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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tonight on AC360

In an interview airing tonight on AC360°, Anderson Cooper speaks with Frank Taaffe, a friend of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman is accused of shooting 17-year old Trayvon Martin. Anderson Cooper 360° airs at 8 and 10pm ET on CNN.

Rough transcript of interview, courtesy of AC360, after the jump.

Anderson Cooper: So Mr. Taaffe, you know George Zimmerman. What is he like?
Frank Taaffe: George Zimmerman was a very congenial, amiable admirable person. He was very very kind to everyone in our community and I really appreciated and so did the rest of our residents in our neighborhood that he stepped up and took over the position as neighborhood watch captain to ensure the safety of all the residents in our community.

AC: You say he stopped a potential burglary at your house a couple of weeks ago before the shooting?
Taaffe: That is correct.
AC: And were you surprised that he was carrying a gun. Were you aware that he carried a gun?
Taaffe: I was extremely shocked to the fact that he was carrying a gun yes.

AC: What shocked you? How did it shock you?
Taaffe: The lethal weapon, it wasn’t George. As I said, he was a very congenial, amiable man. The use of a lethal weapon, a deadly lethal weapon, as the 9 millimeter that he used was very shocking to me. It didn’t fit the person.

AC: Has there been burglaries in your neighborhood? What is the neighborhood like?
Taaffe: I have lived at Twin lakes since 2006, July 2006. In the last 15 months, we have experienced 8 burglaries. One, which was perpetrated during the daylight hours. Most, the majority of the perpetrators, were young, black males.
AC: And when you reflect on what’s happened and what we know about, and obviously a lot isn’t known, what do you think?
Taaffe: This was a perfect storm. You had a neighborhood that was experiencing extremely high tension and anxiety and with the burglaries we, pardon my phrase, we were a defcon-5.

AC: I guess, you know, a lot of people believe race played a factor in this. Form what you know about George Zimmerman, do you believe race played a factor?
Taaffe: Absolutely not.
AC: Why do you feel so strongly about that?
Taaffe: George is not a racist. He was just performing his duties as watch captain. Whether it be African American, Latino, Asian, or white, he would’ve done the same thing. He would have appropriate the person, asked him “What’s your business here?” and if he had just answered him in an appropriate manor, “I’m just here visiting. My mother’s house is around the corner,” and be upfront and truthful, there wouldn’t be any problem.

AC: Well Mr. Taaffe, I appreciate your perspective, thank you for being with us.
Taaffe: Thank you Anderson.

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Anonymous said...

Something is seriously wrong with Zimmerman
and his friend. Defcon 5, why would anyone use
a military term. Zimmeran had no authority to
ask anyone questions. Has anyone checked the
police records to see if all of these burglaries
really happened. Great journalism enhancing
the audio. His friend admitted that he was
profiling black males in the neighborhood to
Anderson Cooper. The interview and audio is
making the rounds in social media. Many want
360 to put it on the internet so we can hear
it all for ourselves.Trayvon Martin did not
commit any crimes. These so-called burglaries
have nothing to do the this young man who is
now dead.

Anonymous said...

Toure was tweeting about the AC interview in
real time. Toure has a great article for Black
males. Anderson should invite him on the show.

360 & CNN need to hit the reset button to their
political coverage. CNN goes over the top. You
don't need the overkill for 1 state. If cable news
is losing political junkies in the middle of a GOP
campaign, viewers are turned off . There is no
high interest for the Republican candidates. CNN
is dreaming if they think viewers will come once
there is a nominee. You don't just get people to
tune in once you turn them off.. Cable news will
get a bump from President Obama but the ratings
will be low for the GOP convention.

The pundits are making CNN fare the worst. It
looked like the Brady Bunch at the beginning
of 360 on Tuesday.. You can't ignore other news
for 4 hours for nothing but political chatter. No
doubt there is a disconnect. When you get ratings
like this, CNN should be getting the message.

