Tagged: Anderson Cooper

Another take on grief porn

Contrarian reader Miles Tompkins:

I would like to see that little kid ask Anderson Cooper where the hell he’s been for the past 20 years.

Meek slags Ormiston’s grief porn – feedback

Cliff White defends Ormiston:

I happened to catch both the clip of Ormiston holding the hand of, and then carrying, the little boy, and the one of  Cooper tousling the head of another. I didn’t think there was any comparison. I was moved by the first and disgusted by the second.

Watching Ormiston’s reports over the last week or so, it’s obvious she has been deeply affected by what she’s seeing and reporting on. Her actions conveyed a real human warmth. It’s not such a bad thing for viewers to occasionally see that reporters are not just automatons, but  are real people with real  emotions.  On the other hand Cooper’s actions seemed a classic illustration of the opposite, a reporter cynically faking concern hoping to heighten the impact of his story.

As I said in the original post (about a Herald column by Jim Meek), I did not see the Ormiston piece. I did see, and didn’t like, Cooper’s display of affection, but I would not presume to say he was faking. My objection is to making the reporter’s display of compassion, real or contrived, the focus of a story, when the focus ought to be on the people who have been harmed by the catastrophe, and those who are trying to help.

It’s obviously a difficult line to walk, but surely this is a situation that calls for the most rigorous possible factual reporting, rather than titillation.