CNN: Anderson Cooper Will 'Continue to Report' In Egypt After Attack
"You cannot cover stories like this with agency photos and sitting behind a desk in the U.S. You can do it in a safe and responsible way and continue to be at the heart of this story,” International chief Tony Maddox tells THR.
CNN has no plans to pull Anderson Cooper out of Egypt after he was attacked there Wednesday -- but they have given him the option to have extra security, the net's executive president of CNN International, Tony Maddox, tells The Hollywood Reporter.
"We always take it seriously when our staff get on the wrong side of situations like these," Maddox says. "A moving crowd or demonstration that swiftly turns ugly is among the most challenging situations we routinely cover. We have to work through that."
"The training and experience of these teams helped them deal with the situation, deal with it, calm it down and they removed themselves," he goes on. "Our staff is safe and accounted for."
Adds Maddox: "I'm very proud of the very professional way in which Anderson and his team and his security adviser fought a way out of that. It's always regretful when our staff get hurt or when they get roughed up. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries. They continue to report."
Cooper has "good security arrangements on the ground there... He has a security adviser with him. We will make other security advisers available. The last thing Anderson would want is his presence to upset the balance of what he's seeking to do. He's a very professional correspondent. He gets to the heart of things."
(The security advisers aren't bodyguards, but experts "who can find the best escape routes, who can sense when things are about to turn ugly, who can help diffuse these situations.")
CNN, which has 8 correspondents (and about 35 staffers overall) in Egypt, will slightly change its coverage plan "now that the rioting has turned violent," Maddox says.
"They've been moving amongst the crowd relatively freely over the past few days, but they're not doing that now," he says. He says the team is examining how to report "hour by hour."
After being punched by 10 pro-Mubarak supporters near Tahrir Square, "he was fine. He was straight back on air," Maddox says. "He's a professional. He spoke calmly and rationally about what happened to him and was back reporting on the story."
This isn't Cooper's first touchy situation, and it won't be his last.
"I think he's been in a few dodgy situations in the past. This is a challenging situation.," he goes on. "It's a difficult and challenging situation, but if you have the right people, the right operating methods and the right level of experience and equipment, you an provide compelling coverage in a really compelling way.:
"These are the kinds of stories we want to cover. You cannot cover stories like this with agency photos and sitting behind a desk in the U.S. You can do it in a safe and responsible way and continue to be at the heart of this story."
Cooper Tweeted after the attack: "Got roughed up by thugs in pro-mubarak crowd..punched and kicked repeatedly. Had to escape. Safe now."