YouTube & @Google Talks present Anderson Cooper

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 25.08.2011

>>Male Presenter: My name is Steve Grove. I'm the Head of News and Politics at YouTube
and it's my pleasure to welcome today, Anderson Cooper.
[applause and cheering] >>Anderson Cooper: Alright. Yep.
>>Steve: Welcome. It's good to see you.
>>Anderson Cooper: Thanks.
>>Steve: Thanks for joining us.
>>Anderson Cooper: I love that you have to tell people to put away their laptops.
>>Steve: That's a very Google thing.
>>Anderson Cooper: It's a very Google--. Don't you all have work to do? What the hell are
you all doing here?
>>Steve: You've actually torn people away, but not really 'cause they brought their laptops.
>>Anderson Cooper: I appreciate it. I hope the whole company hasn't come to a halt. I
feel like--.
>>Steve: Well, we'll see. Productivity is definitely going down right now.
>>Anderson Cooper: That's right. OK. Sergey Brin is screaming.
>>Steve: Well, welcome.
>>Anderson Cooper: Thanks. Yeah, it's good to be here.
>>Steve: Have you ever been here before?
>>Anderson Cooper: I have not. No. I mean, I've gone to Chelsea Markets. So, I've been
near here.
>>Steve: Not the office.
>>Anderson Cooper: No, not the office itself.
>>Steve: But you've been a friend of YouTube for--
>>Anderson Cooper: But you also--. I work in news where everybody is like, grizzled
and unhealthy. And you all look like young and fresh and happy, which is very odd.
Working in cable news, it's odd to see that.
>>Steve: I'm guessing the mean age here is lower than over at--.
>>Anderson Cooper: I think so, yeah. And on my daytime show, you're about the mean age,
but at news, yeah. We have a lot more grizzled vets.
>>Steve: Well tell us about that. So, you're starting a talk show on television.
>>Anderson Cooper: I am. I'm starting a daytime talk show. So, yeah. I mean, I'm staying at
CNN and I'll continue to do that at night. But I'm starting a talk show that goes on
the air September 12th.
>>Steve: And what's it about? What's your focus?
>>Anderson Cooper: Well, it's a daytime talk show, so it's really a variety of things.
It's a show which one day will have a big celebrity interview, the next day will have
a provocative social issue, the next day it'll be some pop culture stuff, which I'm addicted
to pop culture in addition to that.
>>Steve: Really?
>>Anderson Cooper: Yeah.
>>Steve: You're addicted to pop culture?
>>Anderson Cooper: I am. Yeah. I watch--
>>Steve: I thought you were a news guy.
>>Anderson Cooper: I am a news guy, but I watch nonstop television and I have since--.
I literally recently found my TV viewing schedule that I made for myself when I was in 4th grade.
And from the moment I got home at 3:30 or whatever it was, I had blocked out in 30-minute
increments. And I allowed like, 15 minutes for dinner with my family, which tell you
a little bit something about my home life. And I allowed 15 minutes for homework.
Which, in 4th grade, it was acceptable. But yeah, I--
>>Steve: You had a TV schedule.
>>Anderson Cooper: A TV schedule.
>>Steve: Any pop culture stuff?
>>Anderson Cooper: Magilla Gorilla starting at 3:30 and then it went The Andy Griffith
Show. All sorts of things, yeah.
>>Steve: Wow. So this isn't uncharted territory.
>>Anderson Cooper: Yeah. I mean, I literally watch tons of just cheesy reality TV shows.
I watch The Soup to catch the shows that I've missed.
And I watch Tosh.0 to catch-up on the web stuff that I'm missing. So, I feel like I
have all my bases covered.
>>Steve: What's your favorite pop culture show on TV?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Oh, man. I go through phases. I was an early admirer of the Atlanta Housewives.
Perhaps you've seen their work?
>>STEVE GROVE: I missed that one.
>>STEVE GROVE: Yeah, I'm ashamed to say.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Anyone here seen it?
Yeah, all right. Good. Sure. Say it proudly. Don't be afraid.
But I've moved on. I'm now the Beverly Hills ladies. They got me. So, yes.
Yes, thank you. Thank you for sharing that with me.
And yeah. So, I watch the Beverly Hills Housewives. I feel like Bravo schedules the Housewives
back to back so much that emotionally, I need a little bit of a break. So, I actually have
DVR'd the New Jersey Housewives because I feel like I'm not really ready for them yet.
>>STEVE GROVE: I see, I see.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: But I'm saving up for a rainy day.
>>STEVE GROVE: Well, maybe you can watch some of the clips on YouTube if you miss them during
the day.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: That's right. I also watch drama. I'm a big addict to Breaking Bad and
The Killing, although the last episode I was very angry about. But yeah, I watch a lot
of stuff.
>>STEVE GROVE: You're no stranger to YouTube. You and I met back in '07 when we did the
CNN YouTube debates.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: That's right.
>>STEVE GROVE: Where you moderated a couple debates with citizen questions from YouTube.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Which was cool.
>>STEVE GROVE: And last week--
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I'm not sure the Republican candidates liked it as much as the Democratic
>>STEVE GROVE: No, no. They weren't as happy about the snowman-like questions.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: They didn't like the snow--. Yes, that's right. Yes.
>>STEVE GROVE: But it was pivotal. There were definitely moments. Back then it was, of course,
"Oh my God, social media in a debate."
>>STEVE GROVE: Now, it's like every debate has these sorts of aspects to it.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. No, it's interesting. It's--. Obviously, it's been a sea change.
>>STEVE GROVE: Last week, you had probably you're biggest YouTube moment ever.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I have no idea what you're talking about.
>>STEVE GROVE: I hate to do this to you, Anderson, but we have to just remind our viewing audience
[plays clip]
>>ANDERSON COOPER: All I can say is they should thank their lucky stars it wasn't Depar-Two.
Sorry. That made me giggle every time I read it. He hasn't commented on this incident.
[A laughs uncontrollably]
Depar-Two. I know you got it, but.
[A laughs uncontrollably]
This is the worst part coming up. So bad.
>>STEVE GROVE: This is live on the air.
>>STEVE GROVE: All right. Well, we'll spare you.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Sorry, this has actually never happened to me. But we'll see this whole
thing on YouTube and you [inaudible].
>>STEVE GROVE: So, what happened?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Every time I read it, I was reading it and stuff and I'd been tweaking
the writing and stuff. And then, I don't know. It just made me giggle every time and I have
always giggled like a 13-year old girl meeting Justin Beiber at a meet and greet.
But I've usually been able to control it or stop it. I just, I've never been in a situation--.
You see these people on YouTube or elsewhere doing this and you think, "I'd be able to
do something about it." I could not do anything about it.
