The Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik -- a CNN fan -- reports that Monday night's on-air crotch kiss between Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin wasn't the end of the vulgarity. The following night, while Fiscal Cliff negotiations were finally coming to a head, Cooper had Griffin on his CNN primetime "news" show, and…
the two acted like a couple of adolescents celebrating how naughty they had been the night before. And this went on a long, long time, with video highlights and Cooper letting Griffin plug her next junky special.
Meanwhile, on Fox News, first-string anchors, reporters and analysts were going all out on a holiday night trying to cover the fiscal cliff maneuverings in Washington. …
First, Jeff Zucker can't take over fast enough at CNN, which seems to have utterly lost its grip with stuff like this.
And second, maybe Cooper's image is bulletproof, but how much of this silliness can he keep indulging before people start to say, "Hey, maybe this is who this guy really is - a giggling clown, not a newsman"?
Whatever name Griffin made for herself came in large part from her vicious, vulgar attacks on conservatives and Christians. Therefore, CNN proved it "lost its way" simply by inviting Griffin on as a New Years Eve co-host. Griffin is one of the most bitterly divisive celebrities working today. Her presence alone turns off half the audience politically and then you're going to lose anyone on the Left with an appreciation for talent beyond the ability to debase one's self.
As for Cooper's image, he's far from CNN's biggest problem and at times has shown himself to be a pretty good newsman. It's in Cooper to be better, but what he needs is a strong, smart producer to control his worst instincts and get him back on track.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC