Monday, December 17, 2007
Anderson's View
So this past weekend we had the 360 holiday party. As far as I know there were no terribly embarrassing incidents. You know the kind of thing, when, late at night, you decide you really, really have to tell your boss what you've always thought of him. No one seemed particularly sheepish this morning in the office, so unless some incriminating photos suddenly surface, it was a successful party. There was an after party that involved karaoke, and who knows what else, but I got sleepy and didn't attend. The truth is I've never understood the appeal of karaoke, and being asked to sing some song by Journey just seems like a nightmare to me.

Tonite Mike Huckabee is on Larry King, so we thought we'd start our broadcast with a look at his record. He is without a doubt one of the more personable men on the campaign trail and voters are responding to that, but how much do people really know about his record? Not much. Tonight we'll fill in the gaps, and also look at a number of the endorsements that have occurred over the weekend. Do endorsements by newspapers or celebrities make a difference to you? Do they influence your vote? My guess is they don't, but I'd be curious to hear from you.

We're also looking in depth tonight at witness protection programs across the country. You may remember the story I did for 60 Minutes about the "Stop Snitchin" movement, encouraging people not to talk to police. Well, those who are brave enough to come forward are often left unprotected. Randi Kaye reveals the extent of the problem tonite.

See you later!

- Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 3:08 PM ET
  52 Comments
Anderson,
I'm really looking forward to Randi's report. I can see why some people wouldn't want to risk "snitchin" especially if the police won't seem to help keep them safe. I guess it is all about where you live as to if you'd tell or not.

I am glad that you all are doing some diggin on Huckabee. It seems not much is known on him. I am really interested in knowing more!!

Glad to hear the 360 holiday party went off with out a snag. Too bad you didn't join in on the karaoke...now that would have made for some great What Were They Thinking Moments!! LOL

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 3:22 PM ET
Anderson, I hope you had a great time at the 360 party!!! You say you don't understand the appeal of karaoke, but I bet when you're alone you sing some song by Journey...LOL!!!

The ndorsement by a famous person or a newspaper does not influence my vote. I vote becuase I like where the person stands on the issues not becuase Oprah or whoever supports them.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Atlanta, GA : 3:23 PM ET
You don't HAVE to sing some song by Journey, Anderson. You could, for instance, sing some song by Patsy Cline. That's what I do...
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 3:26 PM ET
Celebrity endorsements definitely don't influence my vote. I think most of them only do it for their own personal benefit anyway, and it's kind of sad that any celebrity (no matter how important they THINK they are) really believes that they have that much influence over who gets my vote.

Rachel
Winter Park, FL
Posted By Blogger Rachel : 3:28 PM ET
Anderson:

No, endorsements usually don't mean much to me. I respect the opinions of others, but in the end it's my own opinion that matters most to me. And it's also the one I go to sleep with at night. I know what I want from my elected officials, so I consider myself a good source for direction when I vote.

I feel your pain about office parties. They are a wasteland of regret if they get out of hand. To be honest, I'm kind of a Grinch about Christmas and all the fanfare. I like spending quiet time with my family and friends and couldn't care less about who danced on a table or hit on their boss at an office party-or who got wasted and copied their butt on the company Xerox.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 3:29 PM ET
Happy Holidays 360!

Anderson, you crack me up! I don't mind admitting that I'd love to see you perform "Don't Stop Belivin'" at a holiday party! LOL!

I am against celebrity/newspaper endorsements. I think it's just another politial smoke screen. Let's talk issues, not who likes you best!

Can't wait to see the show tonight!
Posted By Anonymous Annette L, Alpha, NJ : 3:32 PM ET
Oh, Anderson Cooper, you hit a nerve with me today!

I can't stand newspaper endorsements. It is kind of like an insult to the intelligence of the human race.

Isn't the paper supposed to be "keeping them honest" like you say on 360?

Then the paper endorses candidates who they are in bed with so to speak. Maybe it the candidate that purchases the most ad space in print, television and on radio? Who knows?

