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Anderson Cooper: Stuff Magazine

Anderson Cooper: Stuff Magazine

Last year was insane. From tsunamis and hurricanes to the insurgency in Iraq, all manner of calamity reared its ugly head in 2005. During all the madness, one of the few constants was Anderson Cooper on our TV screens. Unlike other talking heads on the front lines, he delivered the news in a sincere way that stood out. Viewers recognized it, making Cooper the breakaway star of cable news. Now the host of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° has a new book, Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival. In it, Cooper shares stories from the scenes of last year’s tragedies while also looking back at the deaths of his own father and older brother and the start of his journalism career. He took time out from informing the masses to talk with us.

Of all places, CNN’s Anderson Cooper (wearing a matching New York Times blazer and tie!) is featured in the July 2006 issue of Stuff Magazine with former Wild on E!‘s bikini-clad Brooke Burke on the cover. Anderson is currently the most trusted name in cable news is now the most trusted name on your bookshelf!  Read the full interview after the jump where we learn that Anderson gets his haircut every three weeks (he pays for it himself!).  And I think it’s time to drop the Steven Seagal story.  I’ve heard it over three times already.

Your book can get a little depressing. Are you a total stick-in-the-mud at cocktail parties?
[Laughs] Actually, I don’t even go to cocktail parties. I’m kind of a loser in social situations. But yeah, the subject matter is pretty serious. I just didn’t want to write that sort of cheesy book that’s easy to churn out.

Why didn’t you write a really boring book like Tim Russert? [Laughs] I haven’t read his book.

Neither have we, but the back seems really boring.
So all you have to do is read the back? Then I’m in trouble.

In a press release, HarperCollins describes you as "a prototype for a 21st-century newsman." Please translate that for us. Oy. I don’t know what that means, frankly. Although maybe the prototype for a 21st-century newsman wouldn’t know what that means. There you go. Maybe there’s layers to it.

Last year was obviously crazy. What was the most boring thing that happened to you in 2005? I find getting my hair cut to be the most boring. The thing I don’t like about it is it constantly seems to happen. Like, every three weeks.

CNN does groom you, right?
We have an extensive grooming process. [Laughs] What are you talking about? I work in basic cable.

You ‘re telling us you have to pay for your own haircuts? Of course! Do you think someone shaves me every morning? We’re pretty bare-bones, but I like it this way. I mean, I take the subway to work. The thing I find about this job is that I don’t really have time to see friends, so the subway allows you interaction with people.

Are they friendly? People are really nice. What’s interesting about being on television is that it makes living in New York similar to living in Mayberry. It’s like, "Hey, Andy" when I’m on the street.

What do you think of all the billboards with your face on them around New York? I try not to notice that sort of thing. It’s a little weird, but I just don’t pay attention. I haven’t sat there and gazed at them fondly.

In the book, you mention all the celebrities who showed up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Does any one encounter stand out as the most bizarre? Steven Seagal. A cop car pulls up, and I’m thinking, Weird, that guy looks like Steven Seagal. Then I realize that it is Steven Seagal. And it’s not just Steven Seagal; it’s Steven Seagal in uniform out on patrol with the Jefferson Parish SWAT team. I was oddly transfixed, so I went up to him. He was like, "Yeah, I’m just out here doing my thing. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it." The next day I saw him on MSNBC with Rita Cosby. I’m like, Oh, OK. Real D.L. Then when he leaves, he makes eye contact and does a little Buddhist bow—that little sensei thing. [Laughs] It’s hard to beat that one.

You’ve said before that an event jumps the shark once Ricky Martin shows up. Did these disasters become sideshows? It was actually very limited and, frankly, it’s now at the point where I’m all for any celebrities that go down there, because they need as much attention as they can get.

So does the American public not care anymore? I was just down in New Orleans, and there were about 10,000 college kids on their spring break volunteering instead of going to Cancun and, you know, taking off their tops for Joe Francis. To me, that’s a sign that people do care.

Well, there are 51 other weeks in the year when you can take your top off for Joe Francis. [Laughs] Yes, there’s always time for that, I suppose.

What do you think about tabloids? There’s nothing wrong with sneaking a peek, but it seems like there’s a lot of obsession about the same four people. I don’t know them, but it doesn’t seem like they’re all that interesting.

If you didn’t have your job, what would you be doing? I have no actual skills, so I don’t have many options. That’s the great thing about a liberal-arts education: One graduates without skills.

You did do a good job grilling Vin Diesel when you subbed for Regis. Maybe that’s an option. I can take Vin. [Laughs] It’s a whole different kind of thing to fumble my way through. But it’s fun.

Do you ever go on vacation? I just went to Morocco. I had always wanted to try a camel safari. They are miserable animals. It’s like a glorified pony ride. There’s a guy holding onto the camel while you’re riding, and he’s on his cell phone. It’s totally not Lawrence of Arabia. I was sitting in a bedouin tent getting e-mail. It was ridiculous.

How long before you burn out because of your schedule? I don’t know what the life span is. Another anchor said to me, "They never give you the crown." There’s never a moment in this business when you feel comfortable.

You were just an answer on Wheel of Fortune, so you must have some staying power. Really? You know, as a former Jeopardy! champion, it’s hard for me to watch Wheel of Fortune. See how I worked that into the conversation?

How long ago was that?
It was quite long ago for me to still be talking about it. [Laughs] And it was the dumbed-down version. Like Washington, politico Jeopardy!

Whom did you take down? Maria Bartiromo and Kweisi Mfume. I crushed them. It got to the point where I was giving clues during the commercial breaks— how to work the buzzer and things like that. I was pissed because there was no Tournament of Champions. It just ended.

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  • Ellie

    Anderson is so hot!

  • : (

    Why are all the hot ones gay?

  • BAMZS Fanatic

    I love him, he is so yummy!!!

  • Marty

    Ah, he’s so sexy and those eyes of his, intense and piercing.

  • Mandy

    Is Anderson really Gay…………..

  • Barb

    He is so sexy and hot,but those eyes are what really do you in and those lips,Mmmmm!!! If he is gay I would be glad to try and bring him over to the hetero side!!!!!He makes my heart beat fast everytime he is on TV. I want to,well let’s just say,I want to do things to him that may be illegal in 45 states. Kidding!!! But i do love him,he is a great reporter and hot,ooh baby!~!!!

  • Robin360

    Anderson is a good journalist. He is the best around, he’s real and he’s true. Other journalists try to show emotion just to have a fat check waiting for them at the office. I know his pay ain’t bad but come on! Anderson is the BOMB! ^_^

  • ED

    Jared you find the best pics. BTW…YES Coop is a homo.

  • Harrison

    OH, what a way to continue a drunken Friday night…..thank you Jared! More Anderson Cooper!

  • Andy’s fan

    way to go Jared. Knock down two birds with one stone. The women and the men go ga-ga over him. He is so hot.

  • chicaleecious

    Anderson is a reminder of the journalist I had thought I wanted to be… oh yeah, and he’s very charismatic!!!!By the way, you rock JustJared… I just came across your site from another fan, and the lola with the crab reminds me of my family too :-P

  • Matthew

    ED…how do you know "coop is a homo?"

  • bunni

    Cute, smart, elegant, rich, gay – wow, Im a puddle.

  • Harrison

    I love the part where Anderson says "I can take Vin." Woof!

  • XanaduStar

    Does anyone know for proof positive that AC is really gay?