Tag Archives: Anderson Cooper

Where is the moral compass?

I have been trying to glean something relevant from the past three days of non-stop coverage of Donald J. Trump’s behavior.

Here is what I think I’ve determined after watching two remarkable interviews with two women who claim to have had sexual relations with the married man who a decade later would be elected president of the United States.

One of them, a former Playboy model, said she was “in love” with Trump and said she believes the president-to-be was in love with her. She now claims to have rediscovered her religious faith, attends church regularly, and is a staunch Republican who “voted for Donald” in 2016.

The other of them is an, um, pornographic entertainer. She met Trump the same year as the former Playboy Bunny, had sex with him in a hotel room. She said she didn’t find him attractive at the time and saw their potential relationship as a “business opportunity.”

They both claim to have taken a tumble with Trump a year after he married his third wife and who had just given birth to their son, who’s now 12 years of age and is being exposed to the hideous publicity surrounding  his father.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed them both. They both sound believable to me. Perhaps it’s my intense anti-Trump bias that makes me want to believe them. Whatever. I do believe their accounts.

I also consider Trump to be the biggest moral pig ever to occupy the Oval Office. Yes, he is worse than JFK and Bill Clinton, two men with their own shady personal histories.

I am left to wonder: Where in the world has become of our moral compass? How does this president — based on what these two women, and possibly other women — purport to speak with any sort of moral authority on anything to anyone at any time?

It’s not yet clear where these women’s revelations will lead us, or whether their stories will be relevant to the man’s governance. Maybe all that we’ll be left with is the belief — if not the actual knowledge — that we are being governed by someone with the morals of an alley cat.

And that leads me straight to what I consider the Big Question: How in the name of marital fidelity does this man, the president, continue to own the support of the “base” of his political party that comprises a large segment of Americans who profess themselves to be “evangelical Christians”?

Porn queen and POTUS: We’re surprised? Um, no!

Many of us are now caught up in the Soap Opera of the Ages: Let’s call it the Porn Queen and the President.

Donald J. Trump is alleged to have had this extramarital affair with an adult film actress/director/producer. It allegedly occurred in 2006, a year or so after Trump married his third wife.

Then came word that Trump paid the porn queen 130 grand just before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet.

Oh, but wait! The president denies the affair. So, why did his lawyer, Michael Cohen, shell out the dough?

To my mind, the most interesting aspect of this story is that million of us are caught up in this miserable story. I keep asking myself: Why?

Trump has bragged about his philandering. We have known for many years about his penchant for sexual predation. He wrote a book in which he told the world about how he fooled around on his first wife before marrying Wife No. 2.

During the height of the 2016 campaign, of course, we heard him tell the “Access Hollywood” host how he has grabbed women by the pu***, because his celebrity status gave him free rein to do whatever he damn well pleases with women.

To be honest, I don’t know what we’re going to learn about Trump in this latest alleged sexual escapade that we don’t know already or that we don’t already suspect about this guy’s conduct.

The porn queen has offered to give back the money, believing it will enable her to speak freely about whether she and the future president took a tumble a dozen years ago.

Trump’s legal team, meanwhile, is looking at how it might be able to stop the broadcast of an upcoming “60 Minutes” interview the porn star granted to Anderson Cooper.

Gosh. How is it that a president who denies any misbehavior with this individual would want to block a broadcast of her telling a story that he no doubt will call “fake news”?

The question of the day is this: Why in the name of sacred marital vows is anyone surprised that Donald Trump would be involved in such a matter?

So, the seedy soap opera continues.

This next ‘debate’ is going to be a doozy

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, stands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Donald J. Trump has taken credit for a lot of things lately.

* For predicting the terror attack that killed 49 people in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub.

* For persuading President Obama to release his birth certificate that proves he is a “natural-born” U.S. citizen.

* For selecting a running mate, Mike Pence, who did a stellar job while debating Tim Kaine the other night.

* For juicing up the ratings that drew all those viewers to the first debate with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Well, the Republican presidential nominee can take credit for what’s going to transpire, more than likely, at the next debate, when he and Democratic nominee Clinton square off.

