Scott Wolf, the star of a new show about evil aliens who use superficial journalists to take over the planet, appeared on Monday’s Good Morning America and compared his "morally compromised" character to real-life CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. The V star asserted that "Chad Decker" doesn’t have much "gravitas" and added, "He's more of Anderson Cooper-y."
In the program, which premiered November 3 on ABC, Wolf’s fictional reporter scored an exclusive interview with "Anna," the lead alien, who is secretly plotting to take over the planet. She instructed him, "Just be sure not to ask anything that would paint us in a negative light." After he explained journalists must ask tough questions, Anna delivered this punch line: "That was not my understanding." [Audio available here.]
Under the threat of losing such a high-profile interview, Decker backpedaled and offered a promise to be "fair." The scene, which some conservatives might think reflects coverage the Obama administration has received, continued. The alien lectured, "You'll need to be more than fair if you want to proceed...We can't be seen in a negative light."
On the November 2 GMA, after Wolf made his crack about Cooper, co-host Chris Cuomo jumped in and defended his CNN colleague: "Whoa, not to say that Anderson doesn't have gravitas. What, are you trying to kill us?"
In an interview on AOL Television, Wolf was slightly more diplomatic. Speaking of who he based the character on, the star asserted, "There wasn't any one person. He's scripted as an Anderson Cooper-wannabe. I took that to mean he's a modern-day newsman."
An example of Anderson Cooper doing a “Chad Decker” impression might be on March 21, 2008 when he conducted a softball interview with Barack Obama, failing to press the presidential candidate on many of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s more incendiary remarks. At one point, Cooper sympathetically told the Democrat that his opponents would "use" patriotism against him.
A transcript of the exchange on GMA and then a transcript from the November 3 premiere of V, can be found below:
CHRIS CUOMO: So who is the role model for the character portrayal?
SCOTT WOLF (Star of V): You know, you factored in.
CUOMO: No, I didn't. No, I didn't.
WOLF: Yeah, I play, I play a morally compromised news journalist.
CUOMO: Maybe it is me.
WOLF: No, the morally - compromised part had nothing to do with you. But, you know, he's kind of a modern day, he's not sort of the gravitas- parochial, you know, Walter Cronkite. He's more of Anderson Cooper-y. He's kind of-
CUOMO: Whoa, not to say that Anderson doesn't have gravitas. What, are you trying to kill us?
WOLF: No, no, no, no. I'm going to get a letter. No, no, but there's a sense that he's sort of someone you know who's kind of telling you the truth. It's not sort of talking down to you, and there's this connection and, but he gets this incredible opportunity. He speaks to the leader of the aliens.
CUOMO: Don't give it all away.
WOLF: Yeah, I know, I know, I know.
SAM CHAMPION: When does it air?
CUOMO: The premiere episode of 'V" airs Tuesday, November 3rd at 8:00 PM, ET, that's Eastern time, not extraterrestrial, on ABC.
CHAMPION: And consider the newscaster to be- Like, Chris is very newsy. So, it would be- like, Chris-light is the way I would see the newscaster.
"CHAD DECKER" (Scott Wolf): Thanks again for choosing me to do this.
ALIEN LEADER (Morena Baccarin): I'm really excited. so are we.
"DECKER": Do you have any questions before we go to air?
ALIEN LEADER: No. Just be sure not to ask anything that would paint us in a negative light.
"DECKER": Excuse me?
ALIEN LEADER: Don't ask any questions that would portray us negatively. Ask ones like you did when we first met.
"DECKER": Oh, I think there's a mistake. I’m a journalist. It's my job to ask questions even if they make the other person uncomfortable.
ALIEN LEADER: That was not my understanding.
VOICE: Standing by to go to air.
"DECKER": Afraid I don't have a choice.
ALIEN LEADER: This interview is now canceled.
"DECKER": Whoa, whoa, whoa, hang on. hang on. Look, this is just how it's done. I swear I'll be fair.
ALIEN LEADER: You'll need to be more than fair if you want to proceed.
VOICE: Two minutes to air.
ALIEN LEADER: We can't be seen in a negative light. This interview would elevate your career, wouldn't it, Mr. Decker? Don't you want to elevate your career?