercings and going through the airport was too funny. What is even funnier is Anderson made it through the nipple ring segment but had a hard time with the two cats who scared the bear in Tonight’s Shot. It most certainly has been a long week.

Anderson spoke with Randi Kaye and Jeffrey Toobin about the story that aired on Wednesday night about the former Wal Mart employee Debbie Shank who is being sued by Wal Mart to recuperate money used to pay bills from a settlement the Shanks received due to the accident. This story is just horrible. Wal Mart is not going to go bust over 200,000 dollars. I personally am not a huge Wal Mart shopper, maybe twice a year I actually go and buy things there. After a story like this it does not make me want to shop there any more at all.

Kara Finnstorm did a follow up on the young football star who was murdered steps away from his home. Apparently the man who is accused of shooting Jamiel Shaw Jr. was released from jail the day before the shooting. What is even sadder is the gunman is an illegal immigrant who lied on jail forms which allowed him to be released from the jail. It really is a very sad story.

In hour two Dan Simon brought us a Planet in Peril piece about the grey wolves in Yellow Stone Park. The wolves were taken off the Endangered Species Act's "threatened" list so if the wolves leave the park, they can be shot. It is heartbreaking to think that someone could shot this beautiful animal. It is nice to see continued coverage of Planet in Peril.

That is all I have for Friday night’s 360. I will be back again next Friday ~ Sapphire

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

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Politics, Iraq and Going Hollywood?

Politics, politics, politics. I'm a little weary of the discussion, so I hope you will forgive me for skipping over the first 30 minutes or so of Thursday's program. What did catch my attention was Candy Crowley's little hint to Anderson that she deserves some flowers.

AC "Candy is it true you came in this week, on your vacation, to talk with us?"

CC "I..I...I did. Flowers will be fine."

AC "OK, I appreciate that."

Now what do you think the chances are that Anderson Cooper will follow through with flowers for the fabulous Candy Crowley? Yea, that's what I think too, so here Ms. Crowley are your flowers from your admirers at All Things Anderson.
I would love to know if CC found the time during her 'vacation' to finally take down those Christmas decorations? Maybe that would be fair payback for AC. Take time from his next vacation to help Ms. Crowley get those lights off the eaves!

Erica Hill did the interview with Michael Ware tonight on the upsurge of violence in Iraq. MW explained that this began as an Iraqi government offensive in the southern, oil-rich city of Basra. The real target was the Mehdi militia who are loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Erica pointed out that over 16,000 of the Iraqi military in Basra are loyal to the very group they are supposed to be fighting. Michael explained that most of the military are either Sunni insurgents put in uniform, trained and paid by the US or they are local militia forces backed by Iran.

This story and its twists and turns is something I wish we would hear more of on AC360. Unlike the silly political 'he said, she said', this is the real raw politics. Thank you Erica Hill and Michael Ware. If you are interested in reading more about the back-story on Basra here's a link to a extremely interesting article from August 2005 Washington

Real or Rumor?

Now onto a little lighter fare. Our friend Peter at ACE posted a link the other day to JFX's story about the new Will Ferrell movie, Land of the Lost. Anderson Cooper is slated to play himself and interview Stephen Hawking on a fictional episode of AC360. I say this one is real.

Then there was the story the other day that had AC appearing as a guest star on Desperate Housewives with Larry King and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. This one seemed a little more far fetched to me. But it was reported by Susan Adams at, so you be the judge. Real or Rumor?

Does any of this explain AC in LA for most of the week? Who knows? But it does lead us to Leno. Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

I'm not sure what next week will bring. Anderson is scheduled to co-host Friday on Live with Regis and Kelly. Will he be back in NYC, or has he truly 'gone Hollywood'? Stay tuned! ~Phebe

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday's Wrap-Up

Wednesday's AC360 started out a little on the weak side with a very confusing set of poll numbers being discussed by Anderson and Bill Schneider. And it seemed that those doing the reporting were as befuddled as I was. This led into a piece by Jessica Yellin on the Clinton campaign and one by Suzanne Malveaux on Obama.

