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Life imitates art in Cooper's interview with Sterling

By Alan Pergament

While watching ousted Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling's failed attempt at damage control during his interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper carried Monday night, I couldn't help but think of how much life imitated art.

After Sterling said some reprehensible things about the personal life of NBA legend Magic Johnson and his commitment to the African-American community, I went on Twitter and tweeted: "Alicia Florrick should have prepared Donald Sterling better for the interview with Anderson."

The tweet was meant for fans of "The Good Wife."

On Sunday night's episode, Florrick, played by Julianna Margulies, sat in horror as an old billionaire played by veteran actor Tom Skerritt, said some horrible things in a TV interview that were bound to cost him some goodwill with jurors about to be selected for a trial with millions at stake.

After the first time Skerritt's character went off script and compared his situation with that of Anne Frank, Florrick brought in a Holocaust survivor to set him straight about the offensiveness of the comment.

The billionaire eventually apologized in a second interview before he went off-script again and said something else offensive that required Florrick to go into damage control again.

The fictional billionaire's behavior was airing on TV on the same day that Cooper apparently interviewed the 80-year-old Sterling without any lawyers or public relations people around him in his first TV interview since the National Basketball Association banned him for life.

One imagines Sterling's lawyers, his public relations people and any friends he might still have after his recorded racist comments were made public a few weeks ago cringed in horror as Florrick did in "The Good Wife."

Sterling's repeated claims that he wasn't a racist and his tears about the damage and pain he has caused were quickly overshadowed by his attack of the popular Johnson and his foolish claims that the media was driving the hate against him, and that his players didn't hate him.

At one point, Sterling even attacked his interviewer, bizarrely telling Cooper that he was a bigger racist than he was.

Cooper didn't defend himself, nor did he have to. He just allowed Sterling to validate President Obama's statement that "when ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk."

Cooper did bring in filmmaker Spike Lee for analysis after the interview ended. Lee undoubtedly spoke  for many watching when he opened by saying: "Why do they let him speak? Who is around him? I'm amazed."

Lee later added that Sterling is "delusional and making the NBA look like a laughing stock. He has to go and his wife (who apparently wants to keep the team)."

Sterling clearly needed his own Alicia Florrick to keep him from making a bigger old fool of himself than he already had become.

Some people might almost feel sorry for him. Almost. He needs help. Sterling is such a pathetic, delusional figure that it might even be hard for "Saturday Night Live" to do a parody that won't be as hard to watch as the actual interview.

And it isn't over. At the end of Monday's interview, Cooper said part 2 and an interview with Johnson will air tonight.   



Drama | Sports | Sports on TV | Television | TV news
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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

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