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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 17, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 25
Boo-hoo-hoo! Anderson Cooper was mean to me, Florida AG says
Section One
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Boo-hoo-hoo! Anderson Cooper was mean to me, Florida AG says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi charged that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper ambushed her on air with questions about her past opposition to marriage equality in a June 14 interview.

Speaking to a New York radio station on June 15, Bondi said she was told that Cooper's interview would focus on scams pretending to seek donations for victims of the Orlando massacre. Instead, Bondi claimed, Cooper shifted his line of questioning to her past anti-Gay record.

That served to 'encourage anger and hate,' the Attorney General said.

Bondi said she found it inappropriate for Cooper to press her on her political record, especially in front of a hospital where shooting victims were being treated for serious wounds.

'There's a time and place for everything,' she said. 'But yesterday wasn't the time nor the place in front of a hospital when we could have been helping victims.'

In her interaction with Cooper, Bondi initially said she hoped to protect her state's LGBT community from con artists. Cooper then challenged her commitment to her LGBT constituents.

'I saw you the other day,' he said, 'saying that anyone who attacks the LGBT community - our LGBT community, you said - will be gone after to the full extent of the law.

'I talked to a lot of gay and lesbian people here yesterday who are not fans of yours and said that they thought you were being a hypocrite, that you for years have fought - you've basically gone after gay people, said that in court that gay people, simply by fighting for marriage equality, were trying to do harm to the people of Florida.

'Do you really think you're a champion of the gay community?'

'I've never said I don't like gay people,' Bondi replied. 'Those words never came out of my mouth.'

'That's what you argued in court,' Cooper replied.

'The hotline that you've been talking about on television, which allows family members and spouses of the dead to get information, which is incredibly important, and I appreciate you talking about on the air& had there been no gay marriage, no same-sex marriage, you do realize that spouses - there would be no spouses, that boyfriends and girlfriends of the dead would not be able to get information and would not be able to visit in the hospital here. Isn't there a sick irony in that?'

Bondi responded that she had, in fact, helped unmarried partners to get medical information on their loved ones.

Cooper shot back that until quite recently she'd argued against the 'very idea' that same-sex couples should have that right.

'Is it hypocritical to portray yourself as a champion of the gay community when - I'm just reflecting what gay people told me - they don't see you as this?' Cooper said. 'It's just that, I will say I have never really seen you talk about gays and lesbians and transgender people in a positive way until now.'

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