Saturday, December 27, 2008

High School Flashback

If you haven't seen it yet, a couple of old pictures of Anderson from his Dalton yearbook have been making the rounds on the internet this week.

This next pic has to be from his early teen years.

Here is an article along with a nice pic that Cyn found on the LA Times website written by Choire Sicha who used to be an editor at Gawker. Refreshingly, it isn't full of the usual stock answers he gives. Midway through he has a 2 minute "off the record" conversation. I wonder what that's all about?! Here's the article.

Anderson Cooper: It's news to him

The versatile CNN anchor-reporter says there aren't enough hours in the day to cover every story he'd like to go out on.

By Choire Sicha
December 28, 2008

In addition to his duties hosting " Anderson Cooper 360°" on CNN from 10 p.m. to midnight, Cooper reports for " 60 Minutes." He is also CNN's Mr. New Year's Eve.

What's life like after the election?

I think it's maybe different for viewers, but it's not that different for us. It's kind of the same level of intensity. And with the economic collapse, that's something that's taken up a lot of our attention post-election.

You don't have to wrangle as many crowds.

I liked the wrangling. I miss our nightly meetings with 20 different analysts. I was joking with some of them that I feel like we should convene panels in my home on the weekends and go over polls that don't exist.

This year we saw the rise of Rachel Maddow and Campbell Brown -- very opinionated. You haven't succumbed too much. Do you have plans to?

I have no plans to, no. I think those people are really good at what they do. Rachel Maddow is an incredible talent -- she's funny, and smart, obviously well researched on subjects. I'm just not interested as a viewer in listening to anchors' opinions. It seems like there's an awful lot of yelling, and this year yelling's been replaced by sarcasm and snark-iness.

How do you like your slot?

My time slot? I've never really thought much about it, honestly.

But often it seems as if you end up with news that's not really breaking. You end up with day-end stuff, and I feel that it doesn't necessarily serve you.

When there's breaking news we try to have it be something that's occurred within the last two, three hours. If you notice on a lot of other networks, they have something called "breaking today." Which, to me, I think that's called news? I don't quite understand how people get away with "breaking today," but that's become a mainstay of MSNBC and others.

Can I say something off the record?

Yeah, sure!

[Two minutes later.] But you don't have a Twitter feed yet.

I think I do have a Twitter feed! I'm not as Twitter-friendly as [CNN anchor/correspondent] Rick Sanchez. He seems to be tweeting and twittering. I'm hoping he'll give me a lesson on it someday.

And your blog goes un-updated because you have a job.

Frankly, I've not blogged as much this past couple of months. But there are days when you have time, there's days when you don't. The biggest mistake you can possibly make is having someone write something as if it's you, and we would never do that. There are some of these things I read elsewhere and I'm like really, huh, OK.

Oh, that is Puff Daddy, don't worry, it's not an impersonator.

Is he Puff Daddy still? I think you're in early 2006.

Why don't you quit your job and start a website?

I'm not that computer-savvy. And, uh, I dunno! I like the immediacy of television. I like going to a frontline, I like going to a story. I like the immediacy and impact of it. There's a real global impact with CNN.

You do have mass distribution, which is nice. Fair enough.

It's not really about mass distribution. It's more about just telling stories that affect people's lives. . . . There's a lot of opportunities at CNN that if I had a little website somewhere I don't think I could take part in.

Arianna and Tina would tell you different.

I don't have the energy of Arianna Huffington or Tina Brown.

No one does, they're psychotic. What's the most under-covered story of '08?

I think the war in Afghanistan. It's very difficult, very dangerous, costs a lot of money to cover it. For myself, I've been planning trips to Afghanistan this past year, and each time it's gotten canceled or postponed because of the election.

It'll still be going on.

I also am obsessed with the situation in the Eastern Congo. Not many people are. It's the deadliest conflict since World War II. It's up to 5 1/2 or 6 million people who've died in the last 10 years. And virtually no one has covered it. . . . The mass rapes in the Congo. . . . I just can't help but believe that if that people knew about it there'd be a huge uproar. Tens of thousands of women have been raped, and the majority of them have been gang-raped.

That's why I'm saying, quit your job. You can do all that -- and no election.

There's plenty of blogs that write about Eastern Congo, and how many of them have you actually read? You're citing Arianna Huffington and Tina Brown -- both have huge money behind them and a staff of great writers and they're both incredibly talented people. But I actually like going to stories.

I thought I'd end my post with a couple of smilin' Anderpics...

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

All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.


ACAnderFan said...

Anderson was such a cute kid. I especialy like the second one. I like his freckles.

I read that article earlier this evening and it's a good one. It's nice to hear him not giving his usual answers. I wonder what the off the record comment was. It would be interesing to know what he was saying.

Nice smiling AC pics. He has the best smile.

Anonymous said...

