Anderson Cooper’s non-apology for calling Trump “an obese turtle”


In case you missed it on Thursday night, Anderson Cooper was on CNN covering the ongoing ballot-counting chaos. He was talking with the rest of the panel about the President’s refusal to admit he’d lost the election (which was far from clear at that point) and decided to suddenly blurt out that Donald Trump was like “an obese turtle” stuck on his back in the sun.

That is the president of the United States. That is the most powerful person in the world. And we see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over.”

We can, for the moment, set aside the fact that turtles are restricted in size to the confines of their shells and obesity isn’t really a problem they deal with. It was still a pretty offensive thing to say about a sitting president.

Yesterday, with the race having been called by pretty much every national news network and the “threat” of four more years of a president he clearly despises seemingly in the rearview mirror, Cooper briefly revisited those remarks while speaking with failed Democratic primary candidate Andrew Yang. He was asking Yang if he thought Trump might refuse to leave office even after Biden was confirmed as the winner. It was actually Yang who reminded him of the insult, prompting the CNN anchor to respond. Some media outlets, including the New York Post, are characterizing what happened next as an “apology” for the turtle remark, but as you’ll see, it really wasn’t.

“I’m happy to say, it seems like Trump is going to be, in your words, an obese turtle on his back, just flailing around, Anderson,” Yang replied.

“By the way, I should say, I regret using those words because that’s not the person I really wanna be,” Cooper apologized. “It was in the moment, and I regret it.”

Sorry, but this falls into the non-apology apology category. An actual apology to the President would have included the word “apologize” or “sorry.” Cooper wasn’t offering a mea culpa for offending Donald Trump. He was expressing regret for having said those words on the air because he doesn’t want his viewers to think of him as the sort of person who would say such things. That’s the only remorse he’s feeling.

It’s also worth reminding ourselves that Anderson Cooper is among the army of political analysts and anchors who regularly excoriate the President for his harsh language and the insults he deploys during his rallies and on Twitter. And yet here we saw one of the Democratic primary contenders affirmatively endorsing Cooper’s decision to refer to the President in a similarly derogatory fashion. If Yang hadn’t brought it up on camera, would Cooper have even acknowledged that he’s said the words? Color me dubious.

Cooper, much like 95% or more of his colleagues in the mainstream media, obviously hates Donald Trump and has been praying for his defeat since the day the President was declared the winner over Hillary Clinton four years ago. Having watched much of CNN’s coverage since the mail-in ballots began undermining Trump’s margin of victory on election night, I can say that nearly everyone on the network has barely been able to contain the celebratory atmosphere in their studio. The same goes for MSNBC and the rest of the alphabet networks.

We shouldn’t be terribly surprised, however. After the way that CNN, along with nearly every other network, imposed a blackout on the Hunter Biden laptop story (along with any other perceived bad news that might negatively impact Biden’s electoral chances) the public learned precisely how much of a fifth-column effort was being undertaken on Uncle Joe’s behalf by the Fourth Estate that is charged with informing the public. Their almost unanimous silence as other voices were muted by the social media giants spoke volumes about their lack of neutrality.

With all that in mind, no one should be feigning shock to see someone of Cooper’s prominence letting the mask slip while his network is taking a victory lap for their service to the Biden campaign. He’s not sorry about insulting the President. His only regret is that his audience caught a glimpse of how he really feels.

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