Monday, April 22, 2013

I got schooled by Anderson Cooper

I got schooled by Anderson Cooper, After a recent article that featured an opinion from a Naturalized citizen who was unhappy about a statement regarding the Boston bombings made by Anderson Cooper, Mr. Cooper himself contacted me to clarify the situation.

“Get your facts straight. You quote somebody who admits she may have misheard me. She did mishear me. Check transcript,” he tweeted me Saturday, provoking more than 220 retweets and 679 “favorites,” plus a slew of comments from his fans that ranged from simply supporting Cooper to aggressive personal attacks.

In the previous article, Miranda said that she was upset by a comment Cooper made, “Something along the lines that Naturalized Citizens have a propensity to become extremists and join these anti-American terrorist cells.”

“It really shocked me to hear that from him and I hope that I misunderstood him,” she said.

“Shame on you Anderson Cooper and CNN,” Miranda said. “As a Naturalized American Citizen, I take my Oath and Allegiance to The United States of America very seriously. If we are going to play the blame game, let's direct it properly, on these heartless, soulless individuals.”

Considering the Twitter-storm the article and Cooper’s response caused, please note the following.

What the transcript said

Cooper told me to check the transcript, and I did as he suggested. His actual statement regarding Naturalized citizens follows.

“In past cases where we have seen people, American citizens, naturalized American citizens, become radicalized, I think back to a number of Somali youth who ended up going to Somalia. If memory serves me, the first suicide bombing in Somalia several years ago was actually an American.”

What Ms. Miranda said

When I got in touch with Ms. Miranda and shared the above information with her, she was happy to hear that she’d misunderstood.

“As I have said repeatedly, I am a fan of Anderson Cooper, but that comment did not sit well with me at all,” she said. “But if I am wrong then I need to be set straight.”

After she reviewed the information, she said she was relieved that she misunderstood.

What I have to say

I could get all defensive and make up all kinds of reasons say I was right to publish Ms. Miranda’s comments without “getting my facts straight,” but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’ll just say that I was, in fact, schooled by Anderson Cooper, as several of his fans tweeted.

I should have taken the time to get that information and published it along with Ms. Miranda’s thoughts.

Anderson Cooper, a journalist for whom I’ve always had a great deal of respect (and still do), did not make any derogatory statements regarding Naturalized citizens or any other group of people. While I did not directly accuse him of such, the statements I published from my source indicated that he did—and he was right, I did not check the transcript before publishing.

For the record, I still think Cooper is an amazing reporter, and I am not upset with him for calling me out. Apparently, I deserved it.

To those who insulted everything from my intelligence to my looks to my mama on Twitter, I’m not mad at you. I understand you’re supporting Mr. Cooper, and I understand why.

I also understand that it’s easy to hurl insults and personally attack someone you’ll probably never meet in person from behind a keyboard or phone. I’m not going to respond to any of those attacks, but instead, I’ll wish you all the best that life has to offer.

And to Mr. Cooper, thanks for the lessons, and I mean that sincerely. You’ve earned a permanent place on my DVR.

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