Carol Costello, CNN interviewer, Confronts Atlanta Mayor Over Gridlock

Image: Carol Costello, CNN interviewer, Confronts Atlanta Mayor Over Gridlock Carol Costello, left, Kassim Reed

Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 03:26 PM

By David Ogul

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CNN’s Carol Costello is in the news for a contentious interview with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in the wake of a crippling snowstorm that caught the metropolis unprepared and left it in gridlock.

“You know how angry people are at you?” Costello said to begin the interview.

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Reed, who appeared calm throughout the exchange, said people were frustrated, but didn’t think they were angry at him. He also told Costello that she needed to “be fair” when blaming him for the school buses on the road, as that was handled by the school district, not the mayor’s office.

When Costello responded that there were traffic accidents galore, people abandoning their cars and others sitting stuck inside their vehicles in sub-freezing weather, Reed said, “That’s easy to say from your anchor seat.”

That seemed to set Costello off. “No!” she said. “I was out stuck in traffic. I was one of those people.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Costello vented her frustrations.

“I was amazed that he kept passing the buck — pointing fingers everywhere but at himself,” she said. “I think that’s where my frustration came from. I wanted him to say, 'I’m angry and frustrated at the response and I’m going to get to the bottom of it.’ He didn’t say that. Being a citizen of Atlanta and caught in the mess, I know what it felt like. … I wanted to get answers from the man who was supposed to be protecting me and I didn’t get that.”

The mayor acknowledged in previous statements that the city could have directed schools, businesses, and government offices to stagger their closings on Tuesday afternoon when the storm began, which would have alleviated some of the resulting gridlock conditions. Officials said nearly 240 children spent the night on school buses.

Costello wasn’t getting much love on Twitter following the interview.

Motorists abandoned more than 2,000 vehicles on Atlanta-area freeways after Tuesday’s snowstorm brought the region to a standstill, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Many spent much of Thursday retrieving their cars, and authorities were on hand to refill gas tanks and provide jumps to dead batteries.

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