>>STEVE GROVE: Your show is taped late on the West Coast and you're on a second hour
later. Were you tempted to cut that out?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Well, it's funny. As soon as this happened and then we're off the air,
I said to my producer 'cause I was--. That was at 8 o'clock and my show was gonna be
repeated at 10. And I said, "We can just pull that up for the 10 o'clock." And there was
silence. I said that out there and there was silence in my ear on the IFB and they were
like, "Oh no, no, no, no, no."
>>STEVE GROVE: That's staying.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: "We are not pulling that up at all." So, it was fine by me.
>>STEVE GROVE: Yeah, you're a good sport about it.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Totally. I mean, I make fun of myself more than anything else.
>>STEVE GROVE: Well, you've launched a YouTube channel--I've just pulled it up here--for
the talk show.
>>STEVE GROVE: You've been posting videos and taking questions. Some of those we'll
get to in a moment. I wanted to just play an example of a way that you've been using
YouTube to get audiences excited about the show.
[plays video clip]
>>ANDERSON COOPER: atrightontime123. How do people come up with these names? OK. atrightontime123.
"Hey I can't wait for the new show." Thank you. "My question is this, what was the last
song that got stuck in your head?" Umm, hmm, it's really just embarrassing.
I can't believe I'm gonna say this. Rebecca Black. Terrible. It's really bad. But that
stupid song, it got stuck in my head. Like, I was late to the whole Rebecca Black thing
and once I saw it, I mean, it was just mind-bogglingly bad, but I find myself doing, "It's Friday,
I don't even know the words. I just sang that stupid thing in my head. And then I heard
she was--. I was listening to BBC radio over the weekend and there was some Katy Perry
song and I think they were saying that Rebecca Black was in the video. [sighs]
[end clip]
>>STEVE GROVE: So, you've been using the web to get your show promoted. How has that been?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: It's, I think, been really successful. We're using that. We're using
Twitter. We're using all sorts of stuff. But I've got a great couple people who are much
smarter than I am online and really think about this a lot more than I have in the past.
And I was reluctant to--. I feel like I work enough as it is. I was resenting the idea
that I had to do this extra thing online, but I've gotten over that and now it's become
incorporated in my daily routine. And I actually like it. I like the intimacy of these kinds
of videos.
I like it's just me at my laptop. And my assistant showed me how to save the things 'cause I
screwed up the first couple ones. But I like having that communication with viewers and
I think viewers like it as well. And in a time when we're not yet on the air, we go
on the air September 12th, and we just started taping some shows, it's a way to start communicating
with viewers.
And especially in daytime TV, I mean, for those of you who have watched Oprah or one
of these daytime TV shows, it's about building a sense of community, building connection
with viewers.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: And it's not just a program that is on the air one hour a day. You want
it to be, if it's successful, and the shows that have been the most successful and the
shows that I, as a viewer, feel the most connected to and that's what you want.
You want people to feel connected to it. It's not just connected to that one hour that you're
on the air. It's connected to it in a real-time, 24-hour way, online. There's a community of
people you talk to.
>>STEVE GROVE: You get feedback.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, you get feedback. And the show and the website and the YouTube
channel, it's all a place where you feel you belong and you wanna check in with.
>>STEVE GROVE: What is the purpose of a daytime talk show? I mean, if you want a conversation
>>ANDERSON COOPER: In the TV business, if we start asking ourselves that, none of us
do anything.
>>STEVE GROVE: What is the purpose of your show in your mind?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: There's two purposes. I'll say there's personal and then there's for
other people. For me, personally, I've been reporting for 20 years and have from--.
I'm very passionate about news and about what I do and I love to travel and go to the front
lines of stories. And I wanna continue doing that. But I also, at the age of 44, wanna
do something which does allow for more human connection with other people and which allows
me to show more of my personality.
And news, there is a certain formality to it and a certain one- or two-dimensional nature
of it. And it's nice to do something which is more three-dimensional in which you show
that you have a dry sense of humor or whatever it is,
>>ANDERSON COOPER: to be able to show that. And at other times when you're giggling like
a 13-year old girl. So, in a daytime format, you really can. I have an audience of 300
people up at the Time Warner Center in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Room. It's The Allen
Room. It's this incredible room.
And it's great to have that interaction with the audience. And I really like it in real-time.
And you can have fun with people and it can be serious. There's a great variety of things
you can do in daytime. And for viewers, I really do want--. I think there's a lot of
people who feel very disconnected.
And most viewers of daytime shows are women. I think there's a lot of women out there,
particularly throughout the country, who have faced huge challenges in their lives and huge
difficulties in trying to support their families and also work and feel satisfied in their
lives and feel connected to their communities and their families.
And I think you can really talk about real things and things which really do resonate
with people's lives.
>>STEVE GROVE: Well, a lot of those fans and viewers made questions on your YouTube channel.
We'll play a few of them now.
>>STEVE GROVE: And then, we'll take some questions from the folks here as well.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Sounds good.
>>STEVE GROVE: So, the top voted video question came from this UNC student.
[plays video clip]
>>Student: Hey, Anderson. I'm Leslie and I go to the University of North Carolina. I
was wondering what your favorite class in college was, or if there was a class that
you took you found most useful for life in general? Thanks.
[end clip]
>>ANDERSON COOPER: God. I remember those bunk beds. Jesus.
Do you remember those? Oy. Was there a class in college that I found useful in life? No,
Did anybody find a class?
>>STEVE GROVE: Ringing endorsement of going to college.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Right. I don't wanna badmouth Yale, but no, there was nothing.
>>STEVE GROVE: You heard it here.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, that's right. Exactly.
>>STEVE GROVE: Don't go to Yale.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: That's what I spent the money on? I mean, I majored in Political Science,
which at the time to me it was like majoring in reading the newspaper every day. And I
don't quite understand what political science enables me to do, or entitles me to do.
I mean, I was Liberal Arts major, which means that I had no actual skill.
And I work in TV 'cause I have no actual skill. But I really don't--. I wasn't one of those
students in college who felt--. I didn't love the college experience. Adults would say like,
"College was the best four years of my life." And I think, "God, if that was the best four
years of my life, just shoot me in the head because--
I mean, it was fine. It was great, I guess. But the best four? I feel like the best is
yet to come and each year it keeps getting better and better and better. And at 44 and
I feel so much happier and more confident and all that stuff than I did back then.
>>STEVE GROVE: Right after college, didn't you essentially just start reporting from
war zones?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: My brother had committed suicide right before my senior year of college
and so my senior year was sort of a blur to me. And when I graduated, I had not done any
job interviews. I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I was really still trying
to adjust to the reality of the situation and so, I took a year off.
And I lived on Long Island for a while. I did carpentry work. And then I travelled around
in Southeast Asia on my own. But after that, I decided--. I made a list of all the things
I wanted in my life, like things that I wanted to look back on and not achievement things,
but just, I wanted to feel fulfilled and I wanted to see the world.
And I didn't wanna be in a grey office in a grey cubicle and a grey suit. So, of all
the things and I watched a lot of TV growing up, as I said, and I watched a lot of news.
