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May 23, 2007

Smackdown On The View!

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Did you see "The View" this morning!!?

What a knockdown, drag out, Elisabeth vs. Rosie 3smackdown! Rosie20odonnell17It was a full throttle shouting match that went on for nearly ten minutes over the issue of the war in Iraq.  It got personal, it got nasty and man, what a way to end sweeps!  And you thought the only battling was happening on "American Idol" and "Dancing With The Stars."

It started when Joy Behar read a list of what she felt were reasons President George Bush needs to be "thrown out of office."  Until Rosie O'Donnell leaves, it seems that Joy has been appointed Conservative Republican Elisabeth Hasselbeck's Democratic foil when it comes to politics. Joy's list included things like he "stole the election in 2000...he lied to get us into the war....he killed the surplus with tax cuts...he promoted his friend Michael Brown to take care of Katrina."

Joy and Elisabeth then had a back and forth about the list and throughout Rosie was suspiciously silent.  It wasn't until a comment that Elisabeth made about the "enemies in Iraq," that Rosie jumped into the fray.  Elisabeth kept trying to explain that when she said "enemies" she meant al-Qaida.  Rosie however kept pressing, asking her if Iraq had attacked us---incorrectly implying that Elisabeth meant the Iraqi people were our enemies.

Joy, who'd been totally ignored by this point, tried to mediate between the two of them but Rosie said, "You know why I don't want to do this Joy...'cause here's how it gets spun in the media:  big, fat, lesbian, loud Rosie attacks innocent, pure Christian Elisabeth.  And I'm not doing it!"

Joy kept trying to interject, saying none of this was personal, but clearly she was wrong.

Rosie and Elisabeth became more heated as the controversy earlier in the week began to surface.  I'm referring to a couple of days ago when Rosie implied that our troops in Iraq are terrorists.  Now to be fair, I've heard Rosie say many times that she supports the troops in Iraq.  I think she got carried away trying to make a correlation between the Iraqi civilians dying and the victims of terrorist attacks.  She's often hinted that they are one in the same, when to my mind and obviously to Elisabeth's, they are not.

Anyway, Rosie caught a lot of flack about the the troops comment and here's where the fight really got going.

Rosie hinted that she was disappointed that Elisabeth hadn't defended her to the right wing press.

Elisabeth responded with, "I don't understand why it's my fault if people spin words that you put out there...I gave you an opportunity two days ago to clarify the statement that got you in trouble..."

Rosie interrupted sarcastically, "As a friend you gave me the opportunity.  That was very sweet of you."  Then Rosie asked, "You, who actually knows me.  Do you believe I think our troops are terrorists, Elisabeth?"

When Elisabeth didn't answer quickly enough Rosie was clearly insulted, hurt and close to tears.

Elisabeth then started to give an answer and Rosie insisted on a "Yes" or "No" response. Elisabeth responded that she wanted a chance to speak.

Rosie shot back, "You're gonna double-speak.  It's just a yes or a no."

Finally Elisabeth said, "I don't believe that you believe troops are terrorists. I have said that before.  But when you say something like 650,000 Iraqis are dead..."

"It's true.  You don't like the facts."

Guest co-host comedian/actress Sherri Shepherd then cut in trying to throw to a break by saying, "And we'll be right back with Alicia Silverstone."

But Rosie wasn't having it.  "No no no we're not because we have a lot more time."

Joy, obviously dumbfounded and I think a little pissed that she was no longer the center of attention can't figure out a way to end it.

A huge shouting match erupts and the director actually puts them on a split screen!

Rosie stayed on the attack saying that Elisabeth didn't have the right to offer her any opportunities to explain herself, "like I'm six."

"Defend you own thoughts!"  Elisabeth fired back.

"But every time I defend them, it's poor little Elisabeth that I'm picking on."

"Poor little Elisabeth is not poor little Elisabeth.  You find it easier to fight someone like Donald Trump because he's obnoxious."

Finally Rosie made a mock capitulation referring to the fact that she's out of there at the end of June and she'll remain silent until then. "For three weeks you can say all the Republican crap you want. "

"I don't understand how there can be such hurt feelings when all I said was, look why don't you tell everybody what you said." Elisabeth said.

"All you did is not defend me."  Rosie shot back.  "Every day since September I have told you that I support the troops.  I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying...you said nothing.  That's cowardly."

"I'll tell you what's cowardly, asking a rhetorical question that you never answer yourself."

Sherri and Joy then get up and pretend they're leaving.  "That's it" Joy said, trying to laugh everything off.  Once again she's unsuccessful.

The other two go at it some more until Joy has enough.

"Is there no commercial on this show?  What are we, on PBS? Who is directing this show? Lets go to commercial!"

Finally it's over and they go to commercial and when we come back, we have segments with Alicia Silverstone, Elizabeth Mitchell from "Lost," and the runners-up from "Dancing With The Stars."

Throughout the rest of the show, the frostiness is palpable and the ratings should be through the roof tomorrow because everyone will want to see what happens next.

Whew!

As uncomfortable as it was, it was riveting television and a perfect example of people not really listening to each other.  I'm a staunch Democrat, but I in no way agree with all of Rosie's sometimes "out there" opinions.  Elisabeth has her "out there" moments as well, but I find myself agreeing with her characterization that Rosie tries to steamroll people with her opinions instead of truly explaining them.  And Elisabeth isn't nearly eloquent or intellectually nimble enough to be a strong challenger for some of Rosie's more dicey arguments.

But it's been great having Rosie on "The View."  For all Barbara's talk about how this is a groundbreaking show, she forgets that CNN used to have a roundtable show on everyday at 11:30AM usually with four women of differing backgrounds discussing a wide variety of topics in just the same free form way as "The View's" hot topic segment.

The lesson?  We shouldn't be afraid of women voicing strong opinions, even harsh, personally laden ones on television.  It's part of who we are and men have gotten away with this kind of crap for years.

The best line came at the end of the show when guest co-host, comedian/actress Sherri Shepherd (a black woman) said when asked if she'd had fun, "I had so much fun, I don't know what to do.  Thank goodness y'all not no black women 'cause it would have been a big fight."

Give that woman a job!

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