Topic: Media Research Center
CNN's Anderson Cooper did a tough interview last week with Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on gay-related issues following the Orlando massacre, and the Media Research Center's Tim Graham didn't like that one bit. In a June 16 post, Graham was even upset that Cooper defended the interview:
On Wednesday night, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper spent almost 14 minutes defending himself against Florida attorney general Pam Bondi’s complaints about how he “grilled” her (a word CNN even used) about being an anti-gay politician in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. Cooper lamely claimed he was “respectful” before, during and after the interview and denied he was showing anger....and in the denial showed all the same disrespect and anger (and disingenousness) he brought to the original interview.
Bondi clearly (and wrongly) expected this was going to be a Moment of National Unity interview where everyone could express horror and sympathy as they stood in front of a hospital housing the wounded. Instead, the gay anchorman decided it was time to get angry about the gay agenda, and imply she had never acknowledged the humanity of gays before. But hey, that’s not “anger,” because Cooper didn’t raise his voice. It was just Cooper doing his job “to hold people accountable.”
But while Graham is accusing Cooper of being "dishonest" -- he puts it right in the headline ofhispost -- he's also being dishonest in his reflexive Cooper-bashing and Bondi-defending.
For instance, in a transcript of Cooper defending the interview, Graham boldfaced a section in which Cooper states that Bondi "spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money, gay and straight taxpayer money, trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry. Now, good people can and do disagree on that issue" -- then failed to boldface a section immediately following, where cooper states that "Ms. Bondi is championing right now her efforts to help survivors for the very right allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones, that's a right that wouldn't exist if Ms. Bondi had had her way," which arguably better encapsulates the point Cooper was trying to make.
But Graham then leaps to a statement Cooper made after that -- "I think it is fair to ask about that. There is an irony" -- which set off another rant:
There’s an “irony” in sympathizing with gay people when they’ve just been shot dead. Apparently, Cooper thinks the un-ironic homophobe should express delight? The most dishonest thing Cooper said above is "everyone has a right to their opinion" and " good people can disagree," which he clearly does not believe. Otherwise, he wouldn't be protesting that Bondi never tweeted out support for Gay Pride Month. Apparently, everyone must tweet their support for Gay Pride Month, or they shouldn't express regrets after a mass shooting.
Graham also gave Bondi a pass on her dishonest complaints about the interview -- that the interview was edited, which was impossible since it was shown live (it was apparently edited for rebroadcasts and the web which Graham baselessly accused Cooper of having a personal hand in doing), and that she was booked to appear on CNN only to talk about post-violence insurance scams. Graham didn't boldface that in the Cooper transcript, highlighting instead Cooper's statement that instead of touching on other subjects Bondi suggested talking about, he asked her about actions that "seemed contradictory to her record in dealing with gays and lesbians in the state."
Now, if Bondi was a Democrat and Cooper worked for Fox News and conducted a similarly challenging interview on a subject near and dear to conservative hearts, Graham would be lauding him as tough and fearless and wouldn't be smearing him as biased. In short, he'd be getting the Megyn Kelly treatment.
But because Bondi is Republican and Cooper is gay -- LGBT folks are a particular berzerk button for Graham -- Bondi must be defended and Cooper must be attacked. Graham gets paid good money to do that.