Anderson Cooper is no doubt experiencing unsettling déjà vu. Seven years after the anchor became associated with devastating Hurricane Katrina coverage, CNN is fleeing Tampa — site of the GOP convention — and sending our fearless newsguy into the eye of a tropical storm as Isaac looks to bear down on New Orleans.
Seven years ago to the day, Hurricane Katrina was poised to bear down on New Orleans. Anderson Cooper was there, and he looks to be there again this time around, as Isaac is barreling toward the storm-ravaged city and slated to make landfall late Tuesday or Wednesday, according to National Hurricane Center updates.
The news vet and host of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 tweeted Monday morning: “I’m at airport in #Tampa, heading to #NewOrleans for #Isaac. I hope it won’t be a bad one.”
We’re all hoping the same thing. But outlets like CNN, NOLA and other communities along the Gulf Coast know better than to just “hope” — they are bracing for the worst.
While the Los Angeles Times is reporting the storm doesn’t appear “to be anywhere near as powerful as Hurricane Katrina,” it’s unpredictable, having changed trajectory and cut a path through the Gulf of Mexico that Fox News contends is “eerily similar” to Katrina.
Tuesday marks the 7-year anniversary of the hurricane pummeling the city, taking with it more than 1,800 (confirmed) lives.
Tuesday also marks the day GOP bigwigs are scheduled to begin speaking at the convention, according to Businessweek. No time like the present (and no time like a potentially catastrophic natural disaster) to go even more political as the convention’s big speakers loom.
Politico is among the outlets reporting that media bigs, including CNN, have abandoned Tampa because of Isaac.
Cooper, Politico reports, will be joined in his coverage of the storm by Soledad O’Brien, and says that the storm not only spells disaster for the Gulf Coast, but for the GOP as well.
“There is a very real fear among Republicans that a natural disaster in New Orleans… or nearby could all but eclipse the convention — or, worse, create an unfavorable ‘split-screen situation’ in which images of Hurricane damage are juxtaposed with the theatrics of Mitt Romney’s nomination,” Politico.com noted Monday morning.