*****The following excerpt has been taken from an email released by Anderson Cooper’s public relations administrator. It is being reposted here in the hope that the background behind this story reaches the general public and garners Mr. Cooper more recognition for his efforts above and beyond those required of his chosen profession as a television show host.*****
Ladies and gentlemen of the press:
First and foremost I’d like to dispel the rumor that has been circulating since the story of Mr. Cooper’s temporary blindness originally hit the wires: the rumor that Mr. Cooper experienced any sort of heightening of his remaining senses as a consequence of his loss of vision is completely unfounded and purely based on speculation.
As most of you know, Mr. Cooper was stricken by a painful and alarming condition called “photokeratitis,” or so I’m told by our staff optometrist. This condition is apparently caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light, either direct or reflected, which essentially degrades the surface layer of the anterior surface of the eye, or cornea. While this condition is temporary, it usually causes moderate to severe discomfort as well as blurry vision.
That being said, and although I am happy to say that Mr. Cooper has made a full recovery, we here at the CNN camp find it reprehensible, given the recent events involving the disappearance of Mr. Cooper’s on-air correspondent, Ms. Isha Sesay, that the rumor of Mr. Cooper’s so-called “superhuman abilities” has gained such a foothold in the popular media.
And before I continue with just how ridiculous these claims are, I’d like to also put to rest the following allegations regarding Mr. Cooper’s behavior of late:
- He has not destroyed every pair of sunglasses he owns.
- He has not been staring at the sun’s reflection in the water of Long Island Sound.
- He has not been practicing judo while blindfolded.
I have come to understand that the above allegations have gained popularity due to the temptation of portraying Mr. Cooper as a real-world superhero; i.e. the belief that he obtained a heightened sense of hearing, smell, and touch as a result of his loss of vision. While I cannot account for the lack of an alibi regarding Mr. Cooper’s whereabouts upon the onset of this photokeratitis, I want to assure the press that he was NOT, as the parlance goes, “fighting crime.”
Furthermore, the above allegations have been made with the thought that Mr. Cooper is attempting to regain his super-abilities through submitting himself to a second episode of photokeratitis with the intention of using these powers to locate the missing Ms. Sesay and bring her captors to justice. While I cannot 100% deny this claim, I invite the press to consider just how outrageous it sounds.
Now, I can sympathize with the temptation to portray Mr. Cooper as a so-called “superhero,” given his strong jawline, silver-fox hair color, and desire to bring wrongdoers to task (“keeping them honest,” so to speak). I can honestly say that in the times in which we live, such a person is absolutely warranted. Mr. Cooper is just not that person, despite my own personal experience in his presence post-blindness in which I witnessed him identifying one Mr. Matt Lauer, who was having a casual conversation with an acquaintance on the sidewalk outside of the Anderson Cooper 360 studio while Mr. Cooper himself was actually inside said studio. This is not an indication of super-hearing, but merely a coincidence.
Nevertheless, Mr. Cooper, since his recovery, has carried on with the taping of his television news program, and refuses to acknowledge any of the above allegations. I know what you more hopeful member of the press will say: He is only denying these claims in order to protect his identity as a crimefighter. To you folks, I have no rational refutation.
In summary, and putting it bluntly, Anderson Cooper does not have superpowers, is not a superhero. Please stop perpetuating these rumors. Because even if he is, and you truly want him to be, his efforts will only be harmed by your continued coverage. Just let him be the superhero that he is. Or is not.
Thank you for reading. And please pray for the return of our beloved Ms. Sesay. We hope that Mr. Cooper can bring her to safety.