Anderson Cooper: Still Self Obsessed

Anderson Cooper Sucks
So I come home the other day and Jenn has the Oprah show on. Oprah has aparrently dropped everything on the schedule in order to be there live as New Orleans sinks further into the cesspool of history. One of the pieces she showed was done by CNN's Anderson Cooper. In this piece, Mr. Cooper trolls through the mess showing various disasters and tragedies -- however, the focus of the piece is the affect that so much tragedy and misery is having on the observing journalist.

Human interest stories are one thing. I may not like them, but the people do. Mr. Cooper's piece, though, was a human interest story... where _he_ was the "human of interest".

Navel gazing of the worst kind.

It is one thing to be affected by what is going on. That's fine. Mention it even. But to shoot and edit a 120 second piece about yourself is the ultimate in faux journalism.

I've had these thoughts in the past -- I think last year CNN celebrated September 11th by having an hour-long program telling the events of the day by having the reporters who reported on it tell the story and including how the unfolding events were affecting them.

The media's favorite subject always has been itself.
(me, Fri, 09 Sep 2005 , old blog)

I mention this because I was at a customer site, and they have this gigantic lobby with lots of chairs and a flat-screen TV. Goes well in the gigantic building they are occupying, but whatever.

This TV was on CNN, and unsurprisingly CNN was doing wall-to-wall Haiti coverage. I noticed this on my way in but didn't pay too much attention.

On my way out I stopped in the lobby to write some notes to myself. There were a couple of people having a quiet meeting on the side of the lobby away from the TV, so to give them privacy I moved away from them and wrote out my notes.

When I was done and packing up, my attention turned to the TV, and wouldn't you know it -- there was Anderson Cooper, diligently covering what a horrible effect the Haiti earthquake was having on him.

He climbs rubble. He talks to people. He stops and has a quiet moment to himself (as the cameraman simultaneously steps away to give him some privacy but zooms back in so we can feel his distress.)

I find it amazing that people watch this crap, but I guess when you have 24 hours of air time to fill, your standards for quality reportage drop somewhat.