I was probably the only eight-year old who was really into Eric Sevareid. I mean, no
one in this room even knows who Eric Sevareid is.
But had I said that at CNN, everybody would be like, "Ah, yes."
>>STEVE GROVE: Was he a producer at CBS?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: No. He was a famous on air person at CBS News. He's legendary. Anyway,
you kids today. You don't know.
You don't know what it was like in the--
So, I thought, "Wow, being a news reporter would be interesting." And I like TV and being
able to see history as it's happening would be really cool. So, I tried to get an entry
level job in TV.
I tried to get an entry level job at ABC News and I could not get hired at ABC News. And
there was a recession at the time. It was like, '91, '92. So, I came up with this scheme
which was, "I'm gonna have a friend make a press pass for me on a Macintosh computer."
And I did that and I borrowed a home video camera and I decided I'm gonna go to wars
because I won't have much competition 'cause most people are too scared to go. And it'll
be an interesting life experience and also, wars seemed dramatic and seemed interesting
in terms of things I could take pictures of.
So, that's what I did. I snuck into Burma and I hooked up with some students fighting
the Burmese government, which is a struggle which is still going on today, obviously.
And I shot a story about them. And no one ever checked my fake press pass. And then,
I sold that story.
I put it together and I sold it to this thing called Channel One, which was a show seen
at high schools and middle schools throughout the United States. Has anyone here had Channel
One in their--. One or two.
>>STEVE GROVE: Um-hmm. Yeah.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: It was big in the mid-west and south. And then they still didn't hire
me full-time, so then I said, "OK. I'm gonna go to Africa. I'm gonna go to ten different
countries. I guarantee you ten stories. It's gonna cost you two thousand dollars a story
and here are the ten stories."
And I made up ten stories. I'd left high school semester early and driven in a truck across
the sub-Sahara in Africa, so I was familiar with Africa, or sub-Saharan Africa. And the
story I did was I went into Somalia in the early days of the famine there, which was,
there was a famine back in '92.
And there's a famine now. But there was a famine back in '92. I went there and that
was really the first real major breaking story that I shot stories about. And it had a big
impact on the Channel One audience. I got hired and that's how I became a reporter.
>>STEVE GROVE: So, Channel One was your start--
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, it was absolutely my start. And for the next two years, they
made me their, like I was their only travelling foreign correspondent, war correspondent.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I just went from one war to another. I was in Bosnia during the war
there. I was in Rwanda during the genocide with RPF who were fighting to stop the genocide.
So, yeah.
>>STEVE GROVE: Well, the news stories today are obviously different than back then. Although,
certainly there are similarities. One of the top voted questions, as I can recall--. Let
me see if I can dial it up. Yeah. Is about today's news.
[plays video clip]
>>Girl: Hey, Anderson. I just read the Jared Diamond book, "Collapse," which is about the
rise and fall of civilizations over time. And as a reporter, my question to you is what
factors have you seen that's contributed to the decline, or even fall, of modern-day nations,
which is, I think, more relevant than ever with all the unrest going on in Africa and
the Middle East?
By the way, I really love your shows. I went to last week's taping of Anderson and it was
really great. Keep up the good work.
[end clip]
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Oh, cool. All right. Cool. That's nice. Wow, what factors have contributed
to the decline of civilizations?
>>STEVE GROVE: The question that you should be asking in your talk show every day.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yes, exactly. I have the Beverly Hills Housewives on to talk about
that very subject as a matter of fact.
>>STEVE GROVE: We'll all tune in for that one.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yes. Yes. Camille Grammer has some fascinating ideas on this subject.
And I love Camille Grammer because she speaks with her shoulders. I don't know if you've
noticed this. She's just like--. She says these things like, "You're just jealous."
I love that. Love her.
>>STEVE GROVE: Why don't you answer this question using that style?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Right. Exactly. Look.
>>STEVE GROVE: The Middle East is the hot spot right now. You've been covering this
every day, obviously.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. I mean, obviously you have these entrenched rulers in the Middle
East who have destroyed their countries. I mean, you look at Libya right now.
There's only six million people in Libya. Their school system is a nightmare. Their
hospital system, their health care system is pathetic. The amount of money that Muammar
Gaddafi has made from oil in the 42 years of his reign is extraordinary. And the fact
that he hasn't been able to adequately care for six million people is unbelievable to
And, I mean, it's not unbelievable because he is a complete thug and the people around
him are thugs and liars and crooks, as are most of these regimes. I mean, you look at
people around Hosni Mubarak. And up until the very end they were lying. They were just
telling lies.
And I think it's extraordinary what we're witnessing. I mean, every night now, pretty
much every night, I focus on what's happening in Syria. And it's YouTube and its people
who are risking their lives to upload videos that is the reason I'm able to continue to
do this story every night.
Because without those pictures, without those images, we wouldn't be able to tell the story.
I mean, you can talk about the story, but it will have no reality for people unless
you see those images. So, to me, we're living in this extraordinary time of change.
And I mean, just what we're witnessing right now in Libya, in Syria, I mean, I never thought
really that I would see this and that it would happen so quickly. But I think a lot of it
has to do just with the arrogance of power.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: And I was just reading this wonderful book by a Polish journalist
about Emperor Haile Selassie. It's called "The Emperor." It's a great oral history.
>>STEVE GROVE: Mm-hmm.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: And just the way he, Haile Selassie, who ruled Ethiopia many years ago,
he was able to manipulate and stay in power by playing, very much like Gaddafi was able
to play tribes and others against each other. So, I didn't really answer her question. But
I think it's too long and involved a question, but--.
>>STEVE GROVE: Well, it's interesting that today's version of you in the early 90s might
not necessarily have to drop into a war zone because there are--. There's footage streaming
out of there and onto the web all day long.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. Well, I still think it's important to be able to go to a place
and see it for yourself, because you don't know what these images really are. I mean,
in many cases we can't independently confirm what some of these images show. Are some of
these people who are in plain clothes killing people?
>>STEVE GROVE: Yeah. It's the [inaudible].
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Or, do we know for a fact that they are Syrian government thugs or are
they protesters who are attacking plain clothes Syrian officers? We don't know in some cases.
But so, I do think it's important to go there. And it really, going to the frontlines of
combat and conflict, it really does make you see it in different--.
When I graduated college, I thought, with my little Political Science degree, I thought
I knew what was going on. I had firmly held opinions about the way the world worked. And
I started travelling and realizing I didn't know anything. And the more you travel, I
think, it's a cliché, but the more you realize the less you know.
>>STEVE GROVE: Right. The number one voted question, and there was actually a lot of
questions of this flavor, was, "With all the devastation in the world and all the stories
that you've covered, which one has been the most difficult to cover and most difficult
to get out of your head?" This question actually came from Germany.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: The most difficult to get out of my head. I don't believe in getting
stories out of my head. I'm not, I don't believe in coming back and trying to be able to sleep
well at night. I honestly think you should carry these--to me they're not stories.
