Anderson Cooper critiques boycott |

Anderson Cooper critiques boycott

During a brief stop in Utah Friday, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper sounded off on rumors that out-of-towners may boycott Utah following the passage of a gay marriage ban in California that the LDS Church supported.

"When I come to a place I try to have no preconceived notions," he said in response to an audience member’s question after his address at Roland Hall-St. Mark’s School Friday evening. "Utah is a great place and I’ve been here many times and I will come back here after [tonight]."

The Sundance Film Festival had been specifically mentioned in Internet posts from lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and California, prompting concern that Summit County’s economy could take a hit. The festival generates about $57 million for the county every year.

Cooper, who spoke on the importance of independent journalism, insisted that pundits should never push an agenda on air. "I’m not much for giving advice," he said in impromptu remarks. "That’s Bill O’Reilly’s job and he’s very good at it."

Cooper addressed a crowd of a few hundred people in the gymnasium of the private school in Salt Lake. His comments focused on his time as a war correspondent in Africa and the reporting he did in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.

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