I guess the analogy is really similar to your thoughts about going to the WH Correspondents dinner.

How can the paper "keep them honest" when they are snuggled up with them via endorsement?
Posted By Anonymous Renee Bradenton, FL : 3:33 PM ET
I don't care what celebs think - as a matter of fact I look at what Hollywood is doing and then vote exactly the OPPOSITE !
Posted By Anonymous aj huntington ny : 3:37 PM ET
If not Journey, how about something by Scissor Sisters, say Laura. The Mike Huckabee segment sounds interesting and it would be a great public service if you or CNN would do the same with the other candidates. We need to see them on a more human level and not just the persona we see during the debates or sound bites from calculated campaign stops. If not now how about after the caucus and primary season begins.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren MI : 3:37 PM ET
If you don't care for the person making the endorsement, you don't care how they're voting. So, I mean c'mon most of the "endorsers" aren't exactly rocket scientists.


PS. so we won't see any karaoke of Anderson doing Air Supply?...
Posted By Anonymous Dianne- Warwick , RI : 3:40 PM ET
With the way things have been going lately for some celebrities it seems like it could be political endorsements today, the back of a patrol car tomorrow. Why should I care who some celebrity might favor for president? Their priorites most likely are the not the same as mine. I'm quite capable of making up my own mind, thank you.
Posted By Blogger Barbara in Culver City, CA : 3:42 PM ET
Oh the work Christmas party.....the one night a year you can let loose and hope none of your co-workers remember anything the next morning. My works Christmas party is this Thursday night.....can not wait.

I am really looking forward to seeing Mike Huckabee on Larry King tonight. I am really interested in what Mr. Huckabee has to say.

Hopefully some iReporters caught some footage of the AC360 Glee Club and Floor Directors from the Christmas party.....they are a hoot!!!

Have a great show tonight Anderson and team!
Posted By Anonymous Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 3:43 PM ET
Yeah, maybe if we printed on ballot "ENDORSED BY OPRAH", or whoever, the lazy, sound-bite people will know who to vote for based on their favorite celebrity!
Posted By Anonymous Dane P - Omaha Ne. : 3:44 PM ET
What I want to know is , who is Kevin Federline endorsing. I will not make a move politically until I see on which side of the fences he sits.
Posted By Anonymous Steve - Peoria, IL : 3:45 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
Sounds like your holiday party was fun. Those things are always torturous! In answer to your question about newspaper endorsements, no, they do not influence my vote. I like to make my own decisions, not based on what someone tells me. The story tonight on witness protection will be interesting. It will be harder for police to do their jobs if they cannot promise people protection.
Posted By Blogger pamina : 3:46 PM ET
If a person can't make up their own mind, maybe they should refrain. Celebrities don't know everything. I think most of them are trying to see how powerful they are...
Posted By Anonymous travis w. - prescott, az. : 3:48 PM ET
Holiday office parties are dangerous things to be avoided at all costs if you can manage it.

Huckabee came off ok during the YouTube debate, but certain remarks he made in the past have come to light recently and they are disturbing.

It's almost a little insulting that celebrities feel we are SO enamored with them that we would automatically follow their lead on something as important as electing a president, so no, I'm not influenced by celebrity endorsements. I'd be a little more inclined to consider a newspaper endorsement, but even then, you really have to get the facts and decide for yourself.
Posted By Anonymous Fay, Vacaville, CA : 3:48 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

Hmm, I have a fairly vivid image of you karaoking(?) to "Don't Stop Believin", think that one'll be with me for awhile. :) Course you do do a mean "Tiny Bubbles"...

You are correct, endorsements don't mean anything to me personally, though I do understand the draw they can have for a candidate. One thing that does disturb me however is when you have an entity that is supposed to be neutral, a news outlet for example, that backs a specific candidate. That always seems a bit odd to me.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Washington DC : 3:49 PM ET
Aww, karaoke is so much fun!
I really liked the christmas song performed by the AC 360 crew, but I really hope you join in next time.
An endorsement by a celebrity can’t influence me to vote for a candidate, but I might boycott the next movie or cd by that celebrity if he or she is supporting a candidate that I don’t like at all.

