It can seem at times like some news anchors and journalists are acting as paid spokespeople for certain companies, products, and services that they deliver reports on — which, if true but left undisclosed to the public, would seriously undermine the credibility of the particular media figure.
CNN primetime anchor Anderson Cooper was accused of exactly that by a heckler with a cell phone camera in the lobby of the network’s New York City headquarters on Friday, and Cooper did not react well to the apparent ambush, the Conservative Brief reported.
Cooper repeatedly dropped the “F-bomb” as he sought to distance himself from the man who was asking questions about a report that Cooper did for CBS’ “60 Minutes” last year about small all-electric aircraft that would soon be utilized by certain companies as “air taxis.”
Cooper accused of doing “commercials” disguised as news reports
The video, which first began to circulate on TikTok before migrating to other platforms, begins right outside the CNN building as the man with the camera spotted Cooper and followed him through a revolving door into the lobby and then up a flight of stairs before going through a second revolving door and up another flight of stairs deeper into the building.
The entire time that the man followed Cooper he peppered him with accusations and questions related to his “60 Minutes” report last year about eVTOLs — electric verticle take-off and landing aircraft — and the few companies that manufacture and plan to use them as “air taxis,” some of which Cooper gushed over in the “60 Minutes” segment, according to the New York Post.
The unidentified questioner essentially accused Cooper of doing “commercials” for the companies instead of an actual news report, without informing viewers, and asked if the anchor held any “investments” in any of the particular companies that were highlighted.
Those companies touted in Cooper’s April 2021 report, per CBS News, included Lift Aircraft, Joby Aviation, and Wisk Aero.
Cooper snaps, drops “F-bombs” on questioner
Cooper appeared to do his best to initially ignore the inquisitive man with the camera that was following him — that is, until they reached the second revolving door, at which point Cooper lashed out explicitly and said, “What the f–k are you doing? Get the f–k away from me!”
The man did apologize for seemingly bumping into Cooper at that second revolving door and did back off a step or two, but nonetheless continued to follow Cooper and ask more questions.
That continued until the CNN anchor reached a large set of glass doors, paused momentarily to shake his head with a dismissive smirk as he glanced back toward the man, and then entered the doors through which the man did not follow any further.
The Post noted that CNN did not provide comment on the incident in response to a request, nor was it clear if Cooper and the network had the man arrested for following the anchor into the building and asking him questions that he did not feel compelled to answer.