I mean, these are--. I'm interacting with people who often end up dead or whose lives
have been unbelievably tormented. And so for me, it's a huge privilege to be invited into
their home or into their hut or into their lives and to tell their story. So--.
>>STEVE GROVE: Is there one story in particular that sticks out?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I spent a lot of time in the Congo. In the Eastern Congo there's a
horrific war. It's actually the deadliest conflict since World War II. Millions of people
have been killed over the last ten years, dying directly from combat, but also from
the after-effects of it--malnutrition and hunger.
And it's really a war against women that tens of thousands of women have been raped and
the majority of them have been brutally gang raped. And you meet women in hospitals, who
after being gang raped by six soldiers have had AK-47s inserted inside them, the guys
pull the trigger.
And they're alive, but their bodies are destroyed, obviously. I met a woman named Angela who,
she had been gang raped by six soldiers, forcibly raped in front of her family, in front of
her village. And they do this on purpose to destroy the entire community by destroying
the community's women.
And they tried to force her brother to rape her and he refused. And so they slit his throat
in front of her. She had three children. They burned one of the children in front of her
while they were raping her. After they left, her husband then kicked her out of the village
because he was afraid she was HIV-positive and he was ashamed of her.
And yet, this was a woman who every day was still able to wake up and hold her head high
and try to find a job and try to feed her kids. And to me, she is--
>>STEVE GROVE: It's courage.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. I mean, it's beyond courage. It's hard to even fathom being able
to do all that. So, that's somebody who stays with me when I close my eyes at night. And
I don't think I should get her out of my head. I think those are people who should stay with
>>STEVE GROVE: Yeah, yeah.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: But in terms of hardest, I mean, there are things that hard logistically,
Egypt after and during the fall of Mubarak, where--
>>STEVE GROVE: Right. Right.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: we're getting attacked, reporters getting attacked.
>>STEVE GROVE: You got punched in the streets of Tahrir Square, is that right?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. Which I've never been punched in the head before and I was
always like, "I wonder what it would be like to be punched in the head?" And now I know.
>>STEVE GROVE: Life experience.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: That's right. But I was very lucky. There was--
>>ANDERSON COOPER: my person behind me shortly afterwards, was stabbed in the back with a
screwdriver. Lara Logan was obviously attacked. The Fox News crew was brutally beaten. But
there are things which make it logistically very difficult for us to tell the story.
>>STEVE GROVE: Right. Right.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: When you're on the run, you're hiding in hotel rooms or apartments
and trying to broadcast. And there are things which emotionally are very difficult. And
Haiti, after the earthquake, was probably, and Hurricane Katrina. Those were certainly
two situations that I'll never forget.
>>STEVE GROVE: Yeah. Well, one of the other top voted questions had to do with, let me
see if I can find it here, [pause] umm, yeah. You meet a lot of interesting people, many
of them in the places you just talked about. This woman wants to know about who you'd most
like to meet with.
[plays video clip]
>>Woman: Hey, Anderson. My question for you is, if you could have five people to dinner
with you, living, deceased, or fictional, who would they be and why? Can't wait for
your new show. I love AC 360. Thanks a lot.
[end clip]
>>STEVE GROVE: You have a lot of fans out there.
[clip starts playing again]
>>STEVE GROVE: Oops. Sorry.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Even better the second time.
If I had a dinner party with five--. First of all, I would never have a dinner party
because I'm a social recluse. And the idea of having a dinner party is painful to me.
>>STEVE GROVE: Really?
>>STEVE GROVE: TV guy is actually a social recluse?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. I mean, yeah. I mean, I think it's 'cause I'm around people all
day when I work and stuff and I'm really engaged with people and I really like talking to people
and stuff. But naturally, I tend to like, at the party, not that I would be at a party,
but if I was at a party--
theoretically, I would be the guy in the kitchen pretending I was looking for ice.
>>STEVE GROVE: You sound like a lot of Googlers actually.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, that's right.
That's why I feel so comfortable here.
Yeah, that's funny. But literally, I can look for ice for a good half hour.
>>STEVE GROVE: Without finding it.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Without finding it. That's why BlackBerrys are so great 'cause you're
like, "Oh, look. There's something very important I'm doing."
But I guess, I don't really know how to answer this question. I mean, honestly, if I'm answering
it honestly, I would--. My dad died when I was ten and I never knew him. And my grandparents.
So, if I had to have five people over, I would like to have my dad and the sets of grandparents
to just see what they were like. And I think anyone who loses a parent at an early age,
you it really, it leaves a mark and really changes who you are. And I think I was a much
more interesting person before I was ten.
So, I think I became much more serious and much more independent and focused on work
and getting things done after my dad passed away. So, it would be interesting to see what
he was like as an adult.
>>STEVE GROVE: The third voted text question we got online--
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I know I was probably supposed to answer like, the Pope or something for
those questions.
>>STEVE GROVE: The honorable answer.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I don't know if you've ever noticed when reporters get asked like,
"Who would you like to interview?" It's like, "The Pope." Or,--.
>>STEVE GROVE: Jesus Christ.
>>STEVE GROVE: A good answer as well.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, all right.
I'll work on my answer.
>>STEVE GROVE: It was a good answer, a great answer. You're usually the one asking the
questions, actually.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: That's true. I also, I grew up in a really interesting family and
so we had a lot of well-known people over at my house at dinner as a kid. So, I feel
like I've been to dinner parties with interesting people and they're never as interesting as
you think they're gonna be.
>>STEVE GROVE: Oh, really.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. I mean, it's always somewhat disappointing.
>>STEVE GROVE: That's good to know.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, it's good to know.
>>STEVE GROVE: We'll make sure this woman in I think it was Tennessee--
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Right. Don't dream about meeting famous people. They're very boring.
>>STEVE GROVE: It's not all it's cracked up to be.
>>STEVE GROVE: You mentioned that you're not super social. One of the, the third asked
question asks, "What do you do when you're not on air?" So, what do you do for fun? And
I think the way they phrased it is, "What gives you that 'ahh' moment?"
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Wow. You committed to that. I like that.
>>STEVE GROVE: I'm half-committed.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, you half-committed, but we can work on that. The--
What do I do? I really--. So, OK. So, I work now. I basically do these two different jobs
and I also work for 60 Minutes on the side. Most of my 60 Minutes work, I can only do
on weekends or on holidays, when I take vacation from my other jobs 'cause I can't have my
60 Minutes work interfere with the other jobs.
So, I don't have a lot of free time because honestly, I would much--. I really like what
I do and I would much rather go someplace to do a story or to meet some people than
I would to go to a place and sit on a beach or just take a vacation. To me--
>>STEVE GROVE: So, work is play in some ways for you.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: In some ways, yeah. I mean, for instance, I just went down to Cuba for
60 Minutes for a story that involved a lot of diving. And it was, I would much rather
take a week of vacation from CNN in order to do it. And previously, I had taken a week
of vacation from CNN to go to South Africa with 60 Minutes and do a story on Great White
And there's this guy who free dives and scuba dives with Great White sharks without a cage.
