Monday, February 29, 2016

Anderson Cooper 360 on Monday, February 29, 2016

Anderson Cooper anchored an expanded two hour edition of AC360 from Washington, DC on Monday night.  The talk was all politics (mostly Republican) ahead of tomorrow's Super Tuesday primaries.  There was an interview with the wife of "he who shall not be named" but fortunately, Anderson did find time to include news of President Obama honoring U. S. Navy SEAL Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Ed Byers with the Medal of Honor for a civilian hostage rescue mission of a doctor in Afghanistan in 2012.   Byers record includes 11 overseas deployments, 9 combat tours, 5 Bronze Stars with valor and 2 Purple Hearts.

Several photos were posted to social media of Anderson's "conversation" with students at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs in DC at 5pm today:

Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 8:55 p.m.
Cooper talks politics, sexuality at Lisner 
by The GW Hatchet

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper speaks to School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Joseph Politano.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper found himself answering questions instead of asking them Monday, when he spoke in front of a full house in Lisner Auditorium with School of Media and Public Affairs director Frank Sesno.

The award-winning reporter discussed his experiences covering difficult topics in journalism and politics and his role as an openly gay media figure. The conversation touched on topics like the 2016 election, Hurricane Katrina, and wars in the Middle East, and was sponsored by SMPA and the student group Allied in Pride.

Before introducing Cooper, Sesno announced a screening of the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, which won for Best Picture Sunday night. Two of the journalists depicted in the film will be present at the April 14 screening, including Marty Baron, the current executive editor of The Washington Post.

Sesno also announced a $50,000 gift recently donated to SMPA by an alumnus for the Career Access Network, which officially started last semester.

Here are some takeaways from the conversation:

1. Challenging facts, not opinions 
Cooper, who had just come from an interview with Melania Trump, the wife of presidential candidate Donald Trump, explained the challenges and merits of interviewing people with controversial viewpoints.

Cooper said he prefers to confront interviewees on facts rather than differing ideological stances. He shared his experience visiting a Pizza Hut with a group of Neo-Nazis.

“Obviously, these are people who I do not share their opinions, and they clearly do not share my various interests,” Cooper said. “But I don’t believe in necessarily confronting someone just because I disagree with them.”

2. ‘The greatest blessing’ 
Cooper, who came out publicly in 2012, is one of the few openly gay figures in the news media. He said there were challenges in being a gay member of the media, but that he felt he was a better journalist because of his sexuality.

“I think being gay for me is one of the greatest blessings of my life,” Cooper said. “It’s made me such a better person than I would have otherwise been.”

He said his sexuality has given him a unique vantage point of society, allowing him to better understand privilege and marginalizations than if he were straight.

“I would have been a child of privilege, with all the advantages of that privilege, without perhaps much of an understanding of what discrimination is like or an understanding of what limitations are like,” Cooper said.

3. An age of information
Cooper told the audience that the massive amount of information currently available puts them in a position to educate themselves about the world better than those from past generations.

He said while many refer to the days of Walter Cronkite as “the golden age of news,” that the in-depth, constant reporting by networks like his own CNN are more thorough, even if not everyone is watching the hour-long documentaries that he and others put out.

“You have the ability to be more educated than any previous generation in history, and I think that’s an extraordinary thing,” Cooper said. “For all of our hand-wringing and looking back, we’re doing hours and hours of discussion on the minutia of politics every single night.”
(Please click on link for the original article.)

Anderson Cooper in Lisner Auditorium on Feb. 29, 2016. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor Anderson Cooper shared his experiences as one of CNN’s top anchors. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

Anderson stopped to take a photo with a fan on the streets of DC on Sunday.

Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer led CNN's Saturday night coverage of the Democratic Primary in South Carolina.  Anderson moderated large panels and with results called early, there was a lot of interesting panel discussion.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Anderson Cooper 360 on Friday, February 26, 2016

Anderson Cooper anchored an expanded edition AC360 from the Washington, DC Bureau on Friday night.  Much of the program was devoted to Republican political coverage.  There was a little Dem coverage in the second hour along with a short piece on the shooting of the day and an AC360 Bulletin.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Anderson Cooper on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Anderson Cooper anchored The Situation Room (along with Chris Cuomo) in advance of the GOP debate in Houston, TX.

Anderson was back with a shortened version of AC360 just prior to the debate.

Following the debate Anderson anchored an AC360 Post Debate Special for two hours.

