A couple of days ago, Anderson Cooper did his job. Now, more than a lot of broadcast and cable journalists, Cooper does his job fairly regularly -- but on Tuesday he absolutely did his job during an interview with Florida Attorney General and Rick Scott lapdog-slash-co-conspirator Pam Bondi. Bondi attempted to come on CNN and speak in conspicuously vague terms about potential scams that might ensnare those trying to donate to charities in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting. She also attempted to, even more conspicuously, hold herself up as a champion of LGBTQ people and the issues that matter to them.
But see, Cooper wouldn't let her get away with that, given that despite what she's been saying about gay people since the shooting, prior to it she'd spent a good portion of her career trying to keep gays second class citizens by using her office to fight against same-sex marriage. She even, at one point, claimed that gay marriage would do harm -- actual harm -- to the public. This, by the way, is because Pam Bondi is as paleoconservative as they come.
Bondi obviously wasn't happy with Cooper calling her to the carpet by confronting her with her own words and actions, which led her to run screaming to a friendlier news outlet on Wednesday to express disappointment with Cooper and how he did his job. She claimed he had ambushed her and edited her interview to make her look bad, while also chastising him for supposedly fomenting "hate" during a time when everyone was supposed to be singing Kumbaya and ignoring the longstanding actions of bigots now that it was politically convenient for them to embrace the gay. In other words, Bondi thought it was unfair that a journalist, you know, behaved like a journalist.
Well, if you figured Anderson Cooper would have none of that shit, you're absolutely right. Last night, Cooper returned to the subject of Pam Bondi. This time, he went step by step over how his interview with her was set up and executed and held it up against her complaints, which he played for everyone to hear. After saying that she was either "mistaken" in her criticism or "not telling the truth," one by one, he refuted her claims that she'd been ambushed and edited and that it was unfair and inappropriate to point out her office's history of taxpayer-funded bigotry. When it was all over, Bondi looked even more ridiculous than she would have had she just sucked up being called out and dropped the subject.
As for Cooper, well, again, he did his job. As he said last night, he held her accountable. "Ms. Bondi is right now championing her efforts to help survivors. But the very right which allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones -- that's a right that would not exist if Ms. Bondi had had her way," Cooper said toward the end of his segment. "I think it's fair to ask her about that. There is an irony in that."