Tonight's panel was a bit of a change up. Maybe CNN heard all those complaints about Lanny and Carl (more on dear Carl in a bit)? We had Obama supporter Jamal Simmons (are there no other Obama supports willing to come on AC360?), Time magazine's Mark Halperin, and senior Cinton advisor Kiki MClean. I cannot tell you how Kiki made my night. She frustrated the hell out of Jamal and maybe even Anderson. She stayed on message.....maybe a little too on message. AC didn't get a straight answer out of her all night. I'm sure you Obama supporters will hate her, but I thought her slap downs, accompanied by a wide grin, were just priceless. I'd love to see her back, but I'm not counting on it.

I'm going to cover the second half of the program in bullet points because I got a little distracted and my notes are sketchy at best.
•How disturbing was the Bimbo website? 'What were they thinking' is right.

•The John McCain piece seemed to go on forever. I did like Erica's breakdown of just where the candidates stand. It seems the more Obama and HRC talk the more difference we can find in their positions.
• The Walmart story was heartbreaking but not all that surprising. Most insurances require payback if you receive a settlement. By recouping this money they can keep premiums down for other employees. It's not fair but then were is it written that life is fair? I have a feeling Walmart will quietly capitulate but it will set a mighty precedent that may come back to haunt them in the future.
I wanted to add my two cents into the discussion about the entry by Carl Bernstein on Wednesday's AC360 blog. I was repulsed to read Mr. Bernstein's character assassination of Mrs. Clinton. I have no idea who, if anyone, gave him permission to post an opinion piece like that on Anderson Cooper's blog, but in my opinion it was clearly out of place and crossed the line of good journalism.
I think our good friend Annie Kate said it best in her comment on the post:
Shouldn’t your piece be labeled as an op-ed piece or commentary; your article isn’t a presentation of facts but an interpretation of facts by yourself. Some of what you say may be accurate but isn’t it time for the press and the commentators to let the voters make up their own mind? Why this pressing need to push HRC out of the election now? There are still primaries to be had and if I were one of the voters in those primaries I would want a choice - not a coronation.
We all at some point or another tell lies. We all see ourselves as we want to be rather than how others see us. Its just human. While I would prefer that everyone stuck with the truth I know that its not going to happen and to be quite truthful I’m far more comfortable with Hilliary’s exaggerations and misstatements than I am with OBama attending a church for 20 years where the pastor exhorts the Christian god to damn America. While that may be old news as Anderson said last night - the memory echoes still.

Now onto a bit of lighter news I meant to post the other night but I forgot. Do you remember the 360 Beat of Bill Clinton signing an admirers cast?
It reminded me of an 8 year old's cast that Anderson signed in Chicago during his book signing tour in June 2006. How cute is that?
Don't forget to set those TIVO's and VCR's for Thursday night's Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I will include the clip in my Friday post, that is if the Blogger God smiles down on me. Enjoy your day. ~ Phebe

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

Dancing with the Candidates

So you caught me...I spent my Tuesday evening switching channels between AC360 and Dancing With The Stars. It struck me somewhere between Hillary's dancing around the truth and Obama's dancing around Hillary's softshoe that there isn't that much difference between a Presidential campaign and a celebrity dance competition. Well, maybe one is a lot more interesting, but everyone is just dancin' their little hearts out!

We've got lots to cover tonight, so let's get to it. Anderson anchored AC360 from the West Coast on Tuesday night. We know he has an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Thursday this week, so the switch to the LA studios was not unexpected.
Tuesday's panel discussion centered on Hillary's oops and her attempt to divert attention away from her little white lie and back onto Senator Obama's former pastor Dr. Wright. Doing the dissection of the day's events were Jamal Simmons, Lanny Davis and Time's Joe Klein.
I'm disappointed in HRC's exaggeration of her experience in Bosnia in 1996. But I'm in total agreement with her that Barack should have walked away from a church if he didn't agree with the message being preached to parishioners.