Judith

Trier, Germany
Posted By Blogger Judy : 3:50 PM ET
That's a big NO! Celebrities who think they can translate their fame into credibility are just egotistical and insecure. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous David H - Lake Barrington, IL : 3:51 PM ET
AC,

Endorsements do not influence my vote, unless it's wierd, like Lieberman endorsing McCain! Nor does it matter if the candidate is "likeable". I just want to be halfway sure they can run the country as it should be run.

Man! You really have a thing about Journey, don't you?!

Later

Maggie
Posted By Blogger kissthis10 : 3:51 PM ET
I couldn't care less about endorsements -they don't influence me at all. Well, I take that back. If I see Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Ted Kennedy endorsing someone then I know I wont' be voting that way! Other than that, I couldn't care less.
Posted By Anonymous shelley d, manchester, nh. : 3:54 PM ET
I am not influenced by any type of endorsements.However, some citizens are influenced by endorsements of people or organizations that they like. It's sad, but it's true.
Posted By Anonymous Shamera : 3:54 PM ET
My invitation got lost in the mail for that CNN party ?... well, I think if you look at a candidate's experience and track record you don't care what the "stars" think. But, celebrity being so pervasive, I guess some people care.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 4:13 PM ET
I vote according to my own observations, but I think it's only human nature to be influenced by people we admire. I guess I could see someone being swayed.
Posted By Anonymous Riley R, Exeter Ma. : 4:16 PM ET
C'mon, with the internet- especially the debates and youtube, you should be able to focus on the issues, investigate the candidates, register to vote without relying on celebrity endorsements.
Posted By Anonymous Wayne R, Lincoln NE. : 4:19 PM ET
As far as the stars goes and the influence they have on me is none. I will go to the movies and see movie stars, but that's where they stay are in the movies. I know other people goes crazy over movie stars I just don't get it they just people with a job to do. They job is to entertain that's it.

Jennifer, Anderson, South Carolina.
Posted By Blogger bluediamond (Jennifer) : 4:36 PM ET
I don't like this trend of famous endorsements. It's almost like a game show- let's see... CELEBRITY A B and C are voting this way, and CELEBRITY D E and F are voting that way. It's the lazy way out, I think.
Posted By Anonymous D.J. - St Louis, Mo. : 4:45 PM ET
Your "Stop Snitchin" piece was very distrubing to me as a prosecutor. Unfortunately, the push behind this "movement" is probably not about witness protection money so much as it is about gang solidarity.
Posted By Anonymous jj : 4:46 PM ET
Now if a canidate were to start singing Journey, I might be swayed just by that! What's not to like, sloppy polictics followed by slopping singing. As for celebrity endorsements..not interested.
Posted By Anonymous Rhyannon : 4:47 PM ET
Anderson, I'd imagine you're a marvelous singer. But can you dance?

I can't figure out how celebrity endorsments sell anything, so I don't understand why they're supposed to be important to the elections. Really, is anyone really going to buy Nike products because Tiger Woods wears them? Do people actually care if Proactiv worked for Jessica Simpson? Will anyone vote for Obama because Oprah thinks he's the best candidate?

Doubt it.
Posted By Anonymous Christianna : 4:48 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Celebrity endorsements... heck yeah! I can't wait to see who Britney Spears and Paris Hilton endorse...

Just kidding... celebrity endorsements mean little to me. If I have to rely on a celebrity endorsement to determine who I should vote for I shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Just because I may like a certain actor (or CNN Anchor) doesn't mean we share the same political views.
Posted By Blogger Mindy : 5:01 PM ET
I think candidates should not advertise who is endorsing them! What if the voter doesn't like the person making the endorsement ?
Posted By Anonymous julie, grapevine, tx. : 5:01 PM ET
Hey, what's wrong with Karaoke? Ok, so I'm from a small town and that's what we do for entertainment, however, it beats watching "Elf Yourself" videos of the bosses which is what we did. Now, that's boring!