So, he's like the only guy who does this. So I was doing a profile of him. So, I went
scuba diving with him with the Great Whites without a cage, which is kind of insane.
>>STEVE GROVE: It's not just kind of insane.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Right. It's actually amazing and incredibly exhilarating. It's very surreal
when they'd been chumming the water with blood for a good hour and then you see 6, 15- to
20-foot Great White sharks circling around the boat. And you're like, "All right, time
to get in."
And I will say dipping your first finned toe into the water is a little weird. So, I would
much rather go and do something like that than just take a boring vacation. I'm really
bad on vacations.
I usually end up cancelling them or coming back after three days 'cause I'm bored.
>>STEVE GROVE: Really?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. I went to Buenos Aires on vacation and I literally after three
days came back 'cause I didn't really know anyone. And I was just like, I didn't know
what to do. So I came back.
But on the weekend I'm not working, I honestly, the biggest thing I do is sleep.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I really, to me, sleep is like the most precious commodity.
>>STEVE GROVE: You live in New York City, right?
>>STEVE GROVE: How many--
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Very close to here. I just bought a firehouse very close to here.
>>STEVE GROVE: A firehouse?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I did, yes. An old--
>>STEVE GROVE: With firemen in it, or what?
I'm guessing they left, right?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yes. They left. We'll see what happens, but--
It's a 1906 firehouse that was decommissioned back in 2007 and it was empty.
>>STEVE GROVE: Really?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. And so, I'm moving in soon.
>>STEVE GROVE: That's cool.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. It is cool.
>>STEVE GROVE: How many days a year do you spend in New York City? I'm assuming you travel
all the time. Like, 50/50?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I really don't travel as much, I think, as much as I used to. I'm usually
on the road maybe one week a month at the most.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: There are times when the earthquake in Haiti happened; I was there
for a month. And when Katrina happened, I was there for a month. I was in Israel when
the fighting against Hezbollah happened.
But for the most part, my trips are in the ten-day range.
>>STEVE GROVE: OK. I wanna invite the audience to start thinking of questions and make it
to the mic when you can. But before that, I wanna go through a rapid round of text questions.
>>STEVE GROVE: The first one came from username Ruegel853710.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Oh, man. I love her. She's so great.
>>STEVE GROVE: Yeah, she's the greatest, isn't she?
Her question is, do you ever Google yourself?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Do I ever Google myself? That's an interesting question. Yes, of course.
Nobody who says they don't Google themselves, everybody Googles themselves from time to
time. But I will say I have drastically cut it down over the last couple years--
and rarely ever now do it. And if I do it, I'm like, "Don't do it." I have to talk myself
down sometimes. I'm like, "Don't do it." I have like A-N-D-E in there and I'm like, "Don't
do it." And I'm like, R-S-O-N. And then I'm like, "No, I'm not gonna do it."
My mom actually, when I was early on, she was pretty well-known when I was a kid and
she would always say, "Never read anything about yourself." And I think it's actually
really good advice.
It's very difficult advice to do, but if you're able to do it its good because ultimately,
I find that, especially as a reporter, it does me no good to think about myself as somebody
who's well-known. Like, I live--. I have this illusion that I'm not well-known and that
I work on a TV show and I don't really think about anybody actually seeing it.
And I'm always eternally surprised every day on the street when people are saying "hello"
to me. And I think in my mind, I just think like, "OK. People are just saying hi." It
doesn't really--
>>STEVE GROVE: Really?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. I don't think--
>>STEVE GROVE: You don't wear like a low baseball cap and--
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Well, I do wear a baseball cap. But I just don't think it's healthy to
think about yourself as a public person because it just, it doesn't contribute to anything
about what I'm interested in my work.
>>STEVE GROVE: Yeah. Are you sensitive to stuff you find online about yourself, if you
do actually complete it and push enter?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Not really. Look, I get--. I do know rationally that I'm on television.
So, I get that there's gonna be a certain level of interest.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: And so be it. And I appreciate that people are interested. I'm generally
a lot more boring than people might like to imagine. But it doesn't really bother me.
I mean,--
>>STEVE GROVE: Well, that's the web.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I've been doing this now for 20 years. I know how the game is played.
I just, it doesn't bother me.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: There's very little that bothers me.
>>STEVE GROVE: Well then, you'd be good in daytime TV, I would think.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: That's right. Exactly.
>>STEVE GROVE: I mean, go for it. Another user in San Jose asks, "What's the weirdest,
most memorable fan encounter you've had?" So when people do recognize you, what's the
weird stuff that happens?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Well there's like the restraining order encounters that I--
>>STEVE GROVE: Oh, really?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. There's a lot of that.
>>STEVE GROVE: It happens a lot.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, a fair amount.
>>STEVE GROVE: Like, how many restraining orders are there out right now?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I'm not sure how many are current 'cause they elapse after a year.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: And it depends on what state you're talking about. But it's interesting.
It is interesting to me how people develop a real relationship with you when you're on
And I really like that and 99.9% of that relationship is wonderful and people are incredibly nice.
Walking around New York City for me is like, literally living in a small town. I literally
have conversations all day long with--. I ride the subway every day.
Or, even if I'm on my bicycle when I'm stopped at a light, people are talking, saying "hello"
to me and it's always very nice. And I love it. And I encourage it. There are really people
who become very, very, very interested and end up showing up at my home with all their
possessions to move in with me.
>>STEVE GROVE: Oh, really? That happened?
>>STEVE GROVE: What do you say to them?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Well, the lady in particular who came to live with me--
who, I think was probably about 55 or so. She had been emailing me for a long time and
then she, which I had stopped reading the emails and they were automatically forwarded
to the CNN security department, as you might imagine.
But I thought someone was reading them, but apparently no one was because then she showed
up at my apartment and then I went back and I was like, "Well, maybe I should look at
some of the old emails." And she had announced her intentions quite clearly.
In fact, she had said like, "I'm arriving on the 8:30 flight, but don't worry about
picking me up at the airport." Which I thought was very, very thoughtful of her.
>>STEVE GROVE: How kind.
>>STEVE GROVE: Very thoughtful.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: So that was probably one of the more interesting ones. But there's
>>STEVE GROVE: So you walk on your front door and literally--
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Thankfully, I was not home at the time.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: But then she came to work, so she made it easier.
>>STEVE GROVE: She found you.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, she found me. Yes.
>>STEVE GROVE: A question all the way from Quitar, and let's please make it to the mic
if you have a question. We'd love to hear your questions soon. The question is, "Best
person you've interviewed and why?"
