August 2nd, 2011
11:42 PM ET

The RidicuList: Matt Damon

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper explains why anyone who messes with Matt Damon has earned a spot on AC360's RidicuList.

Filed under: The RidicuList
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Mike L

    Damon is a puff, period. How's Jimmy Kimmel buddy, you still sore?

    August 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  2. Name*Robin

    Teachers do not get a 3 month paid vacation. They only get paid for the 180 or so days in their contract. Also, Matt was correct , they earn way less than their counterparts with the same level of education (mostly Master's level). Thanks Matt!

    August 4, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  3. M. Valdez

    Mr. Cooper, I am a fan of your segments typically; however, this one bugged me a bit.

    The reporter was attempting to make a point about the need for an incentive so that teachers would be held accountable their performance. The fallacy of her argument was her association of Matt Damon's professional acting career as an example.

    Credit to Matt for identifying the fallacy and exploiting it to his advantage; however, if the association was made that other people in his profession, that have not achieved his level of success, can’t survive on their "love" for the profession and actually need to strive to do better so that they may one day quit their day job, he would have had a much more difficult time arguing his point.
    It should have been pointed out that Matt Damon’s association of his own career and that of the common teacher is no comparison what so ever (unless that teacher owns their own school, commanded their own tuition and was ridiculously successful and rich). Matt’s argument is based entirely in his bias and not in any logic.

    Also, why does he negatively single out MBA's or “MBA-Thinking”? Isn't funny that Matt criticized the very thing he was defending in one sentence? You have to love the fact that the man, whose mother is a teacher, dropped out of college and is now defending the education system while criticizing a degree of distinction given to those who succeed in education.

    I don’t know Anderson I guess I expected more from the ridiculist and was hoping that you would have pointed out the blatant irony in this one. I guess your Damon infatuation clouded your perspective on this one "Silver Fox".

    Until next time…

    August 4, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  4. Fred

    Unlike the writers here who try to discredit Matt, Matt knows what is entailed for teachers from what he witnessed from his mother. It is so easy to throw stones with little or no first hand experience. I love it when people choose to point out the salary of teachers when arguing there worth in society. The lady who pointed out relativity nailed it! How many bridges would get designed in your world if you told engineers that they have to take their first 4 to 6 years of their working life and attend college. Then they have to study for, pay for, and pass licensing exams. Then, and only then, they can start working to pay for the 4 to 6 years of college they needed to even interview for a job. Oh, by the way, they do do that but would that same engineer work for a teacher's salary? I don't think so. And if he or she did, I'm sure their firm would charge a hefty hourly rate for the time put in beyond the work day. And as for accountability, sure the engineer will have his or her name on the line that the bridge will meet expectations.....but he or she also gets the luxury of controlling all aspects of the "development" of the bridge. A teacher deals with whatever comes their way....budget cuts, broken homes where school is of little concern, kids who come to school not knowing where their next meal will come from, etc. But if Billy, who has not read a thing at home in 10 years and has been out of school more than in, does not ace his standardized tests, the teacher is deemed unfit! Again, I don't think the engineer would sign on if they had to accomplish the same thing and have no control over the various aspects that go into sucessfully building their design...certainly not for the teacher's salary.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  5. michael

    brainstorm.....for every day that congress doesn't work or give themselves some time off, their salaries should go to teachers......

    August 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  6. Chris

    Funny how celebrities find themselves to be the expert on everything. Stick to movies, Matt; you could have done a little better in some of your previous ones.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • DTB

      It's even funnier when random internet commentators do it during the middle of a weekday.

      August 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  7. Don

    Come on, because you like Matt Damon you put a positive spin on this. "Hard work, long hours, lousy pay???
    What country is he talking about?? Teachers are great and do a great service....just like thousands of other Americans.
    They certainly don't work harder or for less pay than most people I know. They are Union, can't fire a bad teacher and their pay and benefits are very good,especially if you figure in the three months or more of vacation. We get two weeks.
    That's all you hear from Politicians, Police,Fire, Teachers, all Union. How about waitresses, trash men, mechanics.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Maureen

      I believe teachers don't get paid during vacation.
      That's why some of them even need to find other jobs during summer break.
      And when they ARE working, the work hours go beyond dinner time.
      I know this, because I'm surrounded by them at home.
      So when you said "great pay"... that is relative.

      August 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
      • Kll

        They do get paid – they can either take it during the school year or thru the summer. Not only summer vaca, but spring break, Christmas vaca, presidents day, Thanksgiving, MLK day,

        August 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Natha

      Oh, trust me, I've had some extremely bad teachers in my day. Not all teachers are great. I think I turned out all right, but yeah, some people would have been fired years ago if it wasn't for tenure. Do we really want our children growing up in a society like that, where people take advantage of tenure at the misfortune of our youth's education?

      August 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Sarah

      1) Teachers don't get paid during their "vacation" unless they decide to do summer school (if they can) if they do get paid it's because they had money withheld from their paychecks the rest of the year and that money gets paid to them over the summer (so in reality they get paid year round but those paychecks are smaller)
      2) As Maureen said, the hours extend way beyond just leaving the school, they have to grade homework, continuously work on lesson plans and other things all the time!
      3) Yeah, the work is lousy, not only do they have to babysit some people's (rotten) kids (and the nice ones) but they also have to try to teach them, and give each kid enough attention to help keep them from falling behind, while also dealing with sick children because their parents don't have enough sense to keep their child at home when they are sick, so often teachers get sick...
      4) Teachers have to continually take classes in order to keep their teaching license, and guess what? THEY PAY FOR IT OUT OF THEIR OWN POCKET. Many businesses will train their employees for free, or help pay towards necessary classes, but teachers have to pay for it all themselves and find a way to work these classes into their schedules if they can't take the course in the summer when, hmmm... they're not getting paid!

      I'm not a teacher, but I know quite a few, and trust me, I also work in a crappy cafe job barely making above minimum wage... I don't have the patience to be a teacher, mostly b/c I don't want to deal with some people's kids...
      Also, if you think their work is "good pay" go look up how much a baby sitter costs per child, and calculate how much ONE child is per year, then multiply that by 30+ children, and then tell me teachers get paid enough... b/c if we paid them like you would a babysitter to watch a child for just as many hours in a day, nearly every day, they'd make a heck of a lot more...

      August 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • tc

      Waitresses, garbage collectors, etc. usually don't have a masters degree like most teachers. They've got the most important job in the world so they should be well compensated. Fyi- teachers do NOT get paid during the summer months. Poor teachers can be fired as long as their administrator has documented the issues. Get your facts straight...

      August 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  8. Perk

    End the Pl 107-110 NCLB and don't just change the name of it and not end the mandates ! Go Matt Go ! I love it and he's awesome ! It use to be called Public Education and now everybody is saying Govt. Education ! "Dancing In The Streets" for Public Education Across America ! It's a Motown Educational Shag Down ! End the mandates and fund Education ! Hillary Clinton would have and we drove her crazy until she finally said....."End The Mandates On NCLB." The crowds across the country screamed wildly in cheer. Instead they're closing school buildings and laying off teacher's ! 188,000 teacher's out of work around the country.Oh and that Highly Qualified is another Federal NCLB joke ! See instructional accountability . Matt Damon vs Dr. Duncan vote today !

    August 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  9. Alexandra Miletta

    Nice one Anderson. By the way, Matt Damon's mother is a teacher, a professor, an author, and is highly esteemed in the field of early childhood education. You can check out her website here: http://www.nancycarlssonpaige.org/ I find it interesting that Matt's interview is getting way more press than his excellent speech from the podium at the Save Our Schools rally. Thanks to Valerie Strauss at Washington Post you can read it in its entirety here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/matt-damons-clear-headed-speech-to-teachers-rally/2011/07/30/gIQAG9Q6jI_blog.html

    August 3, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  10. Robert McQuillan

    I always enjoy the show but I feel Mr. Cooper was way off base in riidiculing the reporter and cameraman doing the piece on Matt Damon and the Teachers. Do you have children in the school system? I have a 22 year old son and we always wanted to know where he stood with grades. Without tests and exams one does not know where their child is when compared to children in their class, school or other parts of the country. Would you want your child passed along from grade to grade without any accountability only to arrive at college unprepared to do the work? For the same reasons Teachers should be monitored and held to a standard set down by the local School Board. Is that not just plain common sense? ARe you not held accountable for the work you proeduce? Do you not have at least some sort of standard to uphold? It is the responsibility of all School Administrations to hold Teachers and students accountable for the work they put out! Do not much about Mr. Damon but he came across as a bully on this one! Mr. Cooper seemed with Mr. Damon's use of the english language. For one I was not impressed, Mr. Damon had obviously rehearsed his little rant! Mr. Cooper should really should re-think his take on this whole thing!
    By the way will still continue to enjoy the show!