Ladies and gents, we are heading for a serious train wreck of a political spectacle Sunday night — all due to Trump’s hideously lewd comments about women that were caught on a “hot mic” 11 years ago as he was preparing for a cameo appearance on a daytime soap opera.

You’ve heard about it, yes?

Well, the reaction has been ferocious. Many Republican leaders want Trump to drop out of the race; others of them want his running mate, Mike Pence, to bail.

They wanted a full-scale apology from Trump. What they got last night in a 90-second video was as much a threat against Clinton as a mea culpa for saying how he sought to have sex with a married woman, how he wanted to grab another one in her private area, how he was able to have his way with women because he’s a “star.”

Did you see contrition in Trump’s face or hear it in his voice as he delivered that so-called “apology”? I did not.

Now we get to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump field questions from votes in this town hall event in St. Louis. The questions will come not only from moderators Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN, but from every-day folks who (a) believe Trump has disqualified himself as a presidential candidate or (b) believe Hillary Clinton needs to answer as well for her husband’s own well-chronicled sexual misbehavior.

The rest of the issues — trade policy, the war on terrorism, the economy, jobs — may be cast aside as Americans tune in to hear Trump seek to defend the indefensible.

Go ahead, Donald. You are more than welcome to take credit for triggering this national debate.

Trump now must decide: Do I show up to debate Hillary?


I cannot believe some media outlets are actually asking this question seriously.

Is Donald Trump going to agree to debate Hillary Rodham Clinton now that we know who will moderate these three events, or will he back out?

Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has agreed to face Republican nominee Trump who, apparently, hasn’t yet agreed formally to show for any or all of them.

It seems that he wanted to see who the networks would select as moderators. Now he knows.

NBC’s Lester Holt will moderate the first one; ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper get the second one; Fox News’s Chris Wallace gets the third one.

All are capable journalists. All are tough-minded.

And all of them, apparently, have had some “issues” with Trump.

Thus, we get the question about whether the GOP nominee will show up.


The tempest over his feud with Fox’s Megyn Kelly is going down already as a serious back story of this amazingly unpredictable campaign. Trump didn’t show up for a debate when he learned Kelly would be one of the co-moderators. His absence obviously didn’t harm his nomination chances.

Trump has bitched about moderators before. All of the journalists named as moderators have questioned Trump hard on some of the answers he has given. Will his notoriously thin skin prevent him from being questioned yet again?

He’s also griped that the debates were scheduled opposite televised NFL games, which he said would drive down viewership of the debate — which, quite naturally, he alleges is a conspiracy to get Clinton elected.

The only thing I can surmise if Trump were actually to refuse to show up for any of these three joint appearances is that some of the conspiracy theorists are right about one thing: Trump is throwing this election because he truly doesn’t want to be elected president of the United States.

Media get undeserved 'blame' in Baltimore

Blame the media for covering it.

That’s a line being tossed out by the president of the Baltimore City Council in response to the rioting that has erupted in the city in the wake of the Freddie Gray death and funeral.

Gray died of a severed spine while he was being arrested by police. Rioters exploded in a violence reaction to the death of another African-American man at the hands of police.


CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked a pertinent question: What are the media supposed to do when police cars are burned, when police officers are injured and when people’s property is destroyed by rioters?

The media are not to blame for the violence in Baltimore. The blame rests squarely — and exclusively — on the shoulders of the thugs who fomented the rioting and who have taken zero responsibility to behave as responsible citizens.

News, by definition, are those events that run counter to what’s considered normal. By my way of thinking, torching buildings and injuring innocent people in response to a man’s death qualifies as “news.”

The media must cover these events.

Do not blame media outlets for doing their job.

Well done, Anderson Cooper

Critiquing media isn’t usually my bag, although lately I’ve been beating up on TV cable news networks over their coverage of Ebola.

That said, allow me a tip of the cap, or a nod, or salute to CNN’s Anderson Cooper for refusing to take a “selfie” with a local TV reporter who spotted Cooper near the site of the Canadian Parliament shooting in Ottawa.


