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December 28, 2005

Your Turn: The Unforgettable People I’ve Shot And Been Shot With


This morning, I realized that I had a.) been exposed to this ad numerous times in recent days, and b.) somehow successfully managed to keep it out of my consciousness.

That changed, however, when I saw this full page ad on the back of Wednesday’s NYT special section: 2005 THE YEAR IN PICTURES.  (Curiously, the feature ran in the print edition only.)

To stick with the NYT feature for a moment, a compelling interest in the relative weighting of one event versus another led me to total up the number of photos by story.  Of the 40 images, here’s the breakdown. (Because The BAG wrote up five of these images over the year, I have also slipped in the BnN link):

Katrina 10; Iraq 10 (link 1 & 2); Pope John Paul death 2; London bombing 1; Niger Famine 1; India Earthquake 1; Tsunami 2; Gaza pullout 1; Rehnquist death 1; Rosa Parks death 1; John Roberts 1; Rove 1; Miers 1; Alito 1; Bush (Inaugural) 1; Transit strike 1; Christo gates 1; Wrestling 1; Yankees 1; NY Giants 1.

But, getting back to the kneeling, shooting, smiling, narrating Mr. Cooper….

I anticipate some of you might feel this message isn’t worth the time.  I thought it was particularly rich, though — especially in light of the number of “anniversary” features this past week on “The Tsunami.”  Once this ad got my attention, I think I was mostly drawn in by how thoroughly it managed to pack the metaphors.

I leave this in your able hands.

  • marysz

    Did Cooper really intend to parody Dr. Suess’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! on purpose?
    Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
    There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
    And the magical things you can do with that ball
    will make you the winning-est winner of all.
    Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
    with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

  • Doctor Biobrain

    I don’t know too much about the metaphors, but the whole Anderson Cooper ad campaign has made me not like him very much. It all smacks of bigtime cheese-ass. I didn’t have anything against him before, but I’ve really started to dislike him now. It just makes him look like a poser. I think it’s all more evidence that CNN has been taken over by aliens.

  • readytoblowagasket

    I thought he was holding a gun. And I wondered why everyone was smiling.

  • jt from BC

    “The medium is the message”; should Marshall McLuhan return briefly I doubt he would be surprised that the messenger is now the medium.
    Next to Jeff Greenfield I considered Anderson Cooper relatively successful in maintaining a modicum of intellectual acumen(amongst long legs, pretty faces, gruff voices, incessant idle chatter and the torturous drone of the wolf ) until Katrina, where I thought he was trying out for a B movie. Perhaps he is an alien in disguise after all.

  • fotonique

    This shot: Forgettable.
    Whenever media celebs du jour take time to tell us how wonderful they are, I take time to change the channel.
    The world doesn’t revolve 360º around Anderson Cooper or CNN: shouldn’t they get busy traveling ’round it to tell us something newsworthy?

  • momly

    I also thought it was a gun. Huh, wonder why…….

  • floopmeister

    He really does his own filming? Does he stand behind the camera at the same time as he’s standing in front of it?

  • Howler

    You see– we are well liked in the world! We can go anywhere with our guns and our cameras and do anything we want because at the end of the day we’re squeeky clean boy scouts and girl scouts–we’re Americans! We just want to pet your bunny and if we happen to strangle it in the process because we’re ignorant, monsterous, and bumbling well you’re just going to have to get over it… SMILE!

  • SEAS

    What was surprising to me was how negatively I reacted to the second image after a positive response to the first. In the first, he looks kind of sweet (implying nothing, NOTHING about his sexuality, of course), a cheery presence even upstaging the young victims with his innocent charm. But when this is turned into an advertisement, it suddenly seems more like selling your sister. What was unsullied becomes commercial. What was a scene of human kindness in the midst of disaster becomes more clearly a stage set. What was an image that spoke of human connection in spite of cultural differences becomes focussed on how that camera will intrude on any scene on our behalf so we can pity the poor [tsunami refugee/earthquake/hurricane] victim of the moment in living color.

  • Tri

    At first it appear to be a jovial picture until you notice where the camera is pointed at (clothes line clip?) and how it’s being held (with two hands). Obvisously he’s not recording anything sinc ehe’s not even monitoring. So why pose like you’re actually taping? Nice staging.

  • R. Dickson

    This weeks flavor. Tailfins will make a come back you know.
    Just another ad.
    Are the kids trying to buy a used CNN camera? Cooper Gawd bless him is such a lightweight he will need all the ad space that can be bought.

  • ummabdulla

    I looked at this picture a few times before I realized it wasn’t a gun. I was wondering why he was pointing a gun at boys who looked like they were in training to become Buddhist monks.
    I watch the BBC World news, but occasionally I switch over to CNN International, and they just seem so shallow and plastic… basically more interested in entertaining than in informing. Their foreign correspondents usually don’t know anything about the region they’re covering, including the language. It’s personalities over any substance, and I guess Anderson Cooper is the one they see as having potential now.

  • acm

    he definitely looks like he’s never held the thing before, which would make sense. goofy smile just makes me realize how fluffy his interface with his subjects really is. cut the Everyguy crap, and just get back to covering the news — if I see one more Anderson-in-bluejeans ad (on every website, TV show, and magazine I visit), I think I’ll puke.
    he was in my dorm in college and totally forgettable, and I don’t buy the sudden increase in either visibility or sympathy…

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