>>STEVE GROVE: Any particular interview?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I would, I mean, I mentioned that woman, Angela. I mean, she was somebody
who stays with me. And so, it's generally people like that who most people have never
heard of or wouldn't really know about. Celebrities, this year I think I interviewed Lady Gaga
and Eminem for 60 Minutes and I found both of them really interesting and enjoyed getting
to know them.
>>STEVE GROVE: What's Lady Gaga like in person?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Exactly what you would imagine. She's really cool. She's 25 years
old, which is incredible that she's achieved so much. And she is completely in charge of--.
She is driving that ship. I mean, she is, I think, incredibly talented. I think she's
got an amazing voice and I think she's--. I've enjoyed her.
>>STEVE GROVE: Do you listen to her?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. I totally listen to her. I like her a lot. And it was just
cool that she's somebody you'd want to hang out with. She was fun to hang out with.
>>STEVE GROVE: Cool. Well, let's take some questions from the audience.
>>STEVE GROVE: Over here.
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: So, I love your show.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Oh, thank you.
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: And I wanna say first, when you do your show I think it's
great when other entities move on to other subjects, that you continue to stay in Haiti
or Japan or what have you and that's really great.
I think one of the things that concerns me most is how our government doesn't seem to
be in sync with the population, I think with the debt ceiling and all that kind of stuff.
Regardless of what side you're on, we're all going, "What's up with Washington?"
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: And so my first thought was why isn't the media really separating
itself from the dog and pony show and really forcing Washington, but then hearing you talk
about Syria and Egypt, it became clear to me, we're not in as bad a shape obviously.
But the government here is not getting what the people are wanting. So, what can we do
with social technologies that Americans aren't using and what can the media do to help us?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Wow. That's interesting. I mean, I think you're clearly, you're absolutely
right. If you look at just polling information, it's not just whether it's Republicans or
Democrats. People are just sick of the whole group. And they lump the group together.
And whether it's the President or Congress, it's all of a piece. In terms of what social
media, I don't know. I think you guys probably know that better than what I do. I'm still
figuring out my little YouTube channel.
[laughter] But I do think social media--. I mean, I just
think the ability to have conversations and link people from different walks of life together
in an online experience and give you direct contact to people in Washington, I think is
a unique thing.
It used to be you'd have to write-in to your Congressman or call them up. And you have
the ability now to have much more direct links and communication with their offices with
them if they are online. And I think that does really have an impact. I mean, I read
my viewers tweets and email comments and comments on the YouTube channel.
I read them every single day, several times a day. It's often the first thing I read waking
up in the morning after I read the news headlines and the last thing I read going to bed to
respond to. And it really does have an impact. I mean, I don't think you can underestimate
the impact hearing directly from people has.
>>STEVE GROVE: Great. Let's go over here.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: So, another question about politics. Something that struck me as
really bizarre in the cable news world a couple weeks ago was what the Ames Poll reported.
Like I mean, they would say, "First place goes to so and so. Third place goes to so
and so. Fourth place goes to so and so." And leaving out Ron Paul.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: And it's not even like, not reporting on him, it's almost to
the point of pretending he doesn't exist and it's just weird. Do you have any insight on
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I mean, I've had Ron Paul on a lot and he’s' a great guest. And I've
had him on my show a number of times. So, I've certainly heard that criticism and not
only Ron, but also a Senator Rand Paul on as well. And I look to book him quite often
'cause I think he's got a really interesting take on things.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: I don't mean to criticize you personally.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I know, I know.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: I'm just wondering what--.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I think certainly a lot of; I don't want to speak for other networks.
I don't know how much of a conscious decision that was. I really don't know. I mean, I didn't
see the other networks coverage of it and stuff. But I know Ron Paul's been on CNN a
fair amount as far as I can tell.
But, and I don't want to sound like I'm copping out on the answer, but I really don't watch
a lot of other folks coverage. I'm focused on my little hour. It doesn't make any sense
why they would not and Ron Paul came in second on that and has been not only the driving
force in the last election, but also a driving force in the Tea Party Movement. He's the
grandfather of it, if anything.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: You don't know is basically.
There's no memo like going around.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: No, it's--. All right. That's cool.
>>STEVE GROVE: Good question. Let's go over here.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: The control of information has changed deeply in the last
decade with the internet rising, every neighborhood can transmit information and tweets and everything
and whatnot. What do you see as the future of news media, who's long held this information
or control of it as they're now--things are changing?
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: What you see as their future--.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Well, I hope you put a stop to this.
I'm kidding.
>>STEVE GROVE: You're here to shut down Google today, is that what you're saying?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Exactly. Yes. This is all part of my insidious plot. While you've all
been away from your workstations--.
You've all been locked out and fired.
I really don't know and that's, I think, what's exciting. It's scary for some people, but
I find it exciting. And I think, how will the sharing of information change things?
Will we need broadcast networks? Will we need cable networks, news networks? Will everything
be online? Will we need television anchors? That's why I'm getting a day job, frankly,
in case that happens. [laughter]
But I do think that's, I think anyone who pretends to know where its going has no idea.
I mean, I've talked to the people who run these companies and I don't think they have
a firm grasp of exactly where it's going. So, I think right now, I can tell you CNN
has certainly trying to be on as many platforms as possible, on as many delivery systems as
possible, to see what comes down the pike and which one explodes, which one goes away.
I do think that we're able to get information from more sources than ever before and I think
that's been a fantastic thing. There's a danger, I think, in it in not knowing where the information
really is coming from and being in this echo chamber where something is inserted online,
something appears online and then it's picked up by other, and it becomes real even though
it's not real.
And so, I do think it matters where the information comes from and whether that information has
been checked and vetted. We all know it. We've all seen in Presidential elections and just
in news in general how stories take on a life of their own.
I don't know if you remember the story about President Obama going to India recently and
there was this story going around that his trip was gonna cost, I don't know, it was
like 200 million dollars a day, or something. And it was being repeated on radio stations,
especially conservative radio stations, but on television stations and it became--.
I have Michelle Bachman on my program saying this as fact. And I was like, "Where does
this figure come from?" And she was like, "Well, it's being reported in the media."
Which, that doesn't mean anything. That's like saying, "I found it on the street."
So, we started checking and going back and we traced it back to an unnamed Indian provincial
government official quoted in a local Indian paper. So, the credibility of that is, it
just doesn't mean anything.
Why would a provincial Indian government official, unnamed, in a local paper know how much President
Obama's security costs were when the White House doesn't even release that information?
And the war in Iraq costs, I don't know, 190 million dollars. So, it just didn't make any
So, we were able to just debunk that, but it had taken on a life of its own. So, I do
think it's important, even in this age where information is more easily shared and more
easily accessible, that even no matter where it goes, that I think there will be some need
for, I don't wanna say gate keepers but for vetting the information. And how that happens,
whether you need the companies that currently exist or whether it's some kind of new structure
or just individuals who are responsible. I mean, I go to websites that I think I'd trust
or I think I value the opinion of the person who's running those websites and I think they
have certain standards.
