CNN’s Anderson Cooper (left) and Anthony Bourdain


Top-flight journalists drop names on the Cannes stage

HAVING beer and noodles with President Barack Obama and getting drunk with Lady Gaga are two things most journalists would love to have experienced at sometime during their careers.

CNN’s award-winning TV host, chef and author Anthony Bourdain and anchor/correspondent Anderson Cooper respectively related those incidents as part of their on-stage conversation during Time Warner’s Creative Inspiration session on Wednesday.


Bourdain, a self-proclaimed foodie who travels worldwide to host the CNN Original series Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, swigged beer and ate noodles with Obama during an interview at a modest restaurant in Vietnam for an episode due in September.


Cooper, who says he rarely drinks and is not fussy about what he eats, recalled an interview when singing star Lady Gaga insisted they sit by a bar and drink Jack Daniels. “After 15 minutes, I was drunk,” he said.


The two stories were light-hearted ways of showing how personal involvement is required for some of the most serious TV interviews.


“You are operating in reality but doing it in a creative way,” Cooper explained about his job, which has seen him cover the aftermaths of Haiti’s earthquake and the Hurricane Katrina floods in News Orleans.


“For news reporting, there are strict standards and restrictions. But sometimes, you reveal something about yourself to show the subject that you understand the gravity of what they are saying.”


Bourdain said being prepared to share the local food and drink is another way of winning over the trust of people during sensitive interviews in totally different cultures.


“Sometimes, our camera crew will spend a long time with a family before the cameras are switched on so that they acclimatise themselves with our presence in their homes,” Bourdain added.


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