By Ken Tucker
Updated February 09, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST
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Anderson Cooper appeared on the Late Show on Wednesday night, telling David Letterman about his beating at the hands of what he termed “pro-Mubarak thugs.” Cooper described the roughing up he and his CNN crew were subjected to, saying that the present government has “given a green light for mobs to attack anyone who looks foreign.”

Cooper was self-deprecating in describing the attacks, telling Letterman that in the midst of the “pummeling,” he groped for what little Arabic he knew and thought he was saying “Peace! Peace!” but instead figured out later he was actually saying “God willing,” as though it were divine will that he be beaten.

Letterman asked if Cooper thought he’d been singled out because he was recognizable. “Don’t take this the wrong way,” said Letterman, “but you, I think, just standing on a corner, call attention to yourself,” referring to Cooper’s distinctive white-haired look.

“Yes, I’m like a newt who’s emerged from underneath a rock, you know?” responded Cooper jokingly. “Yeah, it’s like, ‘Look for the pale, skinny, gray-haired man.’ [I’m] not too hard to identify.”

Twitter: @kentucker


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