Thursday, January 24, 2008
Anderson's View: Heath Ledger coverage
For the last two nights we have reported on actor Heath Ledger. His shocking death is clearly a story a lot of people are interested in, but tonight we will not be reporting more on it. The truth is there is not really anything new to report.

The full results of the various tests done on Mr. Ledger will not be ready for perhaps a few weeks and there is very little new information. I have no doubt other networks will spend a lot of time tonight discussing his death and the various rumors about what might have caused it, but I am not a fan of speculation, so unless there is something really new to discuss we probably won't be covering it anymore anytime soon.

Tonight we are focusing a lot on politics. The battle between Obama and the Clintons continued today, and we will be examining several different aspects of it. I'm curious to hear your thoughts, in particular about the role President Clinton is playing on the campaign trail. Is it appropriate?

Let me know what you think.

--Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 7:30 PM ET
Anderson, Thanks for blogging today. As far as the Heath Ledger story, it is a sad story but until the toxicology reports come back all that there is to do is speculate and that only makes it tougher on his family. As far as Mr. Clinton and what he is doing with Hillary's campaign it makes me wonder if she were to get elected President who would be making most of the decisions. Like Mr. Obama said during the debate Monday that he can't tell if it's Bill or Hillary that he is running against. Love your show.

Traci - Warren, MN
Posted By OpenID tjp3 : 8:26 PM ET
Hillary doesn’t need anyone to do her dirty work for her, she’s quite capable of handling it just fine by herself.

But it shouldn’t be done at all, by either of them -- they come off as bullies & whoever the target is looks noble by comparison. Bill acting like a child (again!) accomplishes nothing useful & reflects badly on Hillary.
Posted By Anonymous Mac -- San Jose, Calif : 8:33 PM ET
I am happy to hear that you will not be reporting on Mr. Ledger's death. I am tired of hearing all the different speculations surrouding it, and to be honest, I think the media needs to be very sensitive to the fact that his friends and family are mourning the loss of their son, brother, father, and friend. Moreover, to speculate on what happened to him, has to be very painful to his friends and family.
As for the presidential race, it is getting more and more heated with each passing day. I have to admit, I am a bit tired of the dirty politics. Obama and Clinton's bickering and bantering at each other is not solving a thing. They are not getting any closer to proposing a healthcare plan that will give more coverage to the American people; they are not discovering a way to solve the economic crisis; and they certainly cannot be swaying any voters with this behavior. I think the American people are more intellectually perceptive than to fall for "pointing out everything wrong about my opponent in order to make myself look better" behavior. We want real answers and real solutions.
President Clinton is an asset to his wife's campaign, no doubt, but I feel that it might be best for him to let his wife speak for herself. I am not a fan of using your spouse to defame another candidate. While I am enjoying all the coverage of this election, it will be nice when it is all over because then we will not have to continue to deal with the dirty politics that are involved in presidential races.
Posted By Anonymous Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois : 8:33 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

Thank you for rising above the masses and not speculating on the whoel Heath Ledger tragedy. It is bad enough, and I agree, speculation has no place in this situation whatsoever. Not surprising that you are letting it go for now. Good man.

As far as Bill Clinton is concerned, he is going to ruin whatever postive reputation that he has emassed by the way he is acting. It is not appropriate, and has become blatently apparent that it is a huge mistake. He is doing his wife more harm than good.

Like everyone else, I am appalled at the whole "Clinton-Obama battle". There is NO TIME for this. Our country is suffering for the mistakes that have been made over the past years and rather than pointing fingers and sniping at each other, these folks need to redirect, point at the issues and give us clear answers as to how they plan to solve them.

Frankly, I find the entire subject disappointing, disturbing and elementary. We need leaders - and to me, leaders do not act in this manner.

Thanks for asking. I will be watching.

PS: Has Scott located Sasquatch yet? LOL.
Posted By Anonymous Pati McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 8:33 PM ET
Thanks for laying off of the Heath Ledger death and speculation of what caused it! I am glad that atleast 360 won't be going there!

Thanks for finally getting back to politics! I think we need to hear about that more than the celeb stuff.

I think Bill needs to cool it. I think he is doing more harm than good. He lets his ire get the best of him and then says crazy stuff. He needs to shut up and sit down!

Glad you finally decided to join us again here on the blog! Don't make skipping a day a habit now!! LOL

C-Ya Tonight!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 8:34 PM ET
Thank you for not reporting on Heath Ledger anymore. As a viwer, I appreciate the distance and respect you are giving his family by refusing to do so. I look forward to the political coverage.
Posted By Anonymous Suzanne, Edmonton, AB : 8:34 PM ET
Thank you for deciding not to cover Heath Ledger's death for another night. To often the media tends to focus on one event and allows other "newsworthy" stories to slip through the cracks.

