For those wondering why Anderson Cooper was chosen to moderate last night’s debate instead of CNN’s top Washington correspondent Jake Tapper, we have an answer: Cooper was once a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).
Cooper told Huffington Post that the main purpose of last night’s debate was “to really get a sense of who these people are…I think that’s what people walk away with the next day or that night, thinking, ‘Oh, now I get who Martin O’Malley is,’ or ‘I get what Clinton’s position is on X, Y, or Z.’”
This may be true for the other four candidates, but the world is very well-acquainted with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
CGI’s website lists Cooper as a “notable past member.” As a member of the media, however, he was not required to pay the whopping $20,000 annual membership fee. According to the Weekly Standard, the following high-profile journalists were also members of the Clinton Global Initiative: Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour, Greta Van Susteren, Tom Brokaw, and others.
When questioned about his involvement with the Clinton Global Initiative, Cooper told Jake Tapper that the Standard’s reporting was “total bunk.”
“In 2007 I was asked to moderate a panel discussion at Clinton Global Initiative. Honestly, I can’t even remember what the panel was,” said Cooper. “There were no Clintons on the panel. I think it was on, like, international development aid or, honestly, I have no memory of what it was.”
According to the CGI website: as an “initiative” of the Clinton Foundation, CGI “convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.”
Just like the members of a jury, moderators for presidential debates are supposed to be impartial. This was not so for last night’s debate. Not only was Anderson Cooper a former member of the Clinton Global Initiative, but his involvement with the organization put money into the vast Clinton coinpurse – a sum that is now being used to fund a presidential campaign.