On Monday, VH1 staff writer Bobby Finger was invited to attend a taping of CNN’sAnderson Live. This is his story.
After walking through backstage hallways filled with scurrying PA’s, 1/3rd of TLC, and large framed photos of Anderson Cooper interacting with celebrities like Dame Judi Dench and DameDebra Messing, I had the pleasure of attending the January 14th episode of Anderson Live. The audience seemed to consist primarily of tourists and Chris Colfer – though, in many cases, those two categories overlapped. I, on the other hand, was most excited about seeing how guest host T–Boz and Anderson would interact. They didn’t disappoint me.
Back in 2012, when Anderson Cooper came out of the closet in a public letter to Andrew Sullivan, he said his reason for not announcing his sexuality earlier was that as a journalist, he never felt like he should be the news himself. Yeah, that ship sailed years ago, but this week, we may have witnessed the final death knell to the CNN anchor’s rep as a serious news man. It’s hard to imagine world leaders or war lords sitting down for interviews with the man whose “sardine” Kathy Griffin pretended to kiss on New Year’s Eve. Not that it’s entirely his fault Griffin made the silly attempt to simulate oral sex on live TV. But Cooper hadn’t helped matters, what with his failed daytime talk show, occasional on-air giggle fits and, yeah, agreeing to host CNN’s NYE coverage with Griffin once again. Of course, the comedian is clearly loving the attention the stunt garnered her, as she showed on last night’s Late Show With David Letterman.
“If you think this is the part where I’m going to apologize for trying to go down on Anderson Cooper, you are sorely mistaken,” Griffin told Letterman. “I tried, ladies and gays, I tried for you.” Read more…
Anderson Cooper needs to learn that when you hire Kathy Griffin, you get what you pay for! In 2009 the edgy funny lady dropped the F-bomb during CNN’s live New Year’s Eve coverage, and last year she stripped down to her underwear on-air while a confused and seriously stressed-out Cooper looked on. Despite the press backlash, the powers that be invited Kathy back for this year’s live celebration in Times Square, and she did not disappoint. The ball wasn’t the only thing that dropped at midnight, as Griffin pretended to give oral sex to her co-host Cooper! Yes, cries of “Happy New Year!” were mixed pretty heavily with shouts of “Wait, WTF?!” at our house.
It started early on in the night when Kathy told Cooper, “I’m going to tickle your sack.” This understandably unnerved Cooper, who probably wouldn’t want his sack tickled by Kathy in the best of occasions, let alone during a live TV broadcast in the middle of a crowded and freezing Times Square. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have no sack of gifts here,” he said trying to defuse the situation. “A sack of Christmas presents. I did not bring a sack of Christmas presents.”
Things got much worse around midnight, after the network cut away from a report in Maine, where locals traditionally kiss a sardine sculpture on New Year’s. Without missing a beat, Griffin was seen down around Anderson’s crotch area, prompting him to ask if she dropped something. “No, I was kissing your sardine,” she confirmed. The veteran newscaster pulled the comedienne to her feet as she insisted, “You know you want to.” Anderson answered with an uncharacteristically icy “Believe me, I really don’t.” Watch the whole uncomfortable incident in the video above!
By now you’ve heard the furor over Instagram’s new policy — which will take effect in a month — that basically allows them to own and sell users photographs without any compensation or prior permission. This happened after Facebook bought out the comapany. Apart from the issues of privacy, which has thousands up in arms, celebrities are also going nuts because the policy states that photographs of users can also be appropriated for advertising purposes. You know what that means. Precious endorsement money gone down the drain. As expected, the world also decided to take their frustration about this decision out on Twitter. Out of all the angry tweets floating about, we culled out the top 10 most mad tweets sent out by celebrities who stated they were going to delete their accounts.
The good news is that with all this fuss and also, all the thousands of retweets of celebrity messages saying they were done with Instagram, the company has had a change of heart. A new, long, apologetic and detailed statement is up on the Instagram blog, written by co-founder Kevin Systrom, saying that, “… As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos.” The most important point clarified is about advertising, as Systrom writes, “Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram.” And here comes the clarification: “Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”
There’s a lot more in there about ownership and privacy writes, so give it a read here. Until then, enjoy the celebrity tweets that most probably helped in Instagram scrambling to get this statement up! Yee-haw for star power!