New Day posted the following to their IG account today:

Prior to his anchoring duties, Anderson did an hour Q&A with students at the University of Houston:

A few tweets/photos from the event ~

And posed with a couple groups of fans who ran into him at lunch today ~

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Anderson Cooper 360 on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Anderson Cooper anchored an expanded two hour edition of AC360 from Houston, TX on Wednesday night ahead of the CNN Republican Debate on Thursday night.  Most of the program was devoted to political news and a telephone interview with he who shall not be named that was recorded earlier in the day and edited for air!  There will be a shortened AC360 on Thursday night and then Anderson will anchor a special two hour edition of AC360 post debate.

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Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

With the Democratic Town Hall taking the 8pmET time slot on Tuesday night, there was no AC360.  But Anderson Cooper was part of CNN's Republican Nevada Caucus Results coverage from Washington, DC.  Anderson moderated the giant panel from 10pmET - 2amET.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Anderson Cooper on Sunday, February 21, 2016: Hosts CNN Quiz Show - Race To The White House + 60 Minutes Update

Anderson Cooper hosted the CNN Quiz Show - Race For The White House edition.  

John Berman tweeted out the photo below:

Also airing on Sunday night was an update to the Lumber Liquidators story Anderson covered on 60 Minutes:

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Anderson Cooper 360 on Monday, February 22, 2016

Anderson Cooper anchored an expanded two hour edition of AC360 on Monday night.

On Monday morning, Anderson posted the reveal of his book cover to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt, photographed in Vanderbilt’s art studio. Photographed by Norman Jean Roy, Vogue March 2016

From the March issue of Vogue magazine ~

Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper Find Common Ground in Nothing Left Unsaid

A new HBO documentary looks at the glamorous ups and devastating downs of Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper.

Anderson Cooper has been worrying about his mom’s stuff for most of his life. “She never throws anything away,” he explains. A few feet away, Gloria Vanderbilt smiles adoringly at her son. “It’s true,” she agrees. “I still have the love letter from my first boyfriend when I was thirteen.”

For decades, those boxes of pictures, letters, gewgaws, and mementos languished in storage lockers around New York, accruing fees, threatening to become lost to the vagaries of time, and basically driving Cooper crazy. “I kept thinking it would end up like that room in the last scene of Citizen Kane,” he says. Eventually he had everything shipped to his two basements, one in New York City and the other in his country house in Connecticut.

Anderson Cooper is a busy man. Weeknights, he anchors his own newscast on CNN. Other times, he’s on the road, around the world, gathering material for stories. But on the rare weekend off, he can be found in one of those basements, sorting through his mother’s stuff, a determined archaeologist on an emotional dig. It’s a job that requires patience and a sense of humor. “You open a box,” he says, “and there’s a chandelier; then you open another box, and there’s a box of cornflakes from 1953.” Over time, the objects began to pull on Cooper’s imagination, drawing him deeper into the uniquely fascinating world of his mother’s past, an era that began as the great robber-baron fortunes were petering out, the Jazz Age was dimming, and the golden age of Hollywood was taking flight.

You don’t get to Cooper’s position in life without having a pretty good sense of what will play on the screen. The Vanderbilt fortune, the tragic early death of Gloria’s alcoholic father, the glamorous and peripatetic life of her gorgeous bisexual mother, the custody case in which her aunt (Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney of Whitney Museum fame) won custody of a ten-year-old Gloria, followed by a string of romances with some of the century’s most illustrious men—Howard Hughes, author Roald Dahl, Marlon Brando (to name a few)—the trailblazing career as tastemaker for the masses, and the heartbreaking death of a beloved son: It was all great material. As Cooper says, “My mother has been famous for longer than anyone else alive.”

Never underestimate the power of a well-connected friend. One day Cooper mentioned the idea of a documentary to Sheila Nevins, who then mentioned it to documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus, who was riding a wave of critical success for her Academy Award–nominated film on the life of Nina Simone. “At first I thought, Gloria Vanderbilt?” Garbus says. “Hasn’t that story been told?” But when she started looking deeper, she saw that, in fact, there were many chapters in Vanderbilt’s saga. For one generation of viewers, she might be the “poor little rich girl” of the 1935 headlines; for another, she was the first woman to make a fortune branding designer jeans; for yet another, she’s the mother of that openly gay, totally hot anchor on CNN. Moreover, Vanderbilt is nothing if not visual. Since she was a child, she has been relentlessly photographed by others and documented her own life in a rich and steady stream of paintings, many of which are highly autobiographical. And all those boxes that kept Cooper up at night with worries? “A treasure chest for a documentarian,” Garbus says. 

