Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rosie's Machine - To this observer, today's announcement that Rosie O'Donnell will no longer befoul the set of "The View" with her repugnant presence came as most welcome news. Both Ms. O'Donnell and the show's eminence grise (quite literally) Barbara Walters attempted to put a positive spin on the news - describing it as an inability to "come to a contractual agreement." But it is hard to believe that the suits in ABC Daytime would be unable to throw enough money and/or perks to keep her around if they so desired, particularly as she has evidently had a positive impact on ratings during her mercifully brief tenure. According to ABC, the show's ratings during the February sweeps were up 15 percent in key female demographics over February 2006.

But Ms. O'Donnell's presence was a doubled-edged sword. In as much as she boosted viewership, she created quite a distraction for Ms. Walters and her co-hosts, Joy Behar and the beleaguered Elisabeth Hasselbeck. When not sparring with Donald Trump or butting heads with Bill O'Reilly, O'Donnell spent her time promulgating nonsense and nuttiness on everything from 9/11 conspiracies to the captured British sailors being a pretext for war with Iran to comparing "radical Christianity" to Islamofascism. (Many thanks to the good people at the Media Research Center for providing a fairly comprehensive dossier on O'Donnell's rantings from 1999 to the present.)

But beyond her frequent and incomprehensible rantings about the supposed evils of Bush and Co., Rosie's favorite pastime on the show was verbally abusing Ms. Hasselbeck.
While Hasselbeck does her level best to deflect Ms. O'Donnell's fury, it is an obvious mismatch. To be sure, Hasselbeck serves as naught but a well-paid straw man for Rosie to knock down. And it is apparent to this observer that such has been the case by design; it is no secret that besides speaking at the 2004 Republican National Convention, Ms. Hasselbeck's conservative credentials are paper thin. (Perhaps if Ms. Hasselbeck spent some time talking with Prime Minister John Howard when she was a contestant on "Survivor:The Australian Outback", she might be on firmer ground when dealing with O'Donnell.)

Of course the real culprit in creating such a situation is Barbara Walters herself. Indeed, if Ms. Walters wished, she could arrange to have a more formidable opponent for Rosie to tangle with. It is entirely because Walters - much like her peers in the MSM - desires for conservatives to look like ill-informed blatherers that Hasselbeck has a gig on the show at all. Imagine if Rosie had to tangle with the likes of Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Debbie Schlussel or Ann Coulter on a daily basis. (And that's just the the "B" team; the varsity squad would include Sens. Libby Dole and Kay Bailey Hutchison along with Mary Matalin, Linda Chavez, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and of course Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.)

If we are lucky, we will not be subject to Ms. Walters' conspiracy of rigging the show's liberal vs. conservative "Fight Club." As for Rosie, the conspiracy that she should concern herself with is the one in which she is most intimately involved. In the opinion of this scribbler, O'Donnell is an integral part of an elaborate Republican conspiracy to make liberals appear to be irretrievably deranged, and thus unfit to be trusted with responsibility for the security of the U.S. To be certain, her inane statements, along with those from, International A.N.S.W.E.R., Code Pink, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will appear in Republican campaign videos every day from now until November 4, 2008.

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