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CNN Showed Its News Anchors Getting Drunk on New Year's Eve

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Screen grab images of Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper on CNN's New Year's Eve show
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On Monday, CNN’s anchors and correspondents engaged in what has become an annual tradition for the network on New Year’s Eve: drinking on air.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, Brooke Baldwin, and Randi Kaye spent the night drinking shots, champagne and vodka-sodas and encouraging viewers at home to join them, highlights of which you can see in the video below.

CNN Broadcast Centered on Alcohol

While CNN was not the only network to show its hosts drinking on air (Fox News hosts mixed drinks on camera during the network’s New Year’s Eve special), its broadcast centered on alcohol more than other networks’, according to a Washington Post review of closed-captioning records.

The on-air drinking was a far cry from the New Year’s Eve broadcasts of Guy Lombardo and Dick Clark, which focused primarily on music and festivities.

Past CNN New Year’s Eve Broadcasts

In recent years, CNN hosts have gotten ears piercedremoved clothes and attended marijuana parties on air, none of which happened Monday night (though Cooper did discuss his mother’s relationship history at one point).

The social media attention paid to the on-air drinking may have overshadowed a key moment at midnight: Journalists were invited to drop the ball in Times Square to honor press freedom after the number of reporters killed nearly doubled in 2018.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email