Eric Naing in the Daily Illini uses the 360 move as an indictment of cable news in general…
But even more frightening than Blitzer and his plasma screens is the growing cult of Anderson Cooper. His show, “Anderson Cooper 360,” has made a big splash on the cable news world, but the bigger story is the non-threatening, genial boy wonder who hosts the show.
In a clear sign of the network’s direction, CNN recently replaced the admittedly frumpy but always thoughtful Aaron Brown and his insightful show “NewsNight” with a longer version of “Anderson Cooper 360.”
A member of the wealthy and powerful Vanderbilt family and former host of the ABC reality show “The Mole,” Cooper has amassed a cult of personality that rivals Mao Zedong. CNN consistently touts him as the new face of cable news. Cooper is everything a cable news executive could want. He’s young, attractive and tech-savvy, perfect for attracting the lucrative younger demographic.
He’s also a shameless self-promoter, and his show is a veritable breeding ground for fluff human interest and celebrity gossip stories sandwiched between glitzy computer graphics. To his credit, Cooper woke up the bulldog press with his reporting on Katrina. But he seems to have reverted to doing stories on candy store-owning entrepreneurs now.
Cooper’s show, along with “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” and “Connected Coast to Coast,” both on the embattled MSNBC, point to an alarming future of cable news - wishy-washy hosts, shameless and awkward attempts to attract a tech-savvy audience, partisan screaming matches and fluff stories.