Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Two Diva's Dancing...

"The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinion and content with your knowledge."

-Elbert Hubbard

Tell me, did anyone else see watch The View on Tuesday? I have to say, yesterday's episode left me wanting to fire off an email to the powers that be at ABC, to ask them to perhaps rethink their hiring of Rosie O'Donnell as the moderator of The View. I know I am only one fan, but more and more the ladies, seem to be becoming a little thuggish. I don't like feeling that way, about Rosie,I like the lady, I just feel uncomfortable about some of the things she does, like yesterday, when she accused Kelly Ripa of being homophobic, because of the remark Kelly Ripa made to former American Idol winner, Clay Aitkin.

I saw the episode of, Live with Regis & Kelly, in which Clay Aitkin was subbing for Regis Philbin, and in my opinion, Aitkin seemed to be carrying an attitude from the outset. As tensions grew, he clearly jumped his own shark, by choosing to put his hand over Kelly Ripa's mouth, as she tried to ask Emmitt Smith a question about his Dancing with the Stars win. It seems he felt Ripa had been talking over him and wasn't allowing him to speak. Things did seem somewhat confusing, but bottom lining things, Aitkin was a guest on Ripa's show, and some courtesy was in order. Right? When Aitkin placed his hand on her mouth, Ripa became clearly angry, pushed his arm away, and made the comment, "I don't know where that hand has been."

That was last Friday. By today, Kelly Ripa had set the matter straight, by stating that she found Aitkin to be disrespectful, and rude and she was setting him straight. I can understand that. Having seen the incident, and having heard Kelly's explanation, I can see that being the case. So, why did Rosie O'Donnell have to bring the whole incident to a new low, by implying that Kelly Ripa was somehow homophobic because she was angry that he had put his hand over her mouth? Huh? Why in the world would that have been the case, considering from everything I have read, Clay Aitkin has not admitted openly to being gay? I have to admit, I was kinda flabbergasted at that assertion. A little while after Rosie said what she said, Kelly Ripa phoned into The View to have her say about Rosie's opinion. Ripa contends that Clay Aitkin had shook hands with many members of the studio audience, and she didn't appreciate his possibly passing those germs onto her, with it being cold and flu season. She has 3 children to think of.

Rosie would have none of it. Stating that her show was called The View, and that she was therefore entitled to HER view. Personally, I don't think it is as simple as that. Freedom of speech does not give one the right to malign others, because you have an opinion about what their motives are. As far as I know, no one has ever come close to accusing Ripa of being a homophobe because there hasn't been an incidence such as this one. She seems to have a good reputation with her peers, so how could this conclusion have been reached with such little evidence? An accusation that could ruin a career in some circles, based on an opinion... not proven to be truthful.

After the phone call from Ripa, in which Kelly set her straight about her accusation being irresponsible, Rosie went on to say that Clay Aitkin had had a hard time of it, and should be cut a break. That offended me. He may have had a difficult time in life, we all have to a degree, but it doesn't give him free rein to run over anyone he feels like, just to lift himself up. And neither does Rosie. I had to wonder about the other ladies today, as they sat there biting their lips. Joy Behar used to have some backbone, instead today she sat quiet, looking at Rosie like she had six heads, and saying very little.

The one bright moment came from guest host, Sherry Shepard, who actually agreed that folks, such as Ripa, have different comfort levels. Who wants some man putting their hands on you, not only out of anger, but with a good deal of disrespect? I have to say, I would have done the exact same thing Kelly Ripa did. His hand would have been removed, and he would have been told by me, exactly what I thought of what he had done. It would have nothing to do with his sexual preference, it would have to do with a shocking lack of disrespect on his part.