Harrisburg, PA
Posted By Blogger Jeremy Long : 8:37 PM ET
Good evening Anderson,

Heath Ledger's death was a tragedy - I am sorry he is gone.

I do agree with you, NOT continuing the MEDIA CIRCUS that surrounds such stories, thank you!

I am looking forward to your show; as I have not been following this darned political race otherwise (YOU ARE MY SOURCE - ya keep them honest!)

Keep up the great work!

Chino Hills, CA
Posted By Blogger beachlzrd : 11:18 PM ET
Re: change with the clintons there is no change same old same old twisting of facts to make themselves look better,but remember Barnum said"there is a sucker born every minute,if we aren't careful we might end up with the spouse of the man that disgraced the oval office. Now thats slinging. It's issuses not twisting the facts.
Posted By Anonymous pat oakdale, pa. : 11:22 PM ET

Thanks for the decision not to report on Heath Ledger. I have had 2 sisters die mysterious, untimely deaths and it is very hard on families and family individuals. I don't even want to speculate how difficult it would be with a camera stuck in my face.
Posted By Anonymous Sandi : 11:25 PM ET
We often talk about the possibility of having the first African American in office, the first woman in office, the first Mormon in office, so now we can talk about the other first here, the first husband and wife in office. The Clinton 2 for 1 strategy has shifted into first gear. Why would any of us think that a former President would take a back seat during this election season when his spouse is running for the presidency? Based on recent behaviors, it is so obvious to me that Bill wants to be back in the White House big time. Sometime ago, you did a special on the spouses of the candidates and the role and influence they could play with the voters. Bill Clinton has surely raised the bar on that concept. Thanks for continuing to cover politics.
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 11:25 PM ET
Really appreciate you keeping them honest. Now, how about keeping Carl Bernstein honest? He keeps referring to anonymous guys who confess feeling betrayed by the Clintons, guys in taxis, guys on the street. Talk about trying to return to your glory days, is he alluding to Deep Throat? Bernstein was my (and many of my friends') hero when he revealed what was going on in the White House, but now he sounds shrill and his criticisms unfounded. I wish he'd use that enormous intellect and curiosity to investigate the Republican Administration again. Their crimes are costing us an entire planet, and by the time our usual alarm ringers, such as Bernstein, speak up, it may be too late.
Posted By Anonymous Linder D : 11:35 PM ET

Thank you for limiting the coverage on Heath Ledger's death. I am sure it is already a hard enough time for his loved ones without all the speculation. Let him rest in peace. Cover the story, the facts, not the speculation. It's boarding on sickening. Thank you for taking the higher road.
Posted By Anonymous Karen : 11:47 PM ET

I'm not of the same school of thought that says, "Hey, Mr. President! Chill!" That dismissive sentiment slights a dignified man who, had he merely been the husband of a candidate would be seen as "adamantly supportive" of his wife.

Instead he's being held to a higher standard, understandable because he is a former president, but unfairly so by the news media. Why? When he states that Barack's campaign is up to no good, it is reported as ranting. When Michelle Obama makes the same statement of the Clinton campaign, it is reported as "Obama's wife supports her husband."

Bill Clinton's support is appropriate but what I would like to see is less of him and more of his wife. I think the current atmosphere is divisive for the Democratic Party. It would be refreshing to see both campaigns embrace one another, as they had before the primaries.

If the president must "chill", so too must every other Democrat.

Posted By Anonymous Robert - Jakarta : 11:55 PM ET
If you were to look deep down into the heart of President Bill Clinton you would see that he wishes Hillary were not running. No former President in his right mind would want to go back to the White House as the First Gentleman. I believe Bill wants to travel the world as a philanthropist and activist. He doesn't want to follow Hillary around for another round of criticism in the White House.

President Bill Clinton would love to endorse and support Barack Obama all the way. But he's under house arrest by Hillary. He's been sentenced to work her campaign with no probation. He's beyond himself now. He's saying things he doesn't mean. He's playing a very rough game with a very nice man, someone he would like to be friends with and play golf with. But he knows that if he doesn't play this game, Hillary will beat him up when he gets home.

Having a woman president would be historical but a former First Lady getting back into the White House after being there for 8 years is not historical, it's hysterical. Having Michelle Obama as the first black First Lady in America sounds more exciting for the history books.

I personally think that the Clintons should respect their own legacy by not running again. Why does Hillary want to be back in the White house? They had the maximum time allowed - 8 years. If I spent 8 years in the White House with a bunch of scandal and shame I would never want to go back.

The Clintons should realize their strength is in supporting the next President to bring about change. They don't have to be in the White House to bring positive change to the nation.

