CNN’s Cooper Swims With Sharks, Scientologists

It’s becoming quite a busy month for Anderson Cooper, who swims with sharks on “60 Minutes” this Sunday and will take on Scientologists on his own CNN program.

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Beginning March 29, Cooper will offer a four-part series about allegations of violence involving Scientology, which was recently explored in a fairly thorough New York Times piece.

Anticipating criticism from the Church — which is known to vigorously defend itself against bad publicity — Cooper blogged the following:

I have already received a number of emails from church members complaining about the series, and accusing me of attacking the church, its beliefs, its membership, and its activities

Given that the emails are all very similar in content, I assume this is some sort of organized email campaign. None of those writing the emails have seen the series, but I appreciate hearing from all concerned viewers, and I certainly understand any church member, of any religion, being concerned about the portrayal of their beliefs.

For the record, I just want to point out that this series is not about the beliefs or activities of the Church of Scientology. It is not about the religion or the vast majority of Scientologists. This series simply has to do with what some former high ranking church officials say went on within the upper management of the church, and what happened to them when they left the church.

Following the limp premiere of “John King, USA,” Cooper remains CNN’s great white-haired hope, and the Scientology series is precisely the kind of reporting that he should be doing.

Assuming, of course, that the sharks don’t catch up with him first.

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