YouTube sensation: ‘Anderson Cooper cyber-bullied me’

Meg Gasvoda Contributor
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Self-described “frat star” Lance Diamond is angry, and not just because of his blistered feet. The Virginia Tech freshman claimed wearing new shoes to class caused him physical injury and emotional distress, and profiled his odyssey on YouTube last week.

After Diamond told the world how footwear companies “Sperry and Rainbow stole [his] memories by taking away the opportunity to socialize and meet people” at school, CNN host Anderson Cooper featured his video in his show’s regular “RidicuList” feature.

Diamond told The Daily Caller that his YouTube video was “80 percent serious,” and added that he wanted to use the Internet to promote a future lawsuit. “My dad is a lawyer for Exxon-Mobil, which means he basically runs the world,” said Diamond in his video. “If someone can sue McDonald’s for burning them because their coffee is too hot, I think I have a legitimate case here.”

Watch the original YouTube video:

While Diamond was initially thrilled with the idea of being a viral-video star, he believes Anderson Cooper didn’t do him any favors. “After I was featured on CNN, people at my school thought I was mentally unstable,” he told The DC. “Someone emailed my professors and my deans and warned them about me.”

The overnight YouTube sensation found Cooper rude — and his network hypocritical. “I don’t understand how CNN can claim to be on top of cyber-bullying stories and then allow one of their most prominent hosts to attack me in such a way,” he said. “I think a national news host attacking a kid on YouTube is an example of exactly what the news networks spoke out against when cyber-bullied kids started hurting themselves.”

“When I reached out to CNN for an apology,” Diamond continued, “they defended Anderson Cooper and said he had the right to air the story. Well, where do they draw the line? Do other cyber-bullies then have the right to say whatever they want, just because they can get a good story out of it?”

Watch Anderson Cooper’s ‘Ridiculist’ segment:

Cooper interviewed victims of cyber-bullying in 2010, curiously telling his audience that teens may actually be better off because of their experience as online victims.

“The kids who had been bullied [became] the most interesting people,” Cooper claimed then, “because they were the ones who were different in one way or another.”

CNN has also published online news reports about cyber-bullying. Diamond has not yet filed his planned lawsuits against the shoe companies that he claims caused his injuries.