Anderson Cooper Puts PBS on His 'Ridicu-List'

CNN would like to portray itself as the serious, no-gimmicks news network. So why would Anderson Cooper feel the need to copycat Keith Olbermann and come up with a editorializing feature called the "Ridicu-List"? On Tuesday night, he called out PBS for editing out Tina Fey's less-than-classy jokes about conservative women being great for women, unless you need a rape kit, or are lesbian, or believe in evolution. Cooper obviously believes in taxpayer-funded conservative-bashing:

COOPER: So we started a new segment on the program this week, a nightly effort to point out hypocrisy, double talk, stuff that just is downright ridiculous. We call it the RidicuList. So who's on the list tonight? Well, it's the TV network PBS for their claims about why they edited Tina Fey.

Tina Fey received the prestigious Mark Twain prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center last week. In her acceptance speech she thanked many people, including Sarah Palin, who Fey obviously imitated a lot during the 2008 presidential campaign.

After playing the joke and then playing the edited version, Cooper pounced, but calmly, with no Olbermannesque fury: 

COOPER: Producers cut out approximately 33 seconds of Fey's jokes about Palin and conservative women. They insist, however, politics or fear of criticism had nothing to do with it.

One of the executive producers of the program told "The Washington Post" that they trimmed parts of Fey's acceptance speech, not because of content but due to time. The ceremony ran 19 minutes too long, and they said a lot of it was trimmed.

That may be so, but it's hard to believe they would choose to trim from one of the main winner's speeches, especially considering they just happened to cut the controversial stuff out. It's fine if they wanted to avoid controversy. I understand that. But they should just admit it. Pretending it had nothing to do with politics, that just sounds ridiculous, and that earns a spot on tonight's RidicuList.

Flailing concepts like this might explain why Cooper lost Tuesday night to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell by 200,000 viewers (865,000 to 666,000) and was predictably pounded by Greta von Susteren on Fox (1.998 millon). Cooper was just as defeated in the 11 pm hour by O'Reilly and Olbermann reruns.
 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis