I've been meaning to say something, a postscript to my earlier enthusiastic praise of Anderson Cooper.
I haven't lost any respect for Cooper, really; it's more that prolonged exposure, drawn from my daily attendance to his reports from, and about, North Africa, has somewhat re-arranged my view of him.
I don't think a journalist could "mean well" more than does Anderson Cooper, and he is more intelligent than is necessary, probably, for his job; additionally, he is well-educated and literate.
He is, however, a bit of a Drama Queen, as well as, seemingly, a sort of Frustrated Poet. He strains himself trying to find lyrical ways to describe events from which there is little lyricism to be gleaned. In fact, he and his "Go-To Guy" for Middle-Eastern matters, Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins, almost seem to make a contest out of that pursuit, with Ajami winning hands-down thanks to his willingness to sling verbal rhapsodies which, to my ears, are embarrassingly excessive and inappropriate to the situation. (As a guy who could, with some accuracy, be accused of sometimes indulging in a similar form of linguistic over-indulgence, I will say that those performances come off better in print than in person. When speaking, it's best to tone that shit down a couple of notches on the dial. While I am capable, without rehearsal or notes, of speaking in nearly the same florid fashion as the one with which I drive away internet-forum loiterers, I pointedly avoid doing so, because its apparent high-handedness is alienating. It isn't an act of "dumbing it down;" more an avoidance of verbal over-dressing for the average affair and thusly causing other folks to feel funny about their casual apparel, apparel of which they have no cause to be self-conscious.)
And, like so many TV-based journalists, the man is an Interrupter. I realize that a TV-host must stay attuned to the constraints of time & schedule and that some guests, wholly non-cognizant of those constraints, would, if allowed, prattle on for three hours, but that's not the issue to which I refer.
Cooper had a Libyan official set up for a remoter-view, last week. This was a guy who was quite prepared to act as a mouth-piece for the Gaddafi regime, to issue some sketchy statements and to obliquely reply to a few general questions.
I realize that it is difficult to "sit still" for a performance of that type, but given the chance, this oily, smirking fuck-monkey would have painted an entirely absurd picture of a situation about which some evidence is readily available & obvious; given the rope, the self-hanging was imminent and unavoidable.
But, did Cooper just shut the fuck up, for four seconds at a time, and let this dip-shit verbally paint himself into the nationally-televised dunce-cap for which he was headed? No. Cooper interrupted incessantly, barking out questions-- most of which were about the "hallucination tablets" issue, an issue which is just ridiculous enough to ignore and skip over, like a flatulence that one pretends to have not noticed-- and, despite the Libyan's courteously-phrased pleas for a chance to complete a sentence, or two, without being run over by Cooper, never once allowing his guest to have the floor long enough to string so many as seven words together free of interference from Cooper, who came off as the Ugly, Rude, Poorly-Bred American.
"Do What Thou Wilt" shall be the Whole of the Solid Block of Text.
As a ravine dweller I can confirm this.