Still, there was a question about whether Vanderbilt would really reveal anything. To test the waters, Garbus went to visit her one day in her Beekman Place apartment. “She was very polite and welcoming,” Garbus says. “Then she asked Anderson to change a lightbulb in the dining room, and that’s when I knew the project would work. You could see it was a very natural relationship between an aging parent and child.”

As the filming for Nothing Left Unsaid began, Cooper suggested he be the one to interview his mother, instead of the filmmaker. Garbus hesitated but (wisely) relented. On-screen, Cooper is wry but loving as he probes the sometimes wacky decisions that determined his mother’s life, like the time she decided to marry the 63-year-old Leopold Stokowski, the classical conductor of Fantasia fame, after knowing him for a week. (The couple went on to have two children together, one of whom cut off all contact with Vanderbilt for 40 years, another of the many hurts in her life.)

It was “instant,” she says breathily on-screen. “We were married three weeks later.”

“Really?” Anderson asks, brow furrowed. “I didn’t know that. How old were you?”


“Wow. Did any of your friends think it was weird?”

“Well . . . to have this genius . . . which he was, think I was extraordinary and wonderful, it just gave me a big lift,” she answers.

As if that explains everything! In a way, it kind of does. Vanderbilt’s own mother was eighteen when she gave birth to Gloria. Soon after, she took off for a months-long voyage with husband Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, leaving their infant child to be raised by a beloved Irish nanny—Dodo, a reassuringly solid silhouette who appears again and again in Vanderbilt’s paintings. Within two years, Reginald had died, but the young Mrs. Vanderbilt’s parenting skills never improved much. Her main interests seem to have been parties, clothes, and her own beauty. “She was a narcissist,” Cooper says. “She was only eighteen,” Vanderbilt tries to defend her, though disappointment with her mother is clearly the wound that never healed.

The young Gloria was essentially left to raise herself, shaped by the chimerical notions of love and romance she found in the movies. The woman who emerged from that chrysalis is like no other person in the world. She was intensely driven in every art she attempted—acting in several TV series, painting every day, writing romance novels and a few memoirs. But she was also perpetually girlish, a seeker of beauty and novelty who was rarely satisfied for long. Having been born into a bubble of fame, that is where she continued to live, expertly maneuvering its levers when it suited her purpose. When she wanted to leave Stokowski, the conductor whose reclusive ways had come to seem stultifying, she waited until a more charismatic (and more famous) lover came along. What husband could possibly compete with Frank Sinatra? Her fourth husband, the actor turned writer Wyatt Cooper (Anderson’s father), once wrote that she was “as exotic as a unicorn . . . as subtle as an Egyptian temple cat . . . as tentative as a doe in the forest.” He was in love, but you get the idea. Both then and now, there’s a reason people continue to be fascinated by Gloria Vanderbilt.

Growing up, Cooper sometimes found himself wishing for a mother who was a little less fascinating. She didn’t cook; she didn’t know the quotidian details of his teenage life. There was a period when she drank too much. (Not for long; she didn’t like what it did to her face.) She traveled a lot for her work, and photographers were constantly showing up for magazine shoots; imagine Judy Garland mixed with Audrey Hepburn. She was always saying how she wished she’d had girls—“That used to drive me crazy,” he says. It became easy for Cooper to define himself as her other. She was a Vanderbilt, he was a Cooper. When he was about six years old, his father pointed out the statue of his ancestor Cornelius Vanderbilt in front of Grand Central station. After that, the young boy thought all grandparents turned to stone when they died. Much better, to his young mind, were the jovial Coopers on his father’s side, a warm, close-knit Mississippi family of farmers who were instinctively at ease with one another.

On the surface, Vanderbilt and son still seem like opposites—she’s ultra feminine, he’s very masculine. She loves pattern and excess—every inch of her apartment glitters with something—his aesthetic is monastic. On the day I interviewed them, she was cuddled up in a furry robe festooned with cabbage roses; he was gym-toned sleek in a black T-shirt, black jeans, and closely cropped silver hair. “I wanted to be Amish when I was a kid,” he says. “You just wear black and white—what could be better? One less thing to worry about.” As much as Vanderbilt loves beautiful things, she is indifferent to the pragmatic aspects of life, the need to plan and save and strategize. She made a lot more money on her licensing deals than she ever inherited from her family, but she also lost much of it when her psychiatrist and lawyer colluded in a massive fraud that left her nearly broke. Given all the drama in her life, Cooper, the war correspondent, can sometimes seem a little boring in comparison. “Yes!” he agrees enthusiastically. “I am boring. I’m fine with boring.”

