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Rosie’s 'right' to be an idiot on the air

Adubato: You may disagree with Rosie, but she has a right to her opinions

Fire Rosie?
April 3: The Los Angeles Times calls for ABC and Barbara Walters to boot Rosie O'Donnell from "The View." MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asks Bob Kohn, author of "Journalistic Fraud,” and MSNBC media analyst Steve Adubato whether ABC and Walters will finally pull the plug on Rosie.
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Troubled Walters
Jan. 24: With more daytime drama on "The View" between Rosie and Barbara, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough learns what this means for the show from Steve Adubato, Katrina Szish and Mathew Felling.

Steve Adubato
Media analyst

I have been talking about Rosie O’Donnell on MSNBC for months.  So have a lot of other people in the media. Rosie never disappoints.  She is great copy; she is outrageous; she is out of control and will say things either on “The View” or on her blog that you have to see and hear to believe. 

Most recently Rosie questioned the 15 British sailors who had been taken in by Iran.  She blogged, “The British did it on purpose.  Into Iranian waters as U.S. military build up on the Iranian border.  We will be in Iran before summer as planned.”  And then on March 26th edition of “The View,” Rosie offered this gem—“But interesting with the British sailors, there were 15 British sailors and Marines who apparently went into Iranian waters and they were seized by the Iranians.  And I have one thing to say: Gulf of Tonkin.  Google it.  Okay.”  I might have missed it, but apparently Rosie has picked up an advanced degree in her spare time in International and Military Affairs.

And how’s this?  Her conspiracy theory on what happened on 9/11 and the potential role the U.S. played in this horrific tragedy.  This is Rosie on “The View” from March 29: “I do believe the first time in history a fire has ever melted steel.  I do believe that it defies physics for World Trade Center Tower Seven, building seven, which collapsed in on itself, it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved, World Trade Center Seven.  World Trade Center One and Two got hit by planes.  Seven, miraculously, for the first time in history, steel was melted by fire.  It is physically impossible.”  Rosie is then asked by Elizabeth Hasselbeck, one of the few meek conservatives on television these days, “And who do you think is responsible for that?”  A clueless Rosie responds, “I have no idea.  But to say that we don’t know it was imploded, that there was implosion in the demolition, is beyond ignorant.  Look at the film.  Get a physics expert here from Yale, from Harvard.  Pick the school.  It defies reason.” 

These are just two of Rosie’s greatest hits from “The View” and her personal blog.  She has absolutely every right to say off the wall, outrageous and nutty things on the air, and definitely on her blog.  Yet, it is also unconscionable that she offers little if no evidence to support her wacky claims and her employers at ABC let her get away with it. 

Further, Barbara Walters, a giant in the broadcasting industry who created “The View,” owns half of it, and serves as executive producer, has apparently rolled over for Rosie allowing her to run roughshod on the program.   She’s not the moderator of it; she’s the “bully in charge.”  I guess that’s what 600,000 new viewers to “The View” will do for you.  Rosie gets away with it when others in our industry couldn’t dream of it.  ABC let Bill Maher go a few years ago when he said something about the 9/11 terrorists being “courageous.”  The ending was swift.  No debate.  No discussion.  Maher was gone.  One wonders if Bill Maher had Rosie O’Donnell’s ratings if ABC would have been so quick to act? 

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