Germo- or Homo-?

Rosie O’Donnell says Kelly Ripa is a homophobe.

Recently, singer Clay Aiken substituted for host Regis Philbin, co-hosting with Ripa on Live with Regis & Kelly, a show I don’t watch. At some point during an interview, Aiken apparently felt that Ripa was monopolizing the interview, and he put his hand over her mouth so he could attempt to get a word in edgewise.

Ripa, apparently, was not as amused as the audience. She chastised him for the gesture, saying that you just don’t do that, and adding that she didn’t know where that hand has been.

That’s all it took for O’Donnell to accuse Ripa of being a homophobe on The View, another show I do not watch.

Ripa, it turns out, was no more amused at O’Donnell’s statement than she was at Aiken’s gesture, so she called in to throw out her two cents. She claimed that her remark about not knowing where Aiken’s hand had been referred to the fact that it was flu season and that he spent time shaking hands with the audience, and possibly picking up loads of germs.

O’Donnell, who long ago acknowledged that she is a homosexual, said that to her, Ripa could only have been homophobic, since she obviously thinks Aiken, who refuses to answer questions about his sexual orientation, must be gay. Regardless of what Ripa meant, O’Donnell interpreted it one way and one way only, and before bothering to ask, she decided to go on national television and make her point.

Of the three primary players in this little drama, O’Donnell, when she isn’t being so militant, is by far my favorite. But her interpretation of Kelly’s remarks here reminds me of several racial controversies, in which someone of a different race hears something and assumes it must be about race, whether it is or isn’t.

An example would be the subject of the “Old South” I mentioned recently. If someone who is white has anything remotely positive to say about something dating back before the civil rights movement, some blacks are quick to assume that those whites must be in favor of slavery. One can only mean the other. No other interpretations seem possible.

I’ve seen plenty of stories about the germs people pick up on a daily basis, even when they’re not shaking hands with 300 strangers. One can only imagine what a hand-shaker might pick up from hundreds of people in an audience. Then again, that’s not the point.

The point is that someone who is gay, made an assumption that someone who isn’t gay must be a homophobe because she didn’t want the hand of someone who might be gay covering her mouth.

So I have to wonder what it might take for Kelly to redeem herself for people who agree with Rosie. If she brings in a line of gay guys who are willing to acknowledge that they are gay, give each one a nice dousing with that waterless antibacterial soap, and then let each one take turns covering her mouth with their hands for thirty seconds each, would that do it?

There was a contestant on Deal or No Deal a while back who acted as if he might be gay. Host Howie Mandell, who is an admitted heterosexual germophobe, didn’t shake hands with him. Even though he doesn’t shake hands with anyone else, choosing instead to do that annoying knuckle-touching thing, is the fact that he didn’t make a greater effort with the possibly-gay guy a sign that he’s a homophobe?

Some of you might say that it would be wrong to assume that a man who behaves somewhat effiminately could even possibly be homosexual, since some homosexuals don’t “act gay” at all. And you’d be 100% correct. Then again, the basis of Rosie’s accusations against Kelly are based on her assumption that Aiken must be gay. And unless he told her something he isn’t telling anyone else, she’s basing that assumption on his demeanor.

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  1. Hey 🙂

    Here is the thing… you just shouldn’t put your hands on someone else, particulary if you don’t know them well. It’s common courtesy. The hand over the mouth, was “sign language” for “shut-up.” If he had a problem with Kelly talking too much, he could have waited until the commericial break and taken the matter up with Michael Gelman. He is the producer of the show… isn’t his job to handle such disputes? As for Rosie… well… she needs some sensitivity training. She is over the top, and using free speech as a tool of her convenience. It seems Barbara Walters had a hand in fixing the situation. The next day on, The View, the matter was said to have been, “handled.”

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  2. I saw the view that day and I didn’t take it as a gay thing at all…
    I’m assuming Rosie knows something others don’t, but it isn’t being a very good friend then to put it out there when that person hasn’t.

    I love Rosie, still do.. but i do think she made a big booboo where her friendship with Clay went.

    On the other hand..Kelly really was being a bit egotistic that clay did that… i’m sure it was not meant mean, he just couldn’t get a single word in, and Kelly gave him a look like “this is MY show you don’t do that”…how quickly she forgets that SHE is a co-host and like to get her views in with Regis!

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  3. I happened to be home that day and watching “The View.” They showed the tape of Kelly and Clay and then Rosie made her stupid comment. I couldn’t believe she actually said that and implied that if it had been a good-looking straight guy, Kelly wouldn’t have done a thing. I personally think that Kelly over-reacted to what Clay did but I was so proud of her for calling in to “The View” and blasting Rosie by telling her the comment was outrageous and that she (Rosie) knew better. Rosie referred to Clay as a very good friend so maybe he’s “come out” to her. I also wondered how the other ladies of “The View” felt when Rosie referred to it as “my” show. I’m sure that sometimes they’d like to put a hand over her mouth so they can get a word in. By the way, Kelly has put her hand over Regis’s mouth a couple of times to keep him from giving away the answer to their trivia question.

    Robin in Texas

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.