Thursday, August 14, 2014

From the ATA Archives: Anderson Cooper Dives With Sharks, Part 2

With Anderson being MIA from the AC360 anchor chair and this being the Discovery Channel's Shark Week, we again went to the ATA archives.  Anderson's 60 Minutes report from December 2011 was filmed in Cuba and again included diving with sharks!  ~

Part 1 ~

Part 2 ~

Extras from ~



Correspondent Candid:

Anderson Cooper: Swimming with sharks
Swimming with sharks is perhaps something you never get used to, even though CNN's Anderson Cooper has done his share of it for 60 Minutes, including up close and personal with the fearsome Great White shark last year in South Africa.

But still, nothing could prepare Anderson or producers Andy Court and Anya Bourg for the sheer number of sharks they encountered off the coast of Cuba for this week's 60 Minutes story, "The Gardens of the Queen."

"You're on a boat. You're in the middle of nowhere, and you see these enormous sharks in the water," Andy tells Overtime producer David Rubin. "They're basically circling your boat. They say, you know, 'sharks do not consider humans food. You don't have to worry.' You're like, that's good, that's great. But did all the sharks get the memo?"

Clearly the sharks didn't get the memo about not stealing the scene from the correspondent, because as you'll see on Overtime, one swam between Anderson and the camera as they were shooting a stand-up - making it clear who the star was of that shot.

"The sharks were so close, you are tempted to reach out and touch them," Anderson says. "And I did reach out at one point . . . and then I think I thought better of it."

What does it take to get ready for an underwater, shark-infested, 60 Minutes shoot?

On Overtime you'll see what our team had to learn before heading off to Cuba. Anderson had to practice using new mask technology that allowed him to speak and record his voice underwater. Producer Anya Bourg was a skilled swimmer, but had never before gone scuba diving. And producer Andy Court not only had to learn scuba from scratch, but also had to endure a lot of ribbing from Anderson, who isn't quite ready to declare Andy the next Jacques Cousteau.

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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Jaanza said...

Just to warn everybody ahead of time: this post has nothing to do with the shark videos.

A poster (Anonymous) in yesterday's ATA said Anderson is in South Africa. Vacation? Work? In the city? Out in the far nature preserves away from internet connections? Maybe a distant corner of the Kruger?
That would explain the lack of commuication from Anderson. He doesn't have to keep in touch with anybody when he's on vacation but as Aries Moon pointed out in ATA's Tuesday post, it's odd he didn't make some comment on Robin Williams' death. Everybody who's had any contact with Williams have said something but maybe we'll have to wait until Monday until Anderson comments.

Aries Moon also pointed out how Anderson in the past would go to any troubled area, even quitting vacation time to do it. He did that in 2005, dropping out of a Croatian vacation once it became known how badass Hurricane Katrina was going to be.

Thursday I watched a bit of Blitzer and a lot of Hayes. More on that in a moment. First a word of advice to Erin Burnett. I caught the last minute of Burnett's show and would like to tell her that if you're wearing a top with a deep v-neck, don't lean forward. If you wear that top again on the air, use double-sided tape to keep the neckline in place.

For both Blitzer and Hayes, Ferguson MO was the big story. in 360's first segment, Blitzer spoke with a CNN reporter in Ferguson, I think he was Miguel Marquez but I'm not sure. Blitzer and possibly-Marquez spoke for a few minutes and that was it.
Meanwhile Hayes was IN Ferguson MO, near the site where Michael Brown was killed and in the middle of a crowd of Ferguson citizens. For his entire show, Hayes anchored from that Ferguson street, talking to a Missouri State Senator, a local newspaper reporter and all kinds of ordinary folks.

When Blitzer spoke with people of Ferguson it was via satellite. He also spoke with two in-studio panels and later on to Jake Tapper who was in Ferguson (don't know what happened to possibly-Marquez). At one point Tapper said that somebody (didn't hear who) was in town, walking the street and talking to people. A local politician? A police official? I'm certain Tapper didn't mean Hayes who was on the street talking to people.

Although Blitzer did interview Michael Brown's family and a few other Ferguson folks, it's way more compelling, for me at least, to see the anchor at the scene. Like Hayes was, right in the middle of the action acting very Anderson-Cooperish.

It would be awesome to see Anderson do the same. But it's already too late in the week. Hopefully, he'll be able to get to the next big big story.

Anonymous said...

Anderson has a habit of going off the grid when he's unhappy with CNN decisions. This week's absence smacks of that. Could it be he was angry at being pulled out of Israel last week whileTapper stayed? Or that Wolf was there for weeks and Coop was pulled after a few days even after his PR person had Tweeted he'd be there all week? Or could it be that CNN hired David Gregory and he's getting a prime time spot and that threatens AC's top dog status? Maybe the dear ladies who write this blog will share their opinions?

Phebe said...

@anonymous 1:20AM, While I don't blog much at ATA anymore I do want to put in my 2 cents on this topic. I agree with you that Anderson's MO is often to be MIA when something unsettling is going on behind the scenes. He's usually MIA for staff firings, changes in producers, frustration with management, his coming out announcement, etc. While I have no idea why he's gone this week, and for all I know this could have been a scheduled vacation or a 60 Minutes shoot, it still makes me wonder what's up.

aries moon said...

As Jaanza said, Chris Hayes was definitely doing an Anderson on his show being in the thick of things in Ferguson--he'd tweeted that he might do his show from there, but I wasn't sure if he would--it does make a big difference to be on the scene when reporting. I didn't watch 360 because as Jenn said the other day, Wolf is just so stiff and lifeless--it's hard to sit through an hour of him.

The Friday before AC took off, he seemed to make a point to thank viewers for choosing AC360 to watch the week's big stories and I thought that was sort of odd for him to make that kind of a statement since it's not something he normally does--I'm probably reading too much into it, but I do wonder if there may be some truth to what 1:20 am has said. I guess we'll see what happens soon enough. Ugh, David Gregory on CNN, no.

BTW, thank you for posting this episode of 60 Minutes, it is one of Anderson's better reports, really interesting and the underwater scenes are stunning.

Anonymous said...

if you read transcript from last Friday too, when he was thanking people for watching all week, he said he would see us on Monday like he used to do a long time ago. So you all might be right, he got pissed and decided to take vacation.

Anonymous said...

aries moon I also noticed that CNN has a new commercial, but it is minus AC, just saying.

aries moon said...

Interesting anon 9:18 am...

Once again, I may be only be jumping to conclusions and everything could be fine with AC and CNN, but he had already taken a week's vacation in July and unless I'm mistaken, he doesn't usually take vacations so close together. He has vacationed in August every now and then but not usually after having already taken one in July.

Anonymous said...

I think that Anderson is probably shooting a story for 60 Minutes. I wish he would hurry back because I can not watch his show with Wolf Blitzer and Don Lemon. This is not fair reporting.

Anonymous said...

I'm still finding it odd that he never once tweeted anything about Robin Williams suicide.
What's up with that?
Even if you're angry with management, AC knew him, interviewed him, and his own brother died the same way.
Where's his outpouring of sympathy now???