Anderson Cooper Hurts a Frat Star's Feelings

Anderson Cooper might be making fun of you, but is he a cyber bully?

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Players: Lance Diamond, a YouTube semi-sensation who gripes about boat shoes; Anderson Cooper, CNN journalist, daytime talk show host, and a celebrity whose "eyes are a national treasure."

The Opening Serve: Diamond's diatribe against footwear "Rainbows and Sperrys Suck" has nearly 70,000 views on YouTube. And one of them is Anderson Cooper. On September 7, Cooper sarcastically lampooned the vlogger during his "Riduclist" segment. "[Lance Diamond] kind of sounds like a porn-name," Cooper quipped while pantomiming the suppression of vomit. "He says his foot blisters have prevented him from becoming the 'frat star' he wants to be. And yea, if there are two words I think of when I see this young man, it's 'frat star.'"

The Return Volley: The Daily Caller caught up with Diamond yesterday, who told them that his foot saga was "80 percent" serious. Diamond told them he was initially thrilled with the idea of being a viral-video star, but Cooper ruined that dream. "After I was featured on CNN, people at my school thought I was mentally unstable. Someone emailed my professors and my deans and warned them about me," said Diamond. Diamond continues, "I don’t understand how CNN can claim to be on top of cyber-bullying stories and then allow one of their most prominent hosts to attack me in such a way." Cooper has devoted many of his show's segments to the bullying epidemic in the U.S.  "I think a national news host attacking a kid on YouTube is an example of exactly what the news networks spoke out against when cyber-bullied kids started hurting themselves," Diamond said. "When I reached out to CNN for an apology,"  Diamond added, "they defended Anderson Cooper and said he had the right to air the story. Well, where do they draw the line? Do other cyber-bullies then have the right to say whatever they want, just because they can get a good story out of it?"

What They Say They're Fighting About: If Diamond's video was fair game.

What They're Really Fighting about: Anderson Cooper's brand. From his giggle fit that went viral to his talk show tanning visit with Snooki, Cooper has hit a pop culture saturation point. And he's gotten here by yes, simultaneously saving injured children in Haiti while showing off his Popeye-like biceps as well as stumping for victims of bullying. Diamond's shot at his golden-boy image could be the leading edge of a backlash, as well as a ploy to keep his own semi-sensation going.

Who's Winning Now: Cooper, but Diamond probably doesn't mind. The big distinction here is that Diamond is a victim of his own desire for YouTube stardom. If he were truly serious he'd probably pull the video, since the number of dislikes and negative comments there far outweigh the sarcastic barbs that Anderson launched. (Did he not learn anything from Alexandra Wallace?) Cooper skates by in this spat, not only because of his golden boy status, but especially since his "cyber-bullying" target seems more interested in fame than he is with actually calling out Cooper.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.