I'm going to go a little off message here, at least as far as blogging the McCain segment presented by Dana Bash. I was struck by McCain's comments that there would be no bailout by his administration for home owners who have over-borrowed and lenders who have over-lent. He said "I've always been committed to the principal that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers." Oh really, Senator McCain? Is that right? Then how do you explain your participation in the collapse of Lincoln Savings and Loan in the 1980s that resulted in a $3.4 billion bailout by the United States government? John McCain was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for his part in this fiasco as part of 'The Keating Five'.
It struck me as so ironic to see Mrs. Reagan giving her endorsement to the man who dragged her husband's administration into a debacle that should never have happened.

There were a few fun moments in a rather serious (aren't they all) interview with Michael Ware. Turns out it was the Aussie's birthday and AC delivered his best wishes. Just in case you were wondering, our resident MW expert tells me it was Michael's 39th! Happy Birthday MW!

I've got another video I want to share with you that I found very, very amusing. It's a gotcha moment between John Roberts and Bill Richardson that happened on American Morning on Monday. It's one of those rare times that a politician is cornered and he tries to dance as fast as he can but he can't get out of that corner. I really enjoyed this interview and I think you will, too. Thanks to Cyn for the upload assistance.

A note to any of you Elton John fans. Elton is giving a concert in support of the Clinton campaign on April 9th in New York City. The Clinton campaign is giving tickets and a trip to 2 lucky campaign donors. If you're interested in learning more follow the link and good luck.

And last but not least is the Rating Guru's look at Sunday night's CBS 60 Minutes ratings. I hope to see you back here tomorrow. ~ Phebe

60 MINUTES – A Good Performance …^
(Viewership is very low on holidays and there was cable competition)

Courtesy: 60 Minutes

I know, some will say “excuses, excuses” with a decent lead-in from an NCAA Basketball game overrun. But there are multiple reasons to take into consideration for a program’s performance.

*Basketball is not the skew of the 60 Minutes audience. A soccer feature is not going to hold that audience when it is the last story on the program. You might say the delay in the start of 60 MINUTES might help since more audience tunes in more at 8PM than at 7PM, but with a holiday, the hour probably didn’t make any difference.

*Easter has some of the lowest viewership levels of holidays.

*Cable had two specials of note that would draw higher than normal audiences – JOHN ADAMS on HBO which attracts the desired 60 MINUTES audience and the SOUND OF MUSIC on ABC Family – a perennial family audience holiday favorite.

*Viewership overall is not high in late March due to rerun programming on broadcast along with not having brought “eyeballs” back to television due to the long writer’s strike. Original, first run episodes will begin to air with regularity the first week of April for most networks. Again, unusual because of the strike, as April is usually a rerun month as well. People are “trained” to tune out during certain months of the year.

Courtesy: 60 Minutes

In keeping with the 60 MINUTES tradition of offering a mix of investigational, topical news and profiles of people in the public eye, Anderson Cooper presented an inside view to what brought British soccer star, David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy. The program delivered 10.26 million viewers Total Audience 2+ with a 6.5 Household Rating and an 11 Household Share. This is just slightly lower than the 60 MINUTES which aired up against the Oscar broadcast and was the last time the program carried an AC story. It was the #2 program for CBS for the week of March 17, 2008 and the #2 program in the time period – 8PM on Sunday night for broadcast television.

Courtesy: 60 Minutes

Since the soccer season starts next week, the timing of this piece is great promotion for Major League Soccer and a reminder to fans that Beckham is no longer injured. Some of you commented on why soccer isn’t more popular in the U.S. Having worked in major sports, I can tell you the single biggest factor in driving audiences to a sport is regularly scheduled broadcast or basic cable television airings. Soccer is mostly carried on digital channels making it financially out of reach for fans unless they can pay the cable or satellite monthly higher tier price. The World Cup or soccer events are sometimes carried on easily accessed channels, but they are scheduled haphazardly and that causes fans to miss out if they are not promoted and advertised extensively.