Quitty: Thank you for the interesting interview, but in all fairness, "When was the last time Anderson actually "went," to a story?" I'm not including 60 Minutes here. There you HAVE to go to the story.
When Anderson first broke Katrina, we all had great hopes he'd be the next "Woodstein." Bill Maher even congratulated him by saying,"We've finally got our press back." (This is paraphrased.) Well, update: He has become, not the roving responsible journalist he once was, but a TV-anchor "personality."
Bob Woodward wouldn't be caught dead doing R&K or have laugh-ins with Kathy Griffin. Serious jounalists do serious things and he no longer does that. I'm not the only one who has become completely disillusioned. I hope AC proves me wrong in the new year.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the "off the record" stuff related to potential breaking news twitters or similar. Something might be in the works regarding technology and viewer interaction. This is just a combo of the interview (timed well) plus the publicity of new assignment of DR during the week, digital producer gets publicity for what?
Maybe I just like a good conspiracy theory.

The comments about being techophobic are getting old.

Anonymous said...

@Anony 12:15am
ouch matey

Anonymous said...

Anderson has always been a funny guy who likes joking around. He did goofy late night and the Mole. He obviously loves spending time with Kelly and Kathy Griffin on air. He's not Bob Woodward, he's his own person.

Bill Maher was admiring him for telling some people off during Katrina because Bill Maher loves confrontation. Bill was complaining all the time how boring Obama was and how he wanted Obama to attack (when instead he kept talking about agreement and cooperation).

Anderson actually has to get approval to be able to go to stories, and he said himself in the article the couple of Afghanistan trips he had managed to arrange this past year were cancelled by CNN. The big story and big rating of the year were in the primaries and the election, and CNN understandably wanted their top people on that. CNN is only going to allow so much funding and airtime for his globe trotting, and it is neither his or their fault that very few people will watch coverage of troubles in Africa. He did manage to go the story this year for some Planet on Peril pieces. He's a man in his 40s with job commitments and organizational bureaucracy, though, not a reckless kid with a fake press pass and a camcorder.

There are many 60 Minutes pieces where the reporter goes no distance at all, most of them I would say. Anderson has spent vacations pursuing stories of personal interest to him on Congo and Niger.

Relatively Speaking said...

Um, AC criticizing other networks about their Breaking News segments is, well, ironic. We all know that 90% Breaking News on AC360 is something that has been on the CNN website for like 8 hours.

Also, if AC is wondering, we would LOVE if we get more reporting from DR Congo. He's been talking about this in interviews and stuff, but hasn't covered much on AC360 itself. What gives ?

Anonymous said...

Its really weird reading an an interview between these two - for those that don't know, Choire was the Managing Editor for Gawker for some time.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:15 AM, I'm actually glad that Anderson can be both serious and goofy. That's one of the reasons why I like him. You don't have to be serious and uptight in order to gain respect. Anyway, I'm not sure it's his goal in life to be the next "(fill in the blank)."

Kristien said...

Thanks for the interview Quitty and Cyn!
That picture is gorgeous!

I also like the yearbook pics, he does look cute in them.
I wonder why somebody wrote "Mary had a little lamb, the doctor fainted" to got with his pic.

Anonymous said...

Aww, I didn't know he was a Yankee's fan! This makes me love him even more :D

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12:15-I agree to a point. But I don't see any reason he can't do R &K AND go *to* stories. With the election over, maybe he'll be out in the field more. Or maybe he was burned out from going in the field? Seems to have happened to him a couple of times in his career. JMO

Anonymous said...

anon 12:15 AM: I agree about Anderson being too much of a personality and not a news journalist. It is like he can't decide what he wants to be. I realize he enjoys R&K and New Years (which, by the way, he never liked NYE before until he started doing it for CNN, a TOTALLY different thing than normal NYE activities, he is standing on a protected platform on TV and escorted in and out, never dealing with the crowds. I would like it too if I was doing that).

He seems to like the "sensationalism" (if that is the right word) of doing fun stuff too.

remember that drunk girls story he told on R&K? People over the internet talked about it for days like they did the Lindsay Lohan and NeNe comments - I wonder if he just says these things for just that reason - to keep people talking like that (and, yes, I think perhaps he made up the drunk girls story).

Seems he's on the cover of more magazines than Katie Couric and Brian Williams et al.

ACAnderFan said...

@anonymous 12:15am, I too wish Anderson would report from the field more often, but we don't know what's going on in his life. There could be something going on and becuase of that he isn't able to report from the field like he used to.
Also just because he goes on R&K and does NYE with Kathy Griffin dosnen't make him any less of a serious journalist. He's just having a little fun and showing his lighter side which we don't get to see very often.

Anonymous said...

"The versatile CNN anchor-reporter says there aren't enough hours in the day to cover every story he'd like to go out on."

An interesting comment considering he never goes anywhere anymore, except apparently on vacation.

ACAnderFan said...

I think it's pretty sad that CNN would cancel Anderson's trips to Afghanistan becuase of the stupid election. I am sorry but the election was not the major event of 2008. There are other things going on. Hopefully in 2009 he will be able to go.

aries moon said...

