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Another story that had a profound effect on Anderson was the story of Terry Schiavo, a St. Petersburg, Florida, woman whose medical circumstances fueled legal battles over life-prolonging procedures. Her case garnered intense media attention.

"I suddenly looked at these hordes of reporters following her family—her grieving family—and I flashed back to when I was bringing my mom to see my brother's body at the funeral home," Anderson says. "These reporters were hanging outside waiting to get pictures, and I remember when I was a kid just hating them for doing that, and just hating them for intruding on our privacy. I realize now they had a job to do—but suddenly [when] I was outside Terry Schiavo's hospice watching this mob of reporters following her family, I thought to myself, 'I've become what I hated. I'm doing what I saw done to me.'

You know, that's a hard thing to sort of realize ... and I never want to forget it—I don't want to forget what it's like to be on the other side of that lens because I think it makes you a better reporter. I think it makes you more informed and more understanding of what people are going through."
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FROM: CNN's Anderson Cooper Reveals His Family Secrets
Published on May 23, 2006

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