And I think everybody has to come up in their own mind with what they believe and what sources
they actually trust.
>>STEVE GROVE: Let's go over here.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: I'm one of the folks in the audience who watched you on Channel
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: In middle school, so it's cool to have you here.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Where did you go to school?
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: In Western Pennsylvania. So when you said the Midwest, it makes a lot
of sense. 'Cause nobody around here seems to know what Channel One is.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Right. Exactly. [laughing]
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: So, one of my favorite tweets from the earthquake yesterday, big
deal here, came from a sports writer. I think he said, "Wolf Blitzer has the earthquake
on the phone." Which is a little bit of a criticism about the 24-hour news cycle and
really trying to create stories out of what is there.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: But your side work at 60 Minutes really stands out to me because
it's way more about those stories that do have permanence, the stories that stick with
you individually. So, I'm interested in how you see things changing, if you see anything
changing at 60 Minutes with your involvement?
Some folks who are under the age of 60 are getting involved over there.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: And how it's possible that social media or citizen journalism feeds
into the stories that have some of that permanence?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Right. I mean, I do think. Look, I think 60 Minutes is more relevant
and over the last few years has been more relevant than perhaps ever before.
And I think it's a testament to Jeff Fager and Bill Owens and the producers who are there.
I mean, it really, they've been breaking stories. I mean, I think it's the best television news
magazine show on the air that has ever been and certainly is on currently.
And so, for me to work there, to walk around and see Morley Safer and Bob Simon and all
these correspondents who I have great respect for and to learn from their producers and
being able to learn from them is an extraordinary thing. And I still think I'm getting better
at it and need to--.
I still think I'm learning and that's what makes it so exciting. But I think it's interesting
how 60 Minutes has started to try to incorporate online. I mean, 60 Minutes is, CBS in general
is a very established, traditional outlet, company. They're very slow to--. A lot of
these companies are slow to really adapt and figure out online components and things.
60 Minutes has actually done--. They actually have a full-time correspondent now who's excellent,
who creates--. There's this thing, 60 Minutes Overtime, which exists only online. And it's
all the interesting stuff that never actually makes it into a 60 Minutes piece.
It's the back story of how the piece was made. And for instance, with Eminem, we showed how
just doing a walk--. On 60 Minutes and a lot of more traditional outlets, they do these
walking shots, which are cheesy. It's like the correspondent and the person walking down
the street.
And just in order to shoot this walking shot with Eminem, it required this huge security
undertaking 'cause it was at the home where he grew up. And his whole entourage is there
and there's elaborate security detail and they had to rope off the block. So, it was
all the back story on a lot of this stuff.
And it's actually the more fun moments which don't make it, naturally, into a 60 Minutes
piece, but you get value added if you're interested. So, I think, for me, it seems like the networks
right now, that's the use they see of these in trying to again, build a community and
build a sense of connection to a show like that.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #5: Hi, Anderson. Thank you for coming to Google. Back in October,
I went to this little rally that was down in D.C. and there was you, not you directly,
but your clothing was a feature of the rally. They gave your black t-shirt an award.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: My black t-shirt, yes.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #5: I was wondering what you thought about the role that you place
as a feedback system in in the media with fear and with the things that they were counting
on, do you think that the business is legitimate?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah John actually asked me to go to that and I would've like to. I
actually couldn't 'cause I was working, but--
>>STEVE GROVE: The rally to restore fear at the mall, right?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Right. Yes, yes, yes. Look, first of all, I wear a black t-shirt or a
dark t-shirt because--. The back story is that there's no real thought to it other than
you're not able to shower in a lot of places and you're working in like, hundred degree
So, you're sweaty and dirty and rather than having viewers email me saying, "Why are you
showing us your sweat stains?" I wear a dark t-shirt so that nobody sees my sweat stains.
But it has certainly taken on a life of its own and I think it's funny. So, I don't think
I'm in any way trying to put fear into anybody's heart or into anybody's head.
If anything, I mean, I think for me the reason to go down to Haiti and be there after the
earthquake is not to--. It's not a story that people are necessarily wanting to watch or
are going to watch. I was just in Somalia for a week. That's not a story.
CNN doesn't send me to Somalia because they think people are gonna want to watch it, or
that people are even going to watch it. And they're not because those are things people
turn the channels from. But I do believe in bearing witness to what's happening and I
do believe in giving a voice to people who have none.
And in Haiti, for generations, people have not had a voice or they had their voice silenced
or taken away from them. And especially after an earthquake, where the Haitian government
is completely unable to even dig people out of the rubble or even are unwilling to. I
do think there's value in being there and trying to show the rest of the world what
is happening to a group of people.
So for me, I don't think--. I certainly don't think consciously, or even unconsciously,
I'm trying to in any way make people fearful. I do believe in bearing witness to struggles
that other people aren't. And I've believed in that from the first time I went to Burma
and talked to students.
It's not a conflict anyone seems to really care much about, or not a lot people care
much about. But I think it's valuable to be there. I think it's valuable to give people
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #5: Thank you so much for explaining.
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #6: So speaking of fashion, I wanted to know how your beautiful
mother was and if you share her love of fashion and what she thinks of you swimming in these
shark infested waters.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: My mom is good. My mom is Gloria Vanderbilt and she's 87 and she's
great. She's in really good health. And she--. I do not share her interest in fashion. I
could care less about it. It really doesn't interest me. I hate shopping.
I always, for some reason, I still think when I go into a store people think I'm stealing
something. Does anybody else have this? I'm convinced the sales people think I'm stealing
something. And I literally feel like I have to demonstrate to them like, "I'm looking
at this shirt now."
I don't know why I feel this. I hope to work this out at my daytime show. She's gotten
used to me going off and doing weird things. I mean, I said I left high school early and
drove across sub-Saharan Africa in a truck.
And I had been doing survival courses as a very young kid before that in the wilderness
for like, months at a time. So, she had gotten used to this idea and she's really sweet about
it 'cause I lie to her all the time when I'm away. I was in Egypt and I was like, "I'm
just gonna hang out by the pool in the hotel today."
And then, half an hour later I'm getting beat up by thugs. And so--
>>STEVE GROVE: Does your mom watch YouTube? 'Cause she'll see this.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I know. Yes, I know. She knows about it by now. 'Cause then I'll have
to call her up and be like, "All right. So I decided not to hang out by the pool and
I went outside and these people hit me in the head. And you're gonna see it on TV, but
it doesn't look as bad."
I always it doesn't, it wasn't as bad as it looks on TV, which is also not true 'cause
it's usually worse. But.
