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Posted at 5:38 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Anderson Cooper attacked? Forget the protests -- this is news!

By Alexandra Petri

In Cairo, Molotov cocktails have reportedly been tossed at the Egyptian Museum. A wave of looters broke into King Tut's treasury, damaging pharaonic artifacts that archaeologists call priceless. Items that have survived for millennia smash and shatter, falling victim to a single cruel, thoughtless toss.


Stop the presses! Forget all that. This is Anderson Cooper we're talking about here! THE Anderson Cooper, of CNN fame! Sure, the museum may contain manuscripts, but Anderson's eyes contain volumes.

I know the Egyptian Museum hosts valuable artifacts, but how does it look in a tight black t-shirt? They may have sphinx memorabilia. But Anderson Cooper is a real-life sphinx, shrouded in questions and mystery.

The blue steel of his eyes is probably worth, like, eight hundred times all the lapis lazuli in the Egyptian Museum. Is there a poster of the Egyptian Museum on the wall over my bed? Am I frustrated by the ease of the Egyptian Museum's banter with Kathy Griffin? Do I sometimes awaken from fitful sleep with the name of the Egyptian Museum on my lips? No, no, and usually not!

Some Mubarak supporters punched him? If I had any vestiges of support for Mubarak, they are gone! How dare they lay hands on this shining tabernacle of manly virtue? Sure, he's a news reporter in a volatile area, and that comes with certain risks. But he's Anderson Cooper, a name which can also be rendered: "He Whose Porcelain Beauty Is To Be Handled With Utmost Care Wherever In The World He May Be Located."

Why are we not talking about him on Twitter? Why are we not Googling him MORE? It gives me utmost pain to report that, for a brief moment on Jan. 30, more people were concerned about the fate of the Egyptian Museum than about Anderson Cooper.


Those relics were old and probably about ready to retire, anyway. Mummies? Please. They only lead to movies with Brendan Frasier. But Anderson Cooper is a non-renewable resource, like certain rare oils. He supplied the voice of the narrator in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, a role previously filled by Walter Cronkite. The Egyptian Museum could never do that.

If the Egyptian Museum showed up at a party with a man it claimed was "just a close friend," nobody would care. They would be confused -- what is a museum doing at a party? -- but they wouldn't rush to Google it.

So I'm glad we have our priorities straight.

And this reaction is typical, of course. Put a name and a face on something, especially if that name and face recently donned a bunny costume to amuse some apes, and the world suddenly cares. Looters smashing artifacts? Thousands of citizens forming a human shield around a museum to protect millennia of history?

Well, sure, it's important, but is it news?

By Alexandra Petri  | February 2, 2011; 5:38 PM ET
Categories:  Big Deals, Epic Failures, Petri, Reality? Television  | Tags:  Anderson Cooper, CNN, Egypt, celebrity  
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Next: Living on a Prayer: the value of Barack Obama's prayer breakfast


I don't appreciate this humor. It makes me think the writers are jealous of the respect that Anderson Cooper has accrued due to his multiple acts of courage in service to his profession. You guys just look peurile, I'm sorry to say.

Posted by: suefrankewicz | February 2, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"Journalists" wanted to find some extremist fanaticism, besides their publication's own racist fanaticism, and they found it. It's never good that anyone had to be injured, but I'm glad CNN accomplished their goal. They had the most insane pogrom going. That's always fulfilling to accomplish a goal.

Best video on YouTube is linked there — get informed. Mainstream media is stupidifying and terrorizing the nation for ratings. ;)

Posted by: NeverEnuf81 | February 2, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

i wish this was actually funny, then perhaps i could forgive the utter childishness of it all.

Posted by: jmsptrck001 | February 2, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

The threat, vandalism or loss of historical and ancient artifacts is not something that should be made lightly of. The loss of any piece of any culture's history is devastating, as it can never and will never be replaced. Did the efforts of the MFAA and the Monuments Men during WWII to PROTECT art and artifacts from warfare damage become completely forgotten? Have we forgotten how important historical artwork is? This is just bad taste Washington Post. Very bad taste.

Posted by: shanodanger | February 2, 2011 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Anderson Cooper...what a grandstanding idiot. You're trying to get BETWEEN rioting mobs in Egypt, you look real American, you have a big tv camera and you're surprised to get beat up? WTF?
Afterwards he said we tried to get between the two rioting mobs but we decided to pull back to a safe location. Hey genius, why didn't you go there in the first place rather than endanger your producer and cameraman? You they can have. Maybe those poor Egyptians don’t have enough money for cable tv, had bigger issues on their mind and weren’t aware of his celebrity hunkiness. I’d like to see him swim with sharks again on 60 Minutes, but this time with a steak tied around his neck. Ok that does it…I can’t watch the news again for awhile.

