Anderson Cooper Tells Angry Fans He’s Not Too ‘Fancy’ for The Olive Garden — ‘I Like the Artichoke Dip’

Famed CNN host Anderson Cooper is facing some serious backlash from breadstick lovers.

The 53-year-old TV journalist received criticism after delivering feedback following the Capitol riots in early January. During his analysis, Cooper disparaged the popular casual dining chain Olive Garden and in doing so, made many of his viewers extremely indignant. They headed to Twitter to voice their displeasure.

After taking some time to calm down, the host of Anderson Cooper 360 clarified the statements and made an apology to both Olive Garden and his viewers. He even claimed to being a big fan of the restaurant.

Anderson Cooper had harsh words for the violence at the U.S. Capitol

The nation watched transfixed as a group of protestors turned violent on Jan. 6. This group forced their way into the Capitol while Congress was certifying the 2020 election results, hoping to disrupt the legal process.

News anchors reporting on the act of vandalism had harsh words for anyone who would disrespect the democratic process. Cooper had an especially emotional reaction during his broadcast of AC360.

“Look at them, they’re high-fiving each other for this deplorable display of completely unpatriotic, completely against law-and-order, completely unconstitutional behavior. It’s stunning,” the host said on the show, according to Fox News.

“And they’re going to go back, you know, to the Olive Garden and to the Holiday Inn they’re staying at, and the Garden Marriott and they’re going to have some drinks and they’re going to talk about the great day they had in Washington.”

Cooper apologized for bringing Olive Garden into all of this

Anderson Cooper Olive Garden
Anderson Cooper | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images; Olive Garden | Lynne Gilbert/Contributor via Getty Images

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By week’s end, the CNN journalist backtracked on at least one of his original assertions. While he still found the rioting abhorrent, he did apologize for disrespecting Olive Garden and portraying a so-called “elitist” attitude about casual dining restaurants.

“I should have been more clear with something I said in the immediate moments after the attack as people who had broken into the Capitol were simply being allowed to leave, it seemed — just walk away,” he said on the Jan. 8 installment of AC360.

“Celebrating the criminal act they had taken part in. I was trying to remark about the seeming casualness of the behavior that we were all witnessing at that moment after the attack. The high-fiving, the laughing, the celebratory atmosphere, as if they had actually accomplished something.”

He continued, explaining that Olive Garden was simply the first restaurant that came to mind where many people would love to eat. In retrospect, he realizes the generalization was unfair.

Anderson Cooper claims he likes this 1 dish at Olive Garden

Beyond just making an apology to Olive Garden fans, the millionaire host insisted he enjoys the food. After saying, “I’ve been kind of sad about it all day,” and wishing he could take back the diss, he followed up with a glowing review of the Italian chain.

“Just for the record, I like the Olive Garden. I like the artichoke dip even though it has spinach it in it, which I hate. Yes, I know, it’s an appetizer with breadsticks. It’s like a whole meal.”

Hopefully his Olive Garden loving fans can forgive the slip.