    August 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • mommytoone

      I am a parent and a teacher. While I appreciate the point of parents wanting to know how their kids are really doing, the results of one test do not give the complete picture. There are many qualities a child can demonstrate which cannot be measured by a single multiple choice test. Furthermore, I see how students are being deprived of the many creative opportunities that subjects which aren't tested would provide. I have had parents tell me (though I didn't need to hear it to know it), that they are happy to have their kids at a school which may not have 100% proficiency because their kids still get history, art, music, etc., instead of a school which is focused on the testing and therefore has teachers who only cover math, language arts, and science.

      August 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  11. Susan DuFresne

    Don't mess with Save Our Schools! Don't mess with teachers! And especially, don't mess with our students!

    August 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  12. Steve

    It's a good clip of Damon defending teachers, but I wish AC360 would've treated the issue more seriously rather than just turn it into a silly Matt Damon love-fest. It ends up being more about Damon and how smitten AC is with him rather than about the debate surrounding teacher tenure and quality.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  13. cherri

    LOVE this!!!! He put that reporter in her place and she had nothing else to say...get your facts straight first sister before you start spouting off you OPINION!!!!

    August 3, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  14. Tom Leykis

    Matt Damon is highly intelligent and VERY reasonable. He spoke the truth.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  15. Jennifer - Michigan

    That was great! Don't mess with Matt Damon. He's totally right, you have to really want to teach to be a teacher. It's not an easy job whatsoever. You get a new respect for those teachers when you volunteer in the classroom for a few hours. They really love what they do – it's rewarding however too.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  16. Roger Weis

    Anderson – youre missing the whole point of the reporter's question! she's bringing up one of the most important issues in ed policy today: the idea that tenure de-incentivizes teachers to perform well. what other profession are you *immune from being fired* for poor performance? this is a REAL problem in education. check out the research, talk to policy makers, and get the full story - instead of simplistic sycophantic gushing over Damon! im surprised by you! this lady is REALLY doing a great job by holding Damon to task on this issue.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  17. Rob

    on my irony comment I should have put that is was deliciously ironic that Matt Damon accused her of having a simplistic patriarchal MBA way of thinking about ed policy , while being quite hostile and patriarchal in his own response to what was nothing more than a fairly soft ball and civil question.. I thought I better put in the key word lest someone think I do not know what Irony is. I know I ranted her but come on, lets not encourage smug rudeness a cute as long as it plays with your netowrk's or your anchors personal point of view. What the heck happened to expecting civility from movie stars and at least a better show of being a neutral observer by the press. I had no idea how prescient the words Walter Cronkite were when he talked about cable forcing entertainment values into the news as the begining of the end of serious news aiming seriously for objectivity. Granted this is just the ridiculist but come one folks, A star verbally beating up on a polite correspondent from the wrong point of view is not funny, its appalling.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:48 am |
  18. steph

    Love it!! Ha ha ha!!!

    August 3, 2011 at 5:29 am |
  19. Jacquie Howard

    I LOVE this! Anderson, you did a great job with this and I agree;" Don't mess with Matt Damon"

    August 3, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • Jacquie Howard

      Oh, I forgot to ask..is "explody" really a word???

      August 3, 2011 at 3:33 am |
  20. Tina Kay


    August 3, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  21. Jenn

    That was amazing.. no... AWESOME!!! Matt Damon is my new hero! I want to see more of his interview awesomeness smacking down those "haters" =)

    August 3, 2011 at 2:07 am |
  22. Tiffany B

    I love The RidicuList! Good one! I have a new appreciation for Matt!

    August 3, 2011 at 1:10 am |