The second reason was correctly stated that once kids playing soccer become interested in baseball and football (American, that is), the participation in the sport is decimated. This is the other single biggest factor in the success of the sport – consistent participation for ages at least under 35. And girls, well, by the age of 12, soccer participation diminishes greatly as well for a variety of activities. We know by television viewing patterns, if there is no participation (vicarious or otherwise) in the sport and if it isn’t programmed consistently (think football, every Sunday in the fall) the sport becomes low interest. You saw in the piece, David Beckham conducting a “clinic” for young kids. Major League Soccer is trying to get them interested and committed young, but the challenge is to hold them as they grow into their teens. Simon Fuller, David Beckham’s manager and Anschultz Entertainment Group’s (Galaxy owner) President Tim Lieweke, who was featured in the AC piece, are betting the Galaxy can lead the charge. Cooper gave us some interesting “nuggets” of information with the financial deal – wow – a cut of concessions and merchandise. I would be interested to know what Major League Baseball and Football think of that for their players! Stay tuned.

^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics and Household information where noted; Fast Track Nationals only; final audience subject to change.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Well, Anderson broke my heart tonight (and y'all know why... *shaking fist at satellite link to Amman*) So I decided to overindulge. Not on booze, not on chocolate bunnies... on screengrabs! Yup, if I'm going to wallow in misery, I'm takin' all of you with me! Gonna be a heck of a hangover tomorrow, but what a way to go!

First up tonight was some Breaking News about another foot-in-mouth candidate moment. Hey, we've all know people pad their resumes (usually because they don't have the experience required) but if you're going to be under the scrutiny of the entire media, you'd best get your story straight. Candy Crowley, Jeffrey Toobin, and Joe Klein weigh in.

"It's Getting Dirty" could cover so very much of this "silly season," couldn't it?

James Carville is yet another Clinton advisor who I am now questioning whether he has just been in the game too long. Seriously: you want to make the Judas comment on Easter weekend? You think that isn't offensive? And does that make Hillary the Christ figure? Or are you implying that Richardson's endorsement was bought? Colorful is one thing; stupid is just plain stupid.

(Although I do give James props for at least standing up and making it clear that he wasn't misquoted, said what he meant to say, and doesn't regret any of it.)

Okay, the new pastor at Obama's church? Needs to meet Carville. Hyperbole, thy name is politics mixed with religion. Anyone remember Jesus' teaching about rendering unto Caesar vs. rendering unto God? Seriously, let's not mix these up; it just gets ugly. (Although I am the first to say that I do not have the proper cred to fairly comment on black churches in America.)

McCain wanted to become a Dem? Back when (as Lewis Black said) he was sane? Wish we'd gotten ahold of him, it might have saved him from the Falwell-embracing, Baghdad-strolling embarrassment of these past couple of years. (Maybe we should we go after Chuck Hagel now, before it's too late for him, too...?)

The 4,000 US deaths in Iraq milestone was hit yesterday, and as distasteful as it is to reduce the brave men and women to numbers, it is something that must be acknowledged. Anderson teased a discussion with both Michael Ware and Peter Bergen about it.

Michael was on NewsRoom yesterday evening (right before leaving for the airport, as it turns out) to discuss the day we knew was coming; tonight they lost the satellite link to him, but Anderson did speak with Professor Bergen about it:

The final piece was about the arrest today of a suspect in the two-year-old murder of millionaire Andrew Kissel.

How often do we hear that the cops focus on one suspect and ignore all others? When is it that infamous "rush to judgement" and when is it dogged detective work?

Okay, sorry... no Shot tonight and even the WWTT segment was just blah. Do we really need to see the nuttiness of Filene's Basement every year? New Yorkers, get over it. You look stupid. Seriously.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Since we're all up-to-here with the dirty/nasty/silly politics, I just wanted to celebrate the best political ads of the year. Thank you Garth, Ben, Joaquin, Reese, Morgan, Jeremy, Hilary...

Hope I didn't overdose you too much...! I may not have gotten what I wanted tonight, but I hope you guys did!

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