Based on the evidence, it appears that Anderson Cooper has a higher tolerance for trashy reality TV than the average hardened news vet: He's tight with Atlanta "Housewife" NeNe Leakes; he's hosted New Year's Eve celebrations with Kathy Griffin; and he even admitted to watching the utterly terrible "Living Lohan."
But the news this week that Snooki and the rest of her "Jersey Shore" housemates would be making a reported $100,000 per episode -- on top of club-appearance fees exceeding $25,000 -- was too much for Cooper.
On Wednesday night, he drew a line in the sand. He declared that anyone willing to pay Snooki "to be, well, Snooki" would be added to his "RidicuList" compendium (sort of like Keith Olbermann's "Worst Persons in the World," or Bill O'Reilly's "Pinheads and Patriots," only Cooper doesn't take himself so seriously).
Cooper's anti-Snooki tirade was provoked by the reported salaries for Ms. Polizzi and her "Jersey Shore" castmates for the show's upcoming fourth season. Pondering the absurdity of the numbers, Cooper unleashed a torrent of adjectives: "Snooki is one impossibly lucky, unusually spunky, freakishly tan, beer-guzzling, juicehead-hugging, muscle-loving, Botero-bodied, pint-sized money-making machine."
Making matters worse is the fact that Snooki, who aspired to be a veterinary technician before gaining international fame for her daytime drinking binges, now garners bigger speaking fees than Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.
"If you listen closely, you can hear schoolteachers around the country weeping right now,” he said.
I'm pretty sure I hear them too.
-- Meredith Blake