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CNN's Anderson Cooper tells Korina: Go to Tacloban

Video screenshot shows CNN journalist Anderson Cooper reporting from devastated Tacloban City on Tuesday.

MANILA, Philippines - CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has urged ABS-CBN news reader Korina Sanchez to go to Tacloban City to see the situation on the ground and maintained that his reports about the typhoon-struck city were accurate.

In a broadcast from Manila on Friday, Cooper said his coverage of the effects of supr typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has become something political.

"Ms Sanchez is welcome to go there and I would urge her to go there. I don’t know if she has but her husband’s the Interior minister. I’m sure he can arrange a flight," Cooper said, referring to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

Cooper was reacting to comments made by Sanchez, criticizing him for supposedly reporting inaccurately about the situation in Tacloban.
Early this week, Cooper described the situation in Tacloban as “miserable” and “very very bad.”

“People are desperate. People do not have any place for shelter. It’s very difficult for people to get food,” Cooper reported. "It is a very desperate situation, among the most desperate I've seen in covering disasters in the last couple of years."

Cooper also remarked that “the people in Tacloban have great dignity and deserve better than what they have gotten.”

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“As for who exactly is in charge of the Philippine side of this operation, that is not really clear,” he said.

In her dzMM radio program, Sanchez said Cooper was not aware of what he was talking about.

Several viewers and Internet users have scored Sanchez for her comment, saying it constituted conflict of interest since her husband is involved in the relief operations. Roxas is one of the four vice chairpersons of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Most of the online comments about the issue were supportive of Cooper, with some remarking that they find someone on the ground more reliable than one who is reporting from an airconditioned studio.

Cooper said CNN cares about accuracy and delivering information that could help ensure efficient relief efforts.

He said his reports have also shown the strength of the Filipinos who were affected by the disaster.

“Obviously, I’ve been on the ground in Tacloban for days. In fact, I had interviewed a very heroic Philippine Navy captain. He’s helping people. I’ve seen the work being done and the work that isn’t being done, perhaps as importantly,” Cooper said.

“They’re strong not just to have survived this storm. They are strong to have survived the aftermath of this storm. They have survived for a week now often with very little food, very little water, very little medical attention.”

Cooper said he also appreciates President Aquino’s appeal to journalists to be accurate in reporting about the impact of the typhoon.

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