After the ladies finished their Hot Topics segment, The View ladies went on to their other scheduled segments, but right at the very end of the show, where they usually do a sign-off to the audience, Rosie through one last snippet of her right to freedom of speech, and said, "I have 4 kids, and I don't care where you touch me." I suppose she simply couldn't let the whole thing go. Sigh. The View, as Meredith Viera recently said, has indeed "become a joke," with the bells and whistles, and the self-centered attitudes in general. The fact that Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and Joy Behar don't seem to be comfortable at any time, and the fact that Barbara Walters seems to be forever reeling in Rosie, and her brash opinions, makes me wish they would all either grow a backbone or just go away. Of course Rosie has a right to her view, but she doesn't have a right to make up the facts. That's not what freedom of speech is for.

Opinions please. Did you see The View yesterday? How about the episode of Live with Regis & Kelly, which was co-hosted by Clay Aitkin? What do you think? Is Rosie over the top or is Kelly a Homophobe?

Technorati Tags: Kelly Ripa, The View, Rosie O' Donnell, Regis & Kelly


Anonymous said...

first of all i agree that your assessment of both incidences on the respective shows is right on. clay aiken behaved rudely, pure and simple.
excellent post!
i was somewhat bemused that rosie seems to have the ability to read someone's sexuality and then be the one to announce it to the public in spite of the fact a person has chosen not to discuss his sexuality. frankly i wondered if this was really a hot topic at all.
the look on eh's and jb's faces pretty much offered their view. it's a pity the show has evolved into a one woman show and view. i stopped watching it because of this.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

Clay shouldn't have put his hand over Kelly's or anybody's mouth at any time.

Kelly shouldn't have reacted the way she did--there are pictures of her covering Regis's mouth with HER hand and chewing gum that she took from Jimmy Kimmel's mouth. That's hypocrisy and "the cold and flu season" was a lame cover (although hardly homophobic!) If Clay was rude, petulant and "disrespectful" (and it seems he was) she might have remembered her numerous lampoons of Clay (topped by her Clay Aiken Halloween costume a few years back.)

They're both dull and unintelligent. He has an interesting voice, but is hardly a "talent" for the ages. She is a novelty act that seems to work well with Regis Philbin. THEY are a good indication of how low the standard for television "celebrity" seems to be in this country! It's really pretty sad if you go back 40 or 50 years and think of what constituted television "celebrity" then: Lucille Ball, or Arthur Godfrey or Edward R. Murrow or Ed Sullivan or even 30 years ago, with talk show hosts like David Frost or Johnny Carson or even "guest host" Joan Rivers. SHE was outrageous but never rude and definitely NOT unintelligent.

I agree with you 100% about having brought Rosie O'Donnell to "The View." She seems (IMHO) to be a "one issue" co-host. Obsessive behavior, (again IMHO.) By the way, I feel the same about Lou Dobbs on CNN and his CONSTANT haranguing about illegal immigrants. EVERY item his show covers seems to be from an "illegal immigrant" angle (but I digress...) Rosie O'Donnell seems disrespectful of every opinion and view inconsistent with her own. It would seem that show has traded one "attention hog" for another. Unfortunately, they seem not to have "traded up," either!

Thanks for the opportunity to share "mho."

Pam said...

I quit watching the view after a few shows with Rosie. I like her in general...but I found that the other hosts (Joy in particular) became pretty nonexistent when Rosie appeared. Joy used to be funny. Now she just sits there.
It's not a show I watch anymore. So I have no opinion to offer on this incident.

Patrick said...

I wrote a similar piece over the weekend, but I wasn't aware that there was photographic proof that Kelly goes around doing what she chastised Aiken for. But at least that's a double standard that balances out the giant double standard Rosie's guilty of.

I like Rosie, don't get me wrong, but I like her when she isn't being so militant. I'm sure Rosie wouldn't want someone making assumptions about someone because they're gay, yet Rosie's making an assumption about Kelly because she's straight, and also making an assumption that Aiken must be gay -- even though he won't say whether he is or isn't.

To Rosie, poor little Clay couldn't have possibily been rude to the woman whose name is in the title of the show he was guest-hosting; it could only have been a statement against his possible sexual orientation. That's quite a leap of logic.

Everything isn't about sexual orientation...or race...or religion...or national origin...

The list goes on and on.