Vanderbilt with husband Wyatt Cooper and their sons, Carter (right) and Anderson, Vogue, 1972. Photo: Jack Robinson / Vogue / Courtesy of HBO

After his father unexpectedly died during open-heart surgery at the age of 50, Cooper got a job as a child model. “It’s such a cheesy thing to do,” he says. “But I wanted to take care of myself. When you lose a parent at ten years old, the world seems like a much scarier place. It makes complete sense to me that I took survival courses when I was a teenager and started going to war zones as a reporter. I didn’t ever want to be taken advantage of, and I wanted to be able to take care of those around me.” Including his mother. When Vanderbilt spent five years in an affair with a married man, it was her son who repeatedly told her the truth: He’s never going to leave his wife for you. And he never did.

“I should have married some really rich tycoon,” Vanderbilt says, sighing, when asked why she never remarried.

“I would have been all for that,” Cooper says.

“You never expressed that!”

“I expressed that all the time!” he counters. “You were never interested in those men because they watched sports.”

“Never satisfied,” she sighs.

“Never satisfied,” he agrees.

While mother and son prepared for the documentary, Cooper thought it would be a good idea for the two of them to communicate more regularly, so he had a friend teach her to use email, thus beginning what turned out to be an epic back and forth between the generations (and became the basis for the book The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son Talk About Life, Love, and Loss, which will be published by Harper in early April). “Those emails changed our relationship, bringing us closer than either of us thought possible,” Cooper says. “It’s the kind of conversation that I think many parents and grown children would like to have, but we tend to put it off, holding on to old issues and old ways of interacting. I didn’t want there to be anything left unsaid between us.”

As the words began to flow (and flow and flow), Cooper began to realize how little he actually knew about his mother’s past. Why didn’t she talk to her mother for seventeen years? Why did she abandon Dodo, the nanny who had been like a surrogate mother, to die alone, a ward of Catholic Charities? Despite all the sadness and regrets, he saw that something in her was able to survive, and even to flourish, just as he had. It turns out they are both driven, restless, and determined. Instead of wishing his mother had been more conventional, he saw how her iconoclasm had shaped him in ways that have served him well. She thought nothing of taking him with her to parties and nightclubs like Studio 54. Her famous friends—Charlie Chaplin, Isak Dinesen, Truman Capote—were as unremarkable as the wallpaper for him, all good training for journalism, a job that requires confidence in whatever room you enter.

Garbus’s film brilliantly mixes Vanderbilt’s own surprisingly good art (an exhibition at 1stdibs Gallery at 200 Lex is scheduled to coincide with its release) with vintage newsreels and homemade videos shot by Cooper himself, but the moment of truth comes at the end, when the two of them go to visit the graves of Wyatt and Carter Cooper, Anderson’s older brother, who committed suicide at 23. In that naked moment of vulnerability, as mother and son hold hands at the snowy grave, you also see another truth about the wildly successful Gloria Vanderbilt and her celebrated son Anderson Cooper—they never would have made it without each other.

Sittings Editor: Tonne Goodman
Hair: Braydon Nelson; Makeup: Miriam Jiminez Boland

For the original article, please click on above link.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Anderson Cooper 360 on Friday, February 19, 2016

Anderson Cooper anchored AC360 at 8pmET of Friday night.  The first 40 or so minutes of the program was devoted to the Republican Primary race in South Carolina, the next 9 minutes or so to the Democratic Primary race in Nevada, then there was a remembrance of Justice Scalia:

And a one minute or less remembrance of Harper Lee:

Perhaps we would all do well to remember the following quote from Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.  We're thinking of some Republican Presidential Candidates in particular!   ~

Earlier today...

...Anderson Cooper joined Hugh to talk about the CNN town hall and what it was like interviewing all the candidates.  (Hewitt is a Conservative Talk Radio Show Host.)

Anderson posted the following to his IG account today:

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Anderson Cooper 360 on Thursday, February 18, 2016

Anderson Cooper anchored an abbreviated edition of AC360 from Columbia, SC ahead of moderating night two of the CNN GOP Town Hall.  He made a short appearance on Erin Burnett's Out Front, anchored the abbreviated edition of AC360, moderated the town hall and spoke to Don Lemon for a few minutes after the town hall wrapped up.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Anderson Cooper was in Greenville, S.C. tonight to host the first to two GOP Town Halls.  The second will be tomorrow (Thursday) night.   He joined Erin Burnett on Out Front and then hosted about a 10 minute edition of AC360 before the Town Hall began.

A couple of photos posted to IG tonight:

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Anderson Cooper 360 on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Anderson Cooper anchored AC360 at 8pmET.  Politics, politics and more politics with an AC360 Bulletin thrown in at the end.

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