Sun News reporter fired after asking Anderson Cooper for 'inappropriate' Ottawa selfie
CNN's Anderson Cooper is seen reporting from Cairo, Egypt.
Published Thursday, October 23, 2014 1:27PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 23, 2014 3:07PM PDT
A Canadian TV reporter was scolded by Anderson Cooper Wednesday night after repeatedly asking the CNN anchor for a selfie near the Ottawa shooting scene.
Cooper was in the Canadian capital covering the deadly attack when Sun News Network contributor Vandon Gene approached him for a photo.
The anchor refused, and told Gene to “have a little respect for what happened here today.”
“I will not take a photo with you on a day where someone was killed. It seems wildly inappropriate,” Cooper said during the exchange, part of which was filmed and uploaded to YouTube.
“He already said no, leave him alone!” someone yells at Gene in the footage. Cooper then looks down at his phone and shakes his head.
Gene, apparently offended by Cooper’s snub, later took to Twitter to accuse him of flying to Ottawa to “exploit” the tragedy.
The reporter also claimed Cooper swore and ranted at him.
“I can’t believe CNN would employ you when you SWEAR to your fans,” he said in one of several since-deleted messages. “You have no right to be so rude. I was actually affected by #OttawaShooting.”
Cooper responded through his own account, calling Gene’s actions “completely inappropriate.”
“I can’t believe any station employs you, and if you want to be a journalist, learn how to behave when covering a story,” he said.
Sun News executive producer Matt Wolf apologized to the Anderson Cooper 360 host on behalf of the network, and announced Thursday that Gene doesn’t work for them anymore.
Gene had been a chase producer and contributer for Sun News for six months, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also hosted a weekly show on the Tea Party News Network.
His personal website went offline Thursday, and he offered an effusive apology on Twitter.
“I unreservedly apologize for my actions yesterday. It was completely inappropriate, disrespectful, and distasteful,” he said.
.@vandongene dude, you were rude and asking for a selfie near where a soldier was killed. It was completely inappropriate. Think about it— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) October 23, 2014
.@vandongene I can't believe any station employs you, and if you want to be a journalist, learn how to behave when covering a story— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) October 23, 2014
Again, I unreservedly apologize for my actions yesterday. It was completely inappropriate, disrespectful, and distasteful. @andersoncooper— Vandon Gene (@vandongene) October 23, 2014