Atlanta, Georgia
Posted By Anonymous Ayanna - Atlanta, Georgia : 12:00 AM ET
Hey Anderson
Thanks for allowing the Ledger family some dignity in their tragedy.
Regarding the Clintons, I wonder how many people like myself ponder just whether Hillary Clinton would be a U.S. senator, let alone running for the Democratic nominee for President, if she had quietly decided to divorce her husband, as many pundits thought she would when he was impeached, after his presidential term ended. Let's face it - without him, just WHO is she in the political scene? Anyone who has watched the goings on of the past few days and still says voting for Hillary Clinton is a vote for one person for president instead of "the dynamic duo" is only kidding themselves.
Posted By Blogger Leslie : 12:06 AM ET
Anderson writes: "I'm curious to hear your thoughts, in particular about the role President Clinton is playing on the campaign trail. Is it appropriate?"

Of course it's appropriate. They're a team.

Kind of nice to see a marriage of equals in the political arena for a change...
Posted By Anonymous Julie San Diego, CA : 3:45 PM ET
Dear Mr Cooper
Thank you for showing such integrity and class. I hope the example you set will pass on to so many other shows on CNN.
Posted By Anonymous Jessica P. : 3:46 PM ET
I'm will NOT buy magazines, or watch any paparazzi induce shows, and encourage my friends to do so, if everyone did so, photos etc would be worth nothing to the paps
Posted By Anonymous Maria : 3:49 PM ET

Thank you for putting an end to the speculation that's running rampant and letting his family and his soul have a moment of peace in these trying times.

Your work is respected because you take into account the human factor in all this and that a talented man died who left a family behind.

Unfortunately Nancy Grace hasn't received the memo as her coverage as usual has been over the top and full of speculation.

Again thank you!
Posted By Anonymous Rico in San Diego : 4:29 PM ET
As a longtime fan of Mr. Ledger, I would like to express my appreciation that you are showing his memory and his family the respect that they deserve.
Posted By Blogger R.J. Keller : 4:39 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

The more I hear about Heath Ledger as a person, the more I'm saddened about his death. I, along with many of his fans, await the final autopsy reports. Meanwhile, my prayers are with his family.

Regarding Bill Clinton, he should rethink his strategy on leading the attack on Obama. It can backfire and voters might be turned off. I'd hate to see Mrs. Clinton lose the nomination because of it.

Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Blogger Lilibeth : 5:06 PM ET
As a great fan of yours and AC 360, I am interested in CNN and you keeping it honest regarding what seems to be CNN's favorable slant towards Obama in this Clinton vs Obama feud. Not having made up my mind on which of these two democrats I support more, I wonder if it's my perception that CNN's guest anaylists appear to criticize Hillary's campaign much more than Obama's.

I wouldn't be surprised if Carl Bernsteins book on Hillary Clinton was published by one of CNNs affiliate companies. Bernstein seems to spend more time on CNN than other talking heads, and for a book that's been out for some time already, Bernsteins book is shown everytime he makes his crtitcal comments targeting Clinton in the Clinton vs Obama negative campaign. It looks like Bernsteins comments are specifiaclly geared toward a plug for the book rather than a balanced view on the issues at hand.

Anderson, you may think "is this viewer asking only me this?" "What about Wolf Bliter?"
Yes Anderson, it'd done just as much on his show too. I will write Wolf and give him equal time to respond as well.

I'd like to see Cafferty's unbiased opinion on this as well?
Posted By Anonymous Tim Irvine Ca : 8:30 PM ET
Mr. Cooper,
I do not blame you for no longer choosing to report on Mr. Heath Ledger, although I am a fan I personally can't take all the speculation I just want the facts and until you can give us the facts I just don't want to hear about it anymore. All this speculation is beginning to defame his character. I have seen tons of headlines reporting that his death was related to drugs. That is cruel seeing as they are not specifying of they are prescription or illegal drugs. Thank goodness his daughter is so young and will never have to see this.
Sorry once again I thank you for you and your networks decision to wait for the facts.

Cherise' Daley, Uniondale, NY
Posted By Blogger Cheri : 9:13 PM ET
I am so pleased to see that you have decided to rise above the fray of speculators with regard to Heath's death. You are setting a great standard in journalism, keep the faith and the high standards and leave the poor quality journalism and squabble to those with lower standards and less competence.

Chicago, IL
Posted By Anonymous Ardent 360 Fan : 10:30 PM ET
Thank you Mr, Cooper, one again you prove what a class act you are.
Posted By Blogger paula : 1:52 AM ET
Good call. Thank you for showing leadership on this!
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie, Seattle, WA : 11:14 AM ET
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