Huffpost Media

Anderson Cooper Egypt Coverage Criticized By L.A. Times

Posted: Updated:
ANDERSON COOPER EGYPT

UPDATE: James Rainey defended his comments about Anderson Cooper in a blog post on Monday. He stressed that he did not think Cooper had said anything false, or that Cooper was wrong to criticize the Mubarak government--just that Cooper's repeated use of the word "lies" in reference to the Mubarak regime began to sound "a little one-note" and "seemed like a marked departure from the moderate tone we once expected on CNN." Rainey also said it would have been "more instructive" for Cooper to have given, for example, "a primer on why the U.S. snuggled up to the dictator in the first place," instead of talking about Mubarak's "lies" so many times.

Read Rainey's full blog post here.

ORIGINAL POST:
Anderson Cooper's tough talk about the Egyptian government's "lies" was criticized by Los Angeles Times columnist James Rainey on Saturday. Cooper, Rainey wrote, should not have called the government "liars" as much as he has.

"It's not often that American television news figures accuse government officials, foreign or domestic, of lying," Rainey wrote in a blog post. "But CNN's Anderson Cooper made up for that, big time, this week. He heaped the pejorative on Egypt's leaders 14 times in a single 'Anderson Cooper 360.'"

Cooper has indeed been using the word many times throughout his broadcasts over the past week. He called the government of former President Hosni Mubarak liars on his Monday and Tuesday shows, in an appearance on David Letterman's show on Wednesday, and in a conversation with Wolf Blitzer on Thursday.

Rainey thought he was going over the top, though, writing that Cooper's use of the terms "got so thick" on one show that he seemed to be "channeling" Senator Al Franken's book "Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them."

He focused on Cooper's Wednesday show, and totted up every time he said "lies" or "lying" or "liars," as well as any synonyms he used. It was, he said, an "extraordinary truth-squadding session."

Rainey said the tone was evidence of "Cooper's pronounced shift toward more opinion-making in recent months," and that, though he could not find fault with any of the statements Cooper made, "it did begin to sound a little one-note after about the sixth or seventh 'liar, liar.' We got the point a few minutes into the show."

He also quoted journalist Marc Cooper, who said he wished (Anderson) Cooper would apply the same "piercing candor" at American politicians.