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Frustration with Atlanta mayor boils over for CNN interviewer

NEW YORK, N.Y. - CNN's Carol Costello was more than prepared for her contentious live interview with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Wednesday, having spent frustrating hours caught in the epic traffic snarls caused by the rare Southern snowstorm.

Unlike other motorists, Costello wasn't stranded overnight in her car, but it took two tries and more than three hours for her to drive two miles to her home Tuesday from the news network's Atlanta headquarters.

Costello began her on-set interview with Reed by asking, "You know how angry people are at you?"

Reed said he didn't believe people were angry at him. He twice scolded Costello to "be fair." When Costello noted all of the traffic accidents and people leaving their cars in icy situations, Reed said, "that's easy to say from your anchor seat."

"No!" Costello retorted. "I was out stuck in the traffic. I was one of those people."

Costello had left her office about 1 p.m. Tuesday — about the time Atlanta streets were flooded with vehicles — and couldn't even get out of CNN's parking lot. She gave up after more than an hour and went back into work. Tuesday evening, she tried again and made it home in about two hours.

She had it easy compared to many others in the Atlanta region, including others at CNN.

"I was amazed that he kept passing the buck — pointing fingers everywhere but at himself," Costello said in an interview. "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 from that and I didn't get that."

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