360 even did a new segment called World View.
That was different. 360 has got to think of ways
to be fresh and new. That tired old formula that
all 3 have been using for years is getting old and
360 & CNN need to transition to being content,
original reporting, original programming providers.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet the cop that showed up was friends with
Zimmerman. This is a homicide. You take them
in for questioning. You do tests on the weapon.
You ask for his clothes to do testing. Ask any
detective and see what they will tell you. This is
a coverup and then some. Records are kept of
crime stats in all communities. Local papers
print the stats. Did anyone report burglaries ?
That report has red flags all over it. Did the
City Mgr hire Lee ? I can't believe what the
Police Chief said about Trayvon Martin. When
Lawrence read those words. Trayvon would
act differently I was stunned. How can this
Police Chief say this ? He never bothered to
find out about a dead innocent kid. Both
men need to be fired. Neither did their jobs.
Joe is right. The state of Florida needs to
step up. One cop admits he never talked
to Zimmerman and that was his assignment.
Too much CYA.

Anonymous said...

CNN is too close to the tea party. All morning long
they have been talking about a tea party soldier.
Interviewing him. You know when you are in the
military you have to respect the Commander in
Chief. This is a publicity stunt to get the tea party
back into the news. Really CNN ? No wonder no one
is watching TEA NN. CNN covers the news from tea
party affiliated websites.

Anonymous said...

George Stroumboulopoulos should be on CNN. He
tied the 1,000,000 hoodie march into what was
International Day For the Elimination Of Racial
Discrimination because of an even that happened
in South Africa. It is on the website. CNN needs
him like last year.

Anonymous said...

Can 360 use the same technology for the audio
with the screaming ? Is there more than 1 voice ?
Will 360 be covering the protest tonight ?

Anonymous said...

Why didnt cooper follow up on taaffes last comment..i was blown away at what he said..

Anonymous said...

The ratings are getting weird. FOX is getting
lower in the demo for day & night. That speaks
volumes when FOX is not getting viewers for a
Republican primary race. Both Sean & Greta
dropped down into the 300,000's in the demo.
Only a 25,000 difference between Rachel & Sean.

Anonymous said...

Consumers are in the driver's seat more than
ever. We know news and journalism when we
see it. CNN got away from their brand. How can
you say you are in favor of quality journalism but
give a fired tabloid editor a prime time show. You
give pundits a morning show and try to pass it off
as news. Erin Burnett is completely unwatchable.
Rachel, Lawrence, Rev Al , Joe,MHP are not journos
but the love news and information. They have
myriad interests and are not afraid to try new
things. CNN operates from the same mold.
MSNBC has a different look and feel. CNN does
not seem to be able to move beyond pundits.
CNN & FNC are getting old. Neither have a
strong female presence in prime time who can
really command an hour. MSNBC looked at the
changing demographics and came up with a
diverse group of shows. All have their own
identities. 360 & TSR kind of have identities
but sometimes it is hard to be sure.. Content
and story selection won't matter if you fail at
presentation and delivery. Pundits make you
less likely to connect with viewers. MSNBC
uses knowledge. CNN dumbed down.

Anonymous said...

It is official Starting Point is a bomb. Worst than
John Carter for Disney. According to TV BY THE
Numbers, SP had 183,000/60,000. Ouch. Also,
CNN had 323,000/87,000 for daytime. Viewers
are running away for CNN. Didn't CNN fire Larry
King for the same type of ratings as PMT ?

CNN test Isha Sesay for 3 months to see what
happens if they cancel Out Front. Come up with
a catchy name and show. Regular 360 viewers
are very familiar with her. I could see Isha on
before 360. She is beautiful, smart, energetic
and has a megawatt personality that jumps off
of the TV screen. This is talent that CNN needs
to develop. Keep those ridiculous pundits off the
show. I would like to see Isha Sesay, Anderson
Cooper and George Strombo on CNN from
7-11 PM.

Anonymous said...

FNC ratings are going to go farther south. Sean
Hannity think the Trayvon Martin shooting was
an accident while Geraldo is blaming his clothing
and parents. I was wondering when the media
morons would show up. At the same time at a
shooting range someone tells Santorum to
pretend it is Obama. That is exactly why viewers
are turned off by this campaign. The words that
keeping coming out of the mouths of candidates
or at a campaign rally are appalling. Barbara Bush
is right this is the worst campaign ever.