Revelers in Times Square for New Year's Eve had to deal with the pouring rain for several hours, and it turns out that those broadcasting from the event were no different. After originally sharing a clear umbrella with co-host Anderson Cooper early in the night, Andy Cohen found himself getting into some trouble for brandishing the accessory that almost cost CNN their spot at the festivities in 2019. See, Cohen did not accept defeat without a fight when he was told to get rid of that umbrella.
I said I won't do it. I said, 'Get the paddy wagon, cause that's what it's going to take.' But now they are threatening to pull CNN's spot from the credentials from Times Square for next year!
So, how did Andy Cohen and his umbrella almost get CNN, of all outlets, cast out of Times Square New Year's Eve coverage? Well, according to Deadline, about 80 minutes into his broadcast with Anderson Cooper, Cohen left the stage for a commercial break, only to return without his beloved umbrella. As Anderson told it, Cohen had been refusing to let go of his clear rain cover for almost the entire broadcast, even though the Times Square Alliance had been after him to get rid of it all night, seeing as how umbrellas were banned at the event due to strict security measures.
Finally, during this commercial break, a woman from Times Square Alliance, which organizes the event, came over and told Andy Cohen to relinquish his umbrella or CNN would be denied media credentials for the event in the following year. Obviously, this was a much more severe threat than Cohen could have imagined would be coming just for using an umbrella in the driving rain, and, not wanting to get the news giant known as CNN ousted from the next New Year's festivities (and, likely, also not wanting to get banned from CNN's coverage in the future because of the trouble he caused) Cohen took one for the team and gave up his umbrella. But, Cohen didn't go quietly:
This umbrella is such a threat to the Times Square Alliance?! And what does the Times Square Alliance do besides F with my New Year's Eve?! So, fine! Univision has their umbrellas over there. We stand with Univision!
When Anderson Cooper remarked that the reporters at Univision were also told to toss the umbrellas, Andy Cohen yelled that the whole situation was "some grade-A BS!" This prompted Cooper note that at least Cohen's coat was fitted with a hood that he could use, which led to the hosts calling for viewers to take to Twitter and ask that Cohen be allowed to use his umbrella. While lots of folks complied, once the hosts' interview with Faye Dunaway was over, their shelter from the storm was taken away again.
If you were flipping among the New Year's broadcasts last night, like I was, you probably noticed that every set of hosts began with umbrellas which slowly disappeared as the night went on, leaving everyone without a hood cold, with their hair plastered unattractively to their faces, coats potentially ruined and soaked to the bone. At least now we know why everyone appeared to mysteriously lose their umbrellas on such a rainy night.
Now Andy Cohen and everyone else who plans to hit Times Square for New Year's Eve can stand warned for next time: always bring a rain poncho, just in case.