As far as endorsements go, I think it depends on the person. Chuck Norris, Kevin Bacon, Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn, Willie Nelson doesn't really affect me but, Oprah, she's a powerhouse and I have to admit her endorsement is making me think twice about Obama. Or...perhaps it is just all of the hype and her adoring fans. I suppose only time will tell on that one. If you really wanted a candidate in office and knew you could influence the voters, does it really hurt to endorse them? It's been happening for years.

The next candidate I think 360 needs to focus on is Ron Paul. He gets a lot of hype on the net.
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 5:01 PM ET
People who can't be bothered to inform themselves may want to rethink their decision to vote, since they aren't really participating in a democracy if they look at what others are doing. On the other hand, it IS a free country.
Posted By Anonymous Matt A , Northfield, Ill. : 5:09 PM ET
There is no celebrity that could really sway my opinions about a candidate. I vote based on what the person's ideas and stances are, not because Oprah tells me to.

PS. Journey? I think we're all still waiting to hear "Wind Beneath my Wings".
Posted By Anonymous Holly, Florida : 5:12 PM ET
As far as the stars goes and the influence they have on me is none. I will go to the movies and see movie stars, but that's where they stay are in the movies. I know other people goes crazy over movie stars I just don't get it they just people with a job to do. Their job is to entertain that's it.

Jennifer, Anderson, South Carolina.
Posted By Blogger bluediamond (Jennifer) : 5:15 PM ET
Obviously, not being from America, I've got a different perspective on this election. From what we see here, it's inevitable and expected that celebrity endorsements are everywhere. I'm sure nobody wants to believe that the endorsements influence voting - but just look at what Oprah's plugs have done for James Frey or The Secret. Who's to say her 'bump' isn't going to get Obama a million little votes?
Posted By Anonymous Fleur, Auckland, New Zealand : 5:18 PM ET
Anderson,

I could care less what any "star" says or does! They aren't anymore in the know than any of the rest of us.

And come on man....you should have done the karaoke. That would have been one for the What Were They Thinkin reel!! LOL

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 5:27 PM ET
Anderson:
Karaoke. Leave it to the professionals, I say.

Even though I don't think endorsements influence my vote, I feel they may influence others especially if someone is on the fence.

As a print journalist, I feel newspapers should stay out of endorsement business that is unless they want to buy a full page advertisement. But on the other hand, those endorsements do spur quite a lot of mail which editorial boards thrive on to appear on the Op-Ed pages.

Either way, Americans look to some source of information for their ability to vote. Unfortunately most don't take the time to seek out information via internet, newspapers, etc. and may end up relying on attack ads to cast their vote.

I would be just happy if US citizens would just break the poll numbers at the next presidential election. That would be quite an endorsement for our country.
Posted By Blogger Sharon from Indy : 5:29 PM ET
When a celebrity has information or access to information about a subject I am concerned about, I will listen. For instance, I have support UNHCR for many years so I listen when Angelina discusses the subject as she is a UN Ambassador. That is about as far as it goes. I would not vote for a person based on a celebrity endorsement. In fact, most of the time it just turns me off. Probably because millionaire celebrities seldom have a clue about what it takes to manage my life and my family on a day to day basis.
Posted By Blogger Em : 5:38 PM ET
Surely the candidates want to be elected because of their credentials and not because of whomever was standing next to them on stage, right?... Yes?... No? Well, I certainly think that voting is way to important to let some celebrity make up your mind for you!

Looking forward to tonight,
Kristien, Antwerp, Belgium

ps: I'm with Holly, still waiting for your Bette Midler!!
Posted By Blogger Kristien : 5:51 PM ET
I think endorsements kind of sway those really too lazy to try and sort out all the different issues, or they find it too complex to even contemplate. I guess the thinking goes "Well, if so-an-so likes him, and I like so-an-so - then it must be okay." Personally, I like to look a little more in-depth than that. So what if so-an-so likes Candidate X? Where does the candidate stand on social dysfunction [or anything of real substance]? That's what I want to know.

