Dear Anderson Cooper: Thank You

Dear Anderson Cooper,

A couple of weeks ago, I was an audience member on your daytime TV show, Anderson. I wrote extensively about the situation and how disappointed I was at how the the Penn State students who made the trek all the way to New York from State College were treated and represented. After the taping, I felt let down–I was a fan of Anderson Cooper 360 and of your work (we even shared a similar sense of humor!). Seeing you, and your show, produce the program in the way that you did deeply saddened me.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I heard the news that two of your executive producers had stepped down, one of whom left because you disagreed with how they handled the aforementioned special. According to the New York Post,

[Executive Producer Cathy] Chermol left after Cooper disagreed with her handling of a Nov. 15 special on the Penn State scandal, called “State of Shame.” A source said Chermol instructed the audience not to hold back emotion. But Cooper took exception to the instructions. The source added while such a practice would be commonplace on a show like Cooper’s, the host disagreed with it.

If this is true, Anderson, then thank you for doing the right thing. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for your beliefs, even when you’re the star of the show, and I am glad that you did not appreciate the way this particular episode was handled. There is still a long road ahead to restore my trust in Anderson as a show that goes beyond the normal garbage of daytime talk shows, but this is a good, important first step.

I hope that you continue to fight for what you believe in, seek the truth, and avoid the typical sensationalism of both daytime talk shows and cable news. Your actions will not be forgotten, good or bad, so keep it up. We’ll all be keeping track of you and your show’s progress.

Evan Kalikow

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About the Author

Evan Kalikow

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.

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