Anderson Cooper: Is Cooperman the New Superman?

By , Columnist
How do you know you are finally a "grown-up"? Is it when you discover you have a serious crush on a news anchor?

In a few short decades you've gone from putting posters of pimply teen stars on your wall, right through pop bands, rock bands, sports stars, movie actors, to find yourself in a new era in your life - the era of "News Anchors are Hot!"

This is an uncomfortable realization. You will remember watching the news in your teens and twenties, simply to get information. The anchor was someone akin to a parent or teacher, who had the sex appeal of a refrigerator. You think back to your parents' potential news anchor crushes - Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite [in the UK I had Trevor MacDonald] - and you begin to feel mild panic. If I now think "the refrigerator" is hot, am I middle-aged? 

This was the question I asked myself after I watched the video of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper getting roughed up by pro-Mubarak supporters in Cairo yesterday. Yes, I should have been thinking about the macro issues surrounding the building tension in Egypt. But all I could really say was, "Don't touch the face! Get your hands off those razor cute cheekbones!"  Which I did, loudly.  

Anyhoo - after some mild, superficial deliberation I have decided that it's not ME that has become middle-aged but rather that anchors have become objectively so much cuter. Take Anderson. Son of a Vanderbilt, Yale grad, with the lean physique of an athlete - if Cronkite was the lion of the anchor desk, then Cooper is the jaguar.

As the incident in Cairo yesterday demonstrates, Anderson is the Superman of Anchor World, regularly putting himself in imminent danger to get a story. Stalking/following him on Twitter, you get a real sense of his ability to empathize with the story as well as report on it. It is this kind of emo-jounalism, however, that has brought him some criticism from big jealous meanie fellow journalists. 

So, is Cooperman the new Superman - a brave, kind-hearted hero with a mild-mannered reporter alter-ego?  Maybe to my "grown-up" self he is.  

Once you have dispensed with your 20s, life starts to get a lot more serious and responsibilities start to worry up:  kids, money, marriage, career, facial wrinkles, random body hair. The dreamy eyes staring out of the poster on your bedroom wall are no longer enough. Sports stars are either seemingly devoid of any real emotion or sharing way too much of their emotion with way too many people (Tiger Woods), actors are botoxed (or are suddenly really odd looking. Bradley Cooper anyone?), pop stars are... Bruno Mars.  

Maybe Cooperman is all we have left.

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Victoria Robertson is a freelance current affairs columnist and founder of With her back foot firmly planted in some commonsense and a lively swing of the bat, she knocks today's big news stories straight out of the park.

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