The reporter wanted to take the picture with Cooper near where one victim was killed and the shooter himself was killed by the Parliament’s sergeant-at-arms, Kevin Vickers — who I already have saluted in an earlier blog post.

The young reporter apparently was caught up in the moment and wanted to share some misplaced “glory” with an international media personality, such as Cooper.

His response? “It seems wildly inappropriate,” Cooper told the young man.

Journalists have a fairly well-defined list of things they shouldn’t do when covering a story. They don’t cheer for political candidates or athletic teams; they don’t demonstrate displeasure in either instance; they don’t act overly friendly or unfriendly with sources they might know personally when they’re covering a story; they always behave professionally and dispassionately when on assignment.

A terrorist attack on a government building that results in a fatality clearly falls into the category of an event that requires maximum professional decorum. The young reporter, a fellow named Vandon Gene, needs to brush up on his professional manner before he’s ever assigned to cover a news story.

Anderson Cooper has taught the young man a valuable lesson.

VA scandal: worse than we thought

You’re probably wondering: Will the bad news ever stop piling up on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs?

I know this: I’m wondering when it’ll stop.

CNN uncovered a major scoop this week with revelations that the Phoenix, Ariz., VA clinic had covered up the number of veterans who died because of too-long wait times to obtain health care.

The number of deaths is worse than we thought!


Until the Veterans Affairs Department, the White House and the president of the United States himself get to the bottom of this mess and fix it, I am going to be leery whenever I go to the Amarillo VA hospital and clinic for my routine checkups.

The Thomas Creek Veterans Medical Center in Amarillo hasn’t been fingered specifically in any of this investigation. The problems with wait times, though, appear to run throughout the vast VA health care network.

Whistleblower Pauline DeWenter told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that “deceased” notes on patients were removed from files to make the clinic’s job performance look better. As CNN.com reports: “DeWenter should know. DeWenter is the actual scheduling clerk at the Phoenix VA who said for the better part of a year she was ordered by supervisors to manage and handle the so-called ‘secret waiting list,’ where veterans’ names of those seeking medical care were often placed, sometimes left for months with no care at all.”

The government has said for decades that veterans deserve the best medical care possible. They’re not getting it. Even though I, too, am a veteran I’ve been blessed with good health, so I’ll refer to the vets in jeopardy as “they” or “them.”

Until we get this situation repaired to everyone’s satisfaction, I am going to pray for the good health of all veterans who seek medical care every one of our VA clinics. That includes the Thomas Creek VA Medical Center right here in good ol’ Amarillo, Texas.

Sterling 'baited' into saying those things?

I’m going to need some help processing this “apology.”

Donald Sterling, the disgraced Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team owner, says he’s sorry for saying those racist things to his — what shall we call her? — girlfriend/assistant/”silly rabbit.”

He said he was “baited” into uttering those disgusting remarks. Baited? Does that mean he was lured into saying things he didn’t mean? Was there some promise or payoff if he declared in a phone conversation that V. Stiviano — the said “silly rabbit” — shouldn’t be seen in public with African-Americans? Did little ol’ V. put a gun to his head and make him say those hateful things?


Well, now he tells Anderson Cooper of CNN that he’s sorry. He declares “I am not a racist,” which of course is the usual dodge from those who actually do have racist tendencies.

The National Basketball Association has banned him for life from the game. He can’t take part in any basketball-related operations; he cannot attend Clippers games; he cannot attend league meetings; he’s going to be pressured to sell his team. He’s a pariah.

The players want him gone. His fellow owners want him out.

This is a disgraceful episode that so far has produced only one bright, shining moment: the swift and decisive action by brand new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to banish Sterling from the NBA.

The timing of the “apology” also is suspect. He was revealed to have said these things about three weeks ago — and now he offers his mea culpa?

This individual said some truly awful things. That’s no longer in doubt. There will be plenty of explanation required now to persuade many of us that he didn’t really mean what he said.

I do not believe this “apology” is going to fly.