Up until this election cycle, I viewed Anderson Cooper as one of the good guys — at least as far as media talking heads go. He came to prominence in 2005 for his coverage of Hurricane Katrina; he was on site in 2007 after the massacre at Virginia Tech, the biggest mass shooting in American history at the time.
This week he’s been in Florida, covering the new biggest mass shooting in American history, where 50 people were killed and another 53 injured at a gay night club in Orlando.
As a gay man, Cooper has been the biggest on-air advocate for the LGBT community in the aftermath of the killing spree. Below is a scathing video, with Cooper grilling Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, over her sudden allegiance to the gay community:
This is objectively excellent reporting. With pitch perfect tone, Cooper basically calls bullshit on every answer Bondi throws his way.
Standing in front of an Orlando hospital — feigning support for the maimed victims — this is a political opportunity for Bondi gone completely awry. I’m sure somewhere in there, on the surface, she assumed she would give a TV interview, peddle these same responses, and go unchecked like virtually every other interview on CNN.
We aren’t accustomed to seeing the “news” media, whether it’s them or Fox News or MSNBC, giving any pushback. That is what makes this five-and-a-half-minute clip seem so foreign: It’s strange seeing actual news.
The unspoken corporate media agreement was built on this non-information model. Long ago, the networks traded their journalistic integrity for access. Either the interviewers ask softball questions to the politicians, or when they do act tough, they don’t follow up or correct inconsistencies and/or misinformation.
Anderson Cooper isn’t my favorite, but he’s still one of the good guys. I just wish he kept the same tone in this interview, where the issue was and is so close to his heart, for all of his interviews. We know he has this fire. Why can’t he use it when he’s talking to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?