I thought for certain I submitted a comment on this in the wee hours of the morning, but let me try again.

Edward R. Murrow was considered one of the most serious of serious journalists, but he had a celebrity interview show on the air at the same time he had another program that covered issues as controversial as McCarthyism. Brian Williams has hosted Saturday Night Live and is still a well respected reporter. Anderson's occasional forays into R&K and Kathy Griffin territory have not made his reporting on genocide, rape and famine in Africa or the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq or the US political scene less credible. Those of us who've watched him over the years know that he's capable of fine reporting. The fact that he is so versatile is not a liability, but simply another interesting and appealing facet of his talents. CNN is probably appreciative of the attention that Anderson's out of studio appearances bring as well. It's possible that time constraints or budget issues have prevented him from doing as much field work as he'd like, but we'll see what happens in 2009.

I would love to know what he said off the record in that article, but oh well.

Anonymous said...

In the archives of articles about Anderson, I found one dated 3/10/2004 written by Choire Sicha when he was at the NY Observer. It is titled "Mr. Anderson Cooper, Superstar". Perhaps the Blog Goddesses can find it in the Observer archive and post it? A nice walk down memory lane and readers now will hear a lot of stuff he is still saying today.
Rick's deal from 3 pm to 4 pm is CNN's attempt to be hip and tech friendly. We'll have to wait and see how that goes over.
Thanks for those terrific pictures of AC in his earlier years.
I've also wondered why 360 isn't covering more world news and esp the situation in the DR Congo.
What about the pirates off the east coast of Africa? Why were the citizens forced to turn to piracy? Even China has been forced to send ships to the area to protect the shipping lanes! Scary situation.
happy new year to all of you, whether you're watching the NYEve show or not (I'm not, don't like Kathy Griffin--she's not funny, but to each her or his own).

Anonymous said...

Do you all think he'll be on Monday? I miss him...

olsond said...

I like to see both sides of Anderson - serious and R&K funny. It just makes him more interesting. I also would like to see him in the field, but so much has been going on right here, I bet TPTB want him at the desk.

Thanks to whoever adds puzzles to Jigzone. I love them and spend way too much time playing over there!

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:00 AM Glad you agree with me and I know we are not alone. I'm also glad I got people talking. Must have struck a nerve.
In my world there's no good reason to speak to Kathy Griffin....ever.
anon: 12:15 AM

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I totally agree with 12:15 AM. It seems as though AC has totally embraced the idea of becoming the next high paid television personality and that at times he is bored with his own profession. Yes, I agree that he does show versatiltiy and there's nothing wrong with that, but let's not forget he left television news once before to beome, the mole. It's almost as though he hasn't decided what he wants to be when he "grows up."

aries moon said...

'm also glad I got people talking. Must have struck a nerve.
In my world there's no good reason to speak to Kathy Griffin....ever.

If by "struck a nerve" you're implying that those of us who disagree with you actually see a grain of truth in what you're saying about Anderson, then speaking for myself alone, the answer is no.

Kathy Griffin is a blast MY world will be no doubt filled with laughter when I watch Kathy and AC's antics on NYE.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Quitty for that fabulous article grab and the PICTURE! OMG, Andy is really maturing into the most gorgeous creature! (as if he weren't already heartbreakingly beautiful). Next to the B&W head shot he did for Men's Health Best Life, this is his best photo in a long time. M-mmmm-mmm, Andy!

Interesting article too. Didn't you love his avoidance of praise for Campbell Brown? She'll be taking matrnity leave soon, I hope.

Is it New Years Eve yet?? Can't get here soon enough.

Wow! I just reviewed the commentary. Come on, people, it's Andy - not Walter Cronkite. Is he a sensitive, capable journalist? Yes. Has he been sort of hog-tied by CNN as their Thinking Person's Glamour Puss at 10:00 pm? Yes. Which would you rather do - see him 5 nights per week, plus specials now and then, or see him once a month or less with some field piece, or sharing screen space with Michel Ware and Nick Robertson? You can't have both.

Personally, I'd like to see sort of a "late night" with Anderson Cooper - a mix of Leno humor and snarky asides, and Fareed Zakaria's amazing global contacts. Andy's "cat herding" skills would be put to good use, and he could have the Scissor Sisters as his live band! Yeh!

M in Oregon

Anonymous said...

They were discussing Tina Brown, not Campbell Brown.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 5:02 - I believe they were discussing both. The part I was referring to was the question about how anchors were getting so opinionated and the interviewer brought up Campbel Brown and Rachel Maddow as examples of aggressive women with opinions. Andy responded he thought Rachel Maddow was intelligent, etc. He wen on to say, later, that Ariana Huffinton and Tina Brown had more energy than he did - in the context of running a website.

Thanks for your comment, though.

M in Oregon

Anonymous said...

The few times I've listened to Rachel Maddow I've not found her interesting, and I'm perplexed as to why she's so popular. Having said that, it is not surprising why Anderson appreciates her.