CelebritiesTV & Showbiz

Rosie’s Out: Surprise, Surprise

Rosie O’Donnell won’t be returning to The View following an on-air skirmish between the former comedienne and colleague Elizabeth Hasselbeck, it was announced on Friday.

O’Donnell was riding out the last few weeks of her contract with ABC and was planning to leave at the end of the season. What set her off — this time around — was that Hasselbeck apparently didn’t rush to Rosie’s defense when conservative pundits accused Rosie of calling American troops “terrorists.”

To review, here is a sample of the exchange between the two on the show from May 16th:

Rosie: Six-hundred fifty-five thousand Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?Elizabeth: Who are the terrorists?

Rosie: Six-hundred fifty-five thousand Iraqis. … I’m saying that if you were in Iraq and another country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?

Though her question was rhetorical, there is no doubt in my mind that Rosie is making the implication that our soldiers are the terrorists in this situation. You may agree with her; it doesn’t really matter to me whether you do or not. But I don’t see how anyone can hear (or read) that exchange and doubt that Rosie was making that suggestion, whether she meant to or not.

Last Wednesday, the two had a well-publicized blow-up on the air, when Rosie called Elizabeth “cowardly” for not stepping up to defend her. Elizabeth fired back:

“You know what’s cowardly? Asking a rhetorical question that you never answer yourself. That’s cowardly.”

And I would have to agree. There’s nothing wrong with speaking your mind; there’s a lot wrong with leaving so much room to interpretation, then claiming offense when someone else doesn’t rush in and explain your words for you. If we’re to believe that Rosie is so tough, so eager to “put it out there” and so thick-skinned, we should have a great deal of trouble believing that Rosie seriously thinks she needs anyone to defend what she has to say.

This is the problem I see with talking about the war: it has everything to do with snarky personal attacks and very little to do with the facts. (Are we to believe that even Rosie thinks that American troops killed each one of those 655,000? Are we really to believe that Rosie has somehow discounted the deadly results amassed by Iraqis who are bombing and murdering their own citizens?)

It is this kind of foolishness that has kept us in Iraq so long. It is this kind of attack-style argument that not only doesn’t help real discussion, understanding and solution occur, but also only encourages both sides to stubbornly dig their heels even deeper into the soil of whichever side of the spectrum they’re standing on.

You don’t solve conflicts or ease tensions that way.

If I were to use Rosie’s reasoning, I guess I’d be calling the extremists on either side, those who seem to delight in attacking for the sake of attacking, terrorists as well. I bet she’d have a problem with that.

Incidentally, in case you are wondering about the timeslot, it should come as no surprise to my regular readers that while the while the women of The View are trading their barbs, I’m watching The Price is Right, which I find infinitely more entertaining and equally effective in bringing the troops home.


  1. Personally, I’d take Rosie vs Elizabeth anyday. Rosie is fun…you can have lively discussions & have fun & laugh…Elizabeth is just blah & not very intelligent in my opinion from many of her comments on the show. I also don’t think she represents women in her age range very well. Rosie doesn’t give a #### & that is why she left. She has many fans that are die hard & she knows darn well the media is a roller coaster & it will come back to her. Even if it didn’t she can do what she wants through other avenues…the woman is not going to go poor believe me. I didn’t think she meant the troops either. I thought Elizabeth was a real jerk bringing up Trump. Did you hear what Trump said about Elizabeth?

    Trump: “Well I don’t watch the show but I heard that I was call obnoxious by Elizabeth is that right? I think that Rosie is very self-destructive. She’s going to leave at a certain point of time and that’s really what happened. Rosie wears thin. Rosie will go onto another show and like her first show it will fail. So, we’ll see what happens. As far as Elizabeth Hasselbeck, I’ve always said she’s probably the dumbest person on television. But when she called me obnoxious, she was probably right.”

  2. Having not seen the episodes, it’s hard to completely figure out what happened. In spite of this, it doesn’t surprise me that Rosie acted out in a negative manner. She seems to have a track record of doing stuff like this. Consider the Donald Trump thing during the winter.

    What bothers me is that celebrities, like Rosie, speak their minds (it is America, ladies and gentlemen, she has the right), and then expect that everyone will jump on board to their way of thinking. Then, when “friends” don’t jump right into the fray, they act all hurt and contemptuous (I say they as a general thing, not all celebrities play this game), and make personal attacks.

    Rational argument (such as political argument should be) does not involve personal attack. The woman asked a rhetorical question. Rhetorical questions stand on their own and demand no support from friends.

    It seems to me that Rosie enjoys spewing venom and causing drama. I’m sure this makes things very tense at her workplace–most people like that end up eating alone and getting fired. I think ABC hired her to add some fire to The View, and instead of getting a small, controllable flame, they ended up with an out-of-control forest fire.

    I also think that Rosie is extremely conscious of her career being sort of at a soft-point. By this, I mean that she’s getting fewer offers, and her chances to spew her views in a national forum are becoming fewer and farther between. When she got on The View, she saw it as a chance to grab a large audience, and maybe even control it (it would seem she has some control issues). Unfortunately, she’s shrill and petty enough to destroy that opportunity. I’m thinking that it’s gonna be a cold, dark summer for Ms. O’Donnell.

    The producers for The View are probably going to have to figure out exactly how to reset the show’s focus. It has been Rosie-focused for too many months. Somehow, I don’t think that it was ever meant to be a one-woman show.

    Of course, since I work during that time, I don’t watch it anyway, so I guess my opinion is rather moot. 🙂

  3. I’m so glad that Rosie is gone from the View, not because I watched it, but because I’m just sick of Rosie, period. She can attack, but cannot stand up to attack. How one dimensional. De

  4. Hey Patrick

    I saw the episode. It all kind of made me sad really. Anyway, I also saw the show where Rosie posed the rhetorical question about who the terrorists are, and I saw it completely different then the spin that Fox News put on it. I think she was implying that the Bush administration was the terrorists, but nowhere did she mention the troops.

    Well, in a way they were mentioned in that she stated we invaded Iraq… which is true… but the point is, as a viewer, I didn’t go away from the episode feeling she implied the troops themselves were terrorists. Fox put this spin out there, they are no big fan of Rosie, and I feel they put words in her mouth. As far as the personal dynamic of she and Elizabeth, well, I will put it this way, she was looking for support from her friend and colleague, who hasn’t wanted that when we feel we have been unfairly attacked. Sigh.

  5. i stopped watching after meredith left. there wasn’t anyone left on the show whom i would want to see and listen to evryday.
    the problem i have with rosie is she is a black and hite kind of person in all things. you are either for her or against her and the possibility that one can respectfully disagree and move on to the next subject just is not possible with someone like that.
    i’m still trying to understand why she would need ms hasselback to defend her. the whole drama is just disgusting: the shrill argument that monopolized the tone of the show to the point that even guests on that episode felt compelled to choose up sides in a childish way to the thinly veiled blog entries that carried it on to the staff inspired artistic work. it was ll so very professional, very mature, very rosie and that is why i’m not a fan whether i agree some of her views or not.

Comments are closed.

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.