Posted by: OhGawd | February 3, 2011 1:19 AM | Report abuse

This is pure stupidity!!! To make light of Cooper's beating & comparing it to Egyptian treasures is absurd.
I do not appreciate this in the least.
I agree with a previous comment that there must be great jealousy involved. Cooper always puts himself where the news is & to belittle him because some of the press went overboard is egregious!

Posted by: naomi8 | February 3, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

This is pure stupidity!!! To make light of Cooper's beating & comparing it to Egyptian treasures is absurd.
I do not appreciate this in the least.
I agree with a previous comment that there must be great jealousy involved. Cooper always puts himself where the news is & to belittle him because some of the press went overboard is egregious!

Posted by: naomi8 | February 3, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

On behalf of the Egyptian People, Please accept our sincere apology for this attack on Anderson Cooper. The attack was jus as painful to many of us.
The Egyptian People are deeply stressed by those events,especially the sudden disappearance of the police, when they have to sfeguard their women,children,elderly,and their way of life from over17,000.criminals that had escaped from many prisons across the country,comply with curfew times,buy food for their trapped children,and also want to be heard and represented in those event.Unfortunately they took it out on the Holywood style Media-coverage trying to gain from thier misery.

Posted by: PRUDENT | February 3, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Wow! There are few people around here who need to lighten up! I enjoyed the satirical point made - that certain anchors seem to have become bigger news than what they are covering. Cooper's hissy fit in New Orleans will always stand out.

Posted by: alexandria6351 | February 3, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Is this supposed to be funny, satirical or sardonic? It’s not. I know Dana thinks he’s satirical/sardonic but please. Since when is someone being punched something to joke about.

Amazing that WaPo paid someone to write this junk. Why oh why did I read this? I want to punch myself for wasting my time.

Posted by: rlj611 | February 3, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

What the????? Whose the MORON that wrote this?

Better question, What MORON approved this for print?

Not even close to being funny or clever.

Posted by: carterm1 | February 3, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

You guys need to go back to bashing Palin.

Posted by: CubsFan | February 3, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The writer tried really hard to be clever. A swing and a miss. If they had kept it shorter, maybe it would have been more funny and less snarky-- more like a real critic and less like a Perez Hilton wannabee (as though that's something to aspire to). Mentioning Brandon Frasier in relation to mummies? Ha ha. Already has been done to death. I guess references to previous "Mummy" movie are lost on younger readers (or younger "journallists").

Posted by: Sutter | February 3, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

AMEN!!!! I get the joke on Oprah's Golden Boy....reminds me of the ABC News anchor who got injured in the war and the news forgot all about the POOR soldiers who die in the war DAILY but a RICH journalist deserves ALL our attention!!!! I don't wish any harm on anyone but I do get the sarcasm of this article....Anderson has exploited so mnay people for a story it's sickening. If I remember he got famous being the son of a jean inventor Gloria Vanderbilt????

Posted by: MDlady2 | February 3, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Anderson Cooper long ago ventured into Geraldo Rivera territory. He deserves all the scorn he gets, and then some.

Posted by: ShovelPlease | February 3, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The author seems to be criticizing the media for making too big of a deal of the Anderson Cooper attack, and she seems particularly outraged by the fact that it was given more coverage than the loss of priceless museum artifacts.

But at the same time, she seems to be personally attacking Anderson Cooper for this.

That makes no sense. Anderson Cooper does not control coverage of himself. In this case, he seems guilty of nothing more than being popular.

Isn't he about the only journalist you can't really blame for the coverage, given that he can't avoid the story because he's in the middle of it?

Posted by: Marklar4408 | February 3, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

"If I remember he got famous being the son of a jean inventor Gloria Vanderbilt."

The poor little rich girl was a granddaughter of the Commodore, Cornelius Vanderbilt, shipping and railroad magnate. She inherited $5 million at the age of 15 months, back when that was real money. The jeans were'nt what made her famous, it was the other way around.

Posted by: jimbo1949 | February 6, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I swear to God, if one hair is out of place and there are any signs of residual bruising, a full blown nuclear response is appropriate. No one hurts Anderson! He's a national treasure.

Posted by: Pixxiemeat | February 6, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

This simply "sucked".

Posted by: citigreg | February 7, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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