With all the brouhaha swirling over Rosie O'Donnell's premature departure from daytime's The View last week – on what was to be her last day, I might add – I thought I'd weigh in on what I thought happened (as well as the effect and impact she's had on the show).
[The week of May 21-25]
Monday's 'View started off like any other – Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton etc. Rosie took the time to defend her misunderstood remarks – the ones inferring the U.S. soldiers in Iraq as "terrorists". O'Donnell asked fellow 'View panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck if she [Hasselbeck] believed that the cable news programs had twisted her [O'Donnell's] words to fit their agenda – Hasselbeck offered no response, but instead did more verbal dancing than George W. Bush would himself. The show took an even darker turn when Rosie told the other 'View panelists that she wouldn't be able to make it to the Emmys due to a scheduling conflict with her son's graduation. Barbara Walters said:
"If we win at the Emmy's this year, it will be because it was a different kind of year." – a clear reference to the quality of conversation infused into the show since O'Donnell's arrival.
Another 'View panelist – Joy Behar – seemed somewhat defensive at the notion that O'Donnell had raised the stakes,
"What do u mean Barbara?" Behar asked, "We always talked about controversial things."
Behar was visibly angered as Barbara glossed over what she had just said. It was clear then that the atmosphere had changed – even from a television viewer's perspective.
Tuesday's episode of The View was extremely awkward as no one would address the show's internal issues (as they had in the past). Then comes Wednesday and Joy brings out this list of why George W. Bush should be impeached – of course, Elisabeth Hasselbeck is ready and on the attack. Rosie then asked Elisabeth if she really believed that [Rosie] thought that the U.S. troops in Iraq were terrorists – to which Liz simply danced around the subject AGAIN. I began to notice that the segment was entirely too long and Elisabeth was just blathering on and on. And then, there's a very Jerry Springer-esque split-screen moment. It all ended with Rosie calling Elisabeth a coward for not answering the question, which poses the other question:
What was so complex in Rosie's question that Elisabeth couldn't offer a straightforward answer?
Clearly, Rosie was only taking aim at our haphazard policy of invading and occupying a sovereign nation [Iraq]. More, if one does his/her homework, he/she would know that Rosie donates her time and money to a military hospital in Texas. Also, O'Donnell regularly does philanthropic work on behalf of various children's charities.
The following Friday, Rosie O'Donnell announced that she would not be returning to The View – opting for an early leave instead of her planned June 23rd exit.
In her time on The View, Rosie O'Donnell started a challenging discourse on foreign policy and diplomacy (or the lack thereof) – something rarely seen in even the major US news outlets these days. Prior to her [Rosie's] arrival, I seldom watched. Suddenly – with Rosie's arrival – The View had WORTH. Even if i didnt necessarily agree with Elisabeth – and I usually don't – Rosie was her perfect counterpoint; the show started to have long specials on autism and other relevant subjects – issues that were all, but missing until Rosie's arrival. Perhaps this is The View's swan song – Rosie O'Donnell will be a tough act to follow.
What's Next for rosie?
Who knows – the future definitely seems bright for her.
On a side note – I'm loving Janette Barber's artistic side!
(edited by Mervin Malone Jr.)
Tags: The View; Rosie O'Donnell; Joy Behar; Elisabeth Hasselbeck; Barbara Walters; Iraq; Iraq War