The hot sun, the warm sand, the intoxicating scent of bug spray: yes, the summer time is prime time for hook-ups, both celebrity and original flavor. From the clam-chowder-and-madras-plaid love of Taylor Swift and Conor Kennedy, to the surprise engagement of Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger (their wedding is going to be designed by Hot Topic, right?), check out our favorite hook-ups from summer 2012, and wish you hadn’t spent the last three months inside on your computer:
On the one hand, it’s good to know the tabloids don’t discriminate when it comes to sharing rumors about the woes of same-sex couples. On the other hand, we’re guessing Anderson Cooper would probably have been happy to receive some unequal treatment here. A few days after the publication of photos showing Cooper’s boyfriend of three years, Ben Maisani, kissing another man, the National Enquirer is reporting that the CNN anchor has kicked his cheating bar owner boyfriend out of their home.
“Anderson’s shattered,” a source told the tab. “He felt secure enough with Ben that he took the bold step of coming out as gay this year. He was confident that their relationship was strong. Now he knows that they are finished forever. Anderson’s a strong man, and he’ll put on a brave face, but the truth is he’s absolutely devastated.” Read more…
More like Watch What Happens Love! Okay, we’ll readily admit that was a horrible joke. We are just too excited for witticisms, now that we caught wind of the fact that Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen could possibly, potentially, allegedly be dating. Based on their respective Instagram pics, Gawker deduced that the Anderson journalist and Bravo late night host are vacationing together in the romance capital of the world: Croatia. “Look who just took the same instagram pic as me @bravoandy,” Cooper tweeted earlier today, along with a shot of Cohen beaming in front of a sunset. Why not put it in sky writing, you guys? Actually, could you do that? That would make things easier for us, both legally and emotionally-speaking.
Add to this the facts that 1) photos emerged yesterday of Anderson’s boyfriend Ben Maisanimaking out with another dude and 2) both Cohen and Cooper have taken down the photos captured by Gawker, and all signs point to some sweet, sweet, Kathy Griffin-approved lovin’. Besides, even if they’re just friends now, who can resist the erotic power of a Croatian sunset? Literally no one. Oh man, just thinking about their celebrity wedding makes our hands go number with gleeeeeeeee.
“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud,” Anderson Cooper wrote to The Daily Beast’sAndrew Sullivan in a letter the columnist reprinted with permission. Of course, this “news” shocked absolutely no one, as the CNN anchor was in one of the clearest of glass closets in the history of closets. But still, we are completely fascinated and moved by the Silver Fox’s explanation of why he’d refused to discuss his sexual orientation up until now, and what made him change his mind. Here are some highlights:
Anderson stayed in the closet for the safety of himself and his co-workers: “Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own.”
He’s a very principled journalist: “I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter.”
He doesn’t want anyone to think he was ever “ashamed” of being gay: “It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.”
Some of you might have forgotten about Anderson Cooper‘s adorable child-like snicker. It has been a little while since Cooper lost his damn mind on “The Ridiculist” this past August while talking about French actor Gerard Depardieu going number one in front of his fellow (horrified) passengers on an Air France flight. Luckily for you, Anderson couldn’t contain his glee while reporting on Buffalo, New York’s annual Dyngus Day last night, and the world was once again blessed with his absurdly cute tittering. Listen to it! It’s like a Smurf enjoying a knock-knock joke! It’s like cartoon sunshine…for your ears!
The second best part of Cooper busting a gut on camera? All the painful squee faces he makes trying to hold it together long. Fortunately, we captured each and every grimace for your giggling pleasure:
Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were both wildly famous African-American pop stars who died under tragic circumstances. It was only a matter of time before someone made the comparison. That the person comparing them happens to be Janet Jackson is somewhat of a surprise; that her advice for Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina will make you cry is not. “You have to come to terms at some point. You have to actually give it up to God,” Jackson tellsAnderson Cooper during an Anderson interview set to air Monday. “It sounds so mean, but you have to move on. You can’t hold onto that because it can be very devastating.” No, mean isn’t the word for it, Janet. “Devastating,” maybe? “Sob-inducing”?
Bobbi Kristina allegedly had a “nervous breakdown” following her mother’s death on Saturday, getting admitted to the hospital twice before returning to the care of father Bobby Brown for recuperation. In her interview, Janet Jackson takes great pains to explain why Whitney Houston‘s death might feel significantly different than MJ’s passing. “I lost my brother, she lost her mother. There’s a difference. I don’t know what that’s like being so young,” Jackson admits, finally concluding, “There’s never a day, not one day has gone by where I don’t think about my brother.” Oh, yup, we were right. Bring on the slow, steady weeping!