>>STEVE GROVE: You're digging a hole.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah, but she's--. What's remarkable about my mom is that she has never
asked me not to do something. I mean, from the time I was very little, even doing very
extreme things, she was very supportive of it and if she felt I was really passionate
about it.
>>STEVE GROVE: Let's go over here.
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #7: I have a question about how you put your show together. How
you decide at what stories to bring because sometimes it's the more broad political agendas
and then other times it goes much more into being almost sensational news.
So, how do you make these decisions? Or, is it just you or the guidance at CNN?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: There's not really any guidance from CNN. I mean, I generally do
things which I'm interested in, which I think other people are gonna be interested in. And
it's a combination. And every day, we sit around all day thinking of what are we gonna
do today.
And we try to start off the broadcast, if there's not breaking news, with--. We have
branded it at keeping it honest, but it basically is what I think all reporters should be doing,
which is basically just seeing public statements that have been made and then holding people
accountable for those statements if they're correct or not, like the Obama trip to India
costs thing.
So, we usually try to lead off the broadcast with a keeping them honest report if we don't
have some breaking news. But something like Syria is something I'm very passionate about
and I think is important. And very few people on television news are covering it on a regular
sustained basis.
And I think it's important that it get covered. I had the idea that if you have thousands
of people who are standing out for their dignity, being shot to death in the streets by their
own government, I think is abhorrent and deserves coverage. Certainly there's some times there's
stories that I may not be personally all that interested in, or that I think are all that
important in a geopolitical sense, but that people are just genuinely interested.
And look at the Casey Anthony trial. That's a story that people were fascinated with and
for all the people who say they weren't interested in it, half of those people were still watching
it. And you're in a news business and my job is not to tell people to eat their broccoli
every single night.
Sometimes, if someone's interested in a story and there's a high viewer interest in it,
I'll do that story if we think we can do it in an intelligent way. So, we try not to be
sensationalistic about stuff. And I don't know if there's something specific that you're
referencing, but certainly everybody's responsible just for their own little program and I can't
take credit or responsibility for what else is on cable news.
But on my program, we try very hard not to focus on stuff that's sensational. And what
we found, frankly, over the years is that for a CNN viewer, they're really not interested
in sensational stories. I mean, if somebody's really, really interested in crime stories,
they can go to Nancy Grace on HLN.
She covers what she covers. Or, they could go to some of the other shows on HLN or elsewhere.
Or, if they're interested in celebrity interviews, they go to Pierce Morgan. People don't really
come to me for that on CNN. They come now because of the accountability things and also
a lot of foreign coverage.
So, I'm happy that I have that niche and that viewers are actually coming for that. And
so, that's what I'm able to do.
>>STEVE GROVE: We have time for one more question over here.
>>Male Audience Member #8: Speaking on the topic of where you think things might be going,
or how you'd like them to go, but particularly in the developing world where sometimes you're
covering the stories, do you think that what we see with Twitter and YouTube and these
kind of things is making the kind of impact it could and the affected populations in these
Are they getting the benefit of increased coverage,
>>Male Audience Member #8: or is it more just to have people watching?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I think it's hard to generalize. I mean, I think it depends on each situation.
But I think certainly some places in Haiti--. I mean, in Haiti for instance, in the wake
of the earthquake there were a lot of folks online who were obviously very concerned and
wanted to be involved and were trying to help spread information.
Like, "This person is trapped in this building." And I would get these tweets. I would get
these emails. I mean, thousands of them every single day while I was down in Haiti for that
month. And 99% of them are very well-intentioned. A lot of them are just this echo chamber of
somebody else has put this email out there.
And it's been picked up by ten other concerned people and then it's been forwarded and it's
taken on a life of its own. And it grows in hysteria to the point where you get an email
from a very serious sounding person who's saying there are kids who are crushed and
starving in this orphanage and they're at 28, and they give the address, and you drive
for half a day to get there only to learn that actually the kids are fine here.
It's not a great situation, but they have enough food for two or three weeks and it's
not what it was made into. And we've had a number of those situations where we've actually
responded to things which came to us with the best of intentions. So, it can be an issue.
It can also be somebody trapped underneath a house can send out an email and their loved
one can see it and relief can come, help can come. And that has happened as well. So, it's
a case by case basis. But I do think overall, I mean, it’s incredible, positive, that
I think any way you can engage people, any way you can get people to focus on--.
Everyone's so busy and they don't have time necessarily to even sit and watch a news clip.
But to read a headline online that maybe spurs them to do something. Or, there's just extraordinary
things being done by Google and on Google and by YouTube, helping people coordinate
and helping people organize and I mean, I know people from Google who went down to Haiti
and I don't know what they were doing, but something on the computer to help--
I'm a total Luddite. I'm there with my quill pen and I see them with laptops, but to help
data storage and to help organize what stuff is coming in and what's going out. I mean,
that's incredible.
And it really is revolutionizing the way aid is delivered. And it can really revolutionize
things and I think it's incredibly exciting to see because it really does have an impact
on the ground. I mean, just one quick example. I was in Haiti when eight days after the quake,
a woman, an elderly woman, I think she was in her 70s was found alive, trapped by a building
near the Cathedral.
She had been trapped under the wreckage for eight days. And it was incredible that she
was still alive. And she gets pulled out by some South African and Mexican search and
rescue people, but they were so excited and elated that they pulled her out, no one had
thought of the next step of, "Well, what do we do with her now?"
And there were no real--. Her pelvis was crushed, I think. Part of her leg was crushed. And
she needed life support and she needed surgery immediately. And there was no place to take
her. And they had no knowledge of where there was a doctor who could actually perform the
kind of surgery she needed.
And we ended up, I mean, me, my team of two other people ended up in this weird position
where we found ourselves with her in the back of our truck, on a stretcher, trying to mobilize
people online and mobilize resources over the phone that we could bring her to.
And we ended up getting her on board a US Coast Guard helicopter that landed on the
Presidential Palace that had been destroyed. And my producer is on the front lawn waving
the chopper in with his BlackBerry light. And I mean, that shouldn't happen. And so,
the ability to connect people who are on the ground, 'cause when you're on the ground you
have no way of really sharing information.
And I think that's the next step--the ability for in real-time, people who are on the ground
to connect information and connect resources. That would be an extraordinary step.
>>STEVE GROVE: Well, Anderson. Thanks for coming today.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Cool. Thank you.
>>STEVE GROVE: Before we let you go, we want to give you an essential pair of YouTube tube
>>ANDERSON COOPER: That's fine. That's great.
>>STEVE GROVE: I'm sure you'll wear them the next time you're out here.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: I will. I'll wear them with my black t-shirt. Thank you.
>>STEVE GROVE: Your talk show start September 12th.
>>STEVE GROVE: Monday. If people here wanted to go watch it, how could they get the tickets?
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Go to They're free. It's actually a fun experience.
They should.
>>STEVE GROVE: Well, good luck.
>>ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.
>>STEVE GROVE: Thanks again.