CNN host Anderson Cooper continues to face criticism for taking a shot at the popular restaurant chain Olive Garden on Wednesday after the wealthy anchor speculated that the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol probably would head there to eat and drink afterward.
“Look at them, they’re high-fiving each other for this deplorable display of completely unpatriotic, completely against law and order, completely unconstitutional behavior, it’s stunning,” the CNN anchor said. “And they’re going to go back, you know, to the Olive Garden and to the Holiday Inn they’re staying at, and the Garden Marriott, and they’re going to have some drinks and they’re going to talk about the great day they had in Washington … They stood up for nothing other than mayhem.”
Critics of Cooper’s comments viewed it as elitist and unnecessary, with one calling it the sort of “MSM garbage that needs to stop.” Former CNN digital producer Steve Krakauer, who now edits the popular Fourth Watch media newsletter, blasted Cooper for the remark.
“It’s this great example, a case study, in how to cede the moral high ground here,” Krakauer said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “Anderson Cooper, you know, before that, he said these rioters who were criminals should be shamed and I agree with that. And then he continues on and it’s really when the veil drops, right? It used to be this thing that we don’t really talk about. This disdain not just for Donald Trump but for Trump supporters and for those who voted for him.”
“The Olive Garden and the Holiday Inn, I mean, it’s just so gross and honestly, it’s so self-defeating,” Krakauer said. “You look at Anderson Cooper five years ago and he was interviewing Donald Trump in a way that if you look at it now, it would be viewed as like normalizing Donald Trump… part of state TV because he was daring to have a conversation with him. Look how far the pendulum has swung.”
Krakauer said Cooper is now “mocking” Trump supporters, which shows how much he’s changed over the last few years.
“It’s so transparent and it’s really unfortunate,” Krakauer said. “The Olive Garden is delicious… there is nothing wrong with people eating at the Olive Garden.”
Fox News’ Sean Hannity also called out “the ever-so prestigious” Cooper’s comment on Thursday evening and said the comment is proof CNN anchors “look down” on real people.
“I happen to love the Olive Garden, anyway, but I guess a Vanderbilt wouldn’t know that,” Hannity said, referring to the CNN anchor’s wealthy family.
Cooper is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, the great-great-great-granddaughter of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, who reportedly left almost all of her estate — which has been estimated at $200 million — to the CNN anchor.
“By the way, there is nothing wrong with being a Vanderbilt. There is nothing wrong with Olive Garden, let me just give a plug for Olive Garden. I like Olive Garden, I like their salad, unlimited, unlimited garlic breadsticks that are phenomenal. Some nights you get unlimited pasta, they’ve got these hot doughnut-like things that you put chocolate sauce or caramel on, great. Really delicious,” Hannity said. “The fact that Anderson Cooper thinks that accusing someone of eating at an Olive Garden or staying at a Holiday Inn is a low insult, that’s probably why people hate CNN so much.”
Many others have taken to Twitter to condemn Cooper’s remark:
Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.