Sorry to hear you skipped the party. Sometimes those kinds of things are enlightening in ways you don't expect... ;-)
Posted By Blogger Tina : 6:37 PM ET
Hi Anderson!

My personal view on endorsements and celebrities regarding politics is simply rediculous. This election is far too important for the future of our country to be taking a risk on persuading someone to vote one way or the other based on a celebrity's personal view. It is a distraction to the campaigns and to citizens making the right choice for themselves.

I'm glad the holiday party was a success!

Tracie - Chicago, IL
Posted By Anonymous Tracie - Chicago, IL : 6:43 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Glad you had a successful party. My company party is tomorrow and I look forward to that.

Regarding endorsements, I listen to them but I like to think I have an independent mind about politics specially elections. I do my own research on the candidate, look for consistent themes, and make up my own mind based on that.

I look forward to the show tonight.

Lilibeth, Edmonds WA
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 6:49 PM ET
Although I can see how endorsement from a reputable third party could potentially reinforce or deter one's opinion accordingly, I don't think that endoresement alone is enough to sway one's vote. Until the candidates are willing to be more vocal about their policies as opposed to their opinions of each other, my vote remains unaffected.
Posted By Blogger Hale : 7:37 PM ET
Anderson,

Karaoke is a lot of fun! My friends sing karaoke for me on my birthday! You have to chose your own favorite song and practice. (Try "Just Fine" from your favorite artist Mary J Blige)

The snitching politics can be battled when community members really integrate and put their minds to community development. I live in a New York neighborhood where Jodie Foster's "The Brave One" was filmed and I noticed that undercover cops are cleaning up the neighborhood and people don't hold back anymore on the snitching. But this probably varies from one neighborhood to the other.
Posted By Anonymous Ratna, New York, NY : 7:39 PM ET
A celebrity would not influence my vote. When I am voting for a president, he or she needs to have good ideas about RUNNING THE COUNTRY. I am so tired of politicians trying to woo Americans with celebrities and trying to act like they are hip or something! It gets on my nerves.

If the president is smart and has the answers, people will listen.
Obama and Oprah shindig was good I thought. I don't think Oprah was trying to tell people to vote for Obama, I just think she was sharing her opinion why people should vote for Obama. But Oprah's appearence with Obama doesn't influence me, cause Oprah won't be running the country!

I am glad you had a great time at the office party. I am glad you did not go and sing. I think that is so dumb too. It just makes fodder for gossip, plus you lose cool points.

Many Smiles Anderson
See you tonite!
Madeliene
Posted By Anonymous Madeliene; Atlanta, Georgia : 7:48 PM ET
Celebrities help gather "free" publicity for candidates. Every news channel covered the Oprah/Obama events.

Newspapers and organizations can help provide a direct comparison of where the candidates stand on various issues, but like celebrities, their endorsements are just their opinions and should be viewed as such.

I'd like to believe that when a person goes to vote, they are voting for the person who best represents their own concerns for the future of this country.

Rather than karaoke, I'd rather see you and Gary Tuchman in a Guitar Hero challenge. Rock on!
Posted By Blogger Jan from Wood Dale, IL : 8:00 PM ET
Anderson,

Celebrity endorsements don't mean much to me, other than finding out who is supporting a Democrat and who's backing a Republican. Newspaper endorsements can be interesting too - although with our "left wing, liberal leaning media" I'm surprised when any newspaper endorses a Republican - NOT!

Kay, Temple, TX
Posted By Blogger Kay : 8:04 PM ET
Newspaper endorsements tell me who I will not cast my vote for. Our state Newspaper is so far left that is used to be called "The Red Rag". As far as I am concerned, their endorsement is a kiss of death for the candidate.

Merry Christmas, Anderson, you are doing a great job.

Ginny C.
Posted By Anonymous Ginny : 5:40 AM ET
The other night Anderson confessed to spending time "in the Grouch's can."

Too classic!
Posted By Anonymous dk : 12:06 PM ET
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