Thursday, May 3, 2007

Rosie leaving the View is bad for America

When I heard Rosie was joining The View I thought that was a great idea but considered myself a moderate Rosie fan at best. I loved her previous talk show with all the Broadway production numbers etc. I was glad she came out of the closet, supported gay parent's rights. I was dismayed that she came out when her show was ending (instead of during) and proceeded to have a nasty court battle, strange hairstyle, swearing like a sailor etc. I thought it sent a message to middle america that coming out meant she was a different person etc. However I definately have changed my mind about Rosie O'Donnell this year - to say I'm a fan is an understatement.

I will admit I wasn't even interested enough to catch the first couple episodes when Rosie joined The View but after I did I was hooked. Week after Week watching the show I could not believe how honest Rosie was with America about her life and political views.

First of all Rosie opened up and talked about her relationship with Kelly and being a Mom to their kids every day. Just the normal everyday funny and heartwarming stories of raising your children, dealing with in-laws and keeping a long term relationship going. She just put her life out there as a gay wife, mother, daughter-in-law without being careful or being political about it. It just IS - as it should be.

Then there IS the political discussions which thanks to Rosie were ratcheted up to a fever pitch. Despite the myth of the liberal media there are much more right wing views than left wing in the media. (Fox news, all the talk radio programs etc) There are some "token" shows like Real Time with Bill Maher or the struggling Air America but those are exceptions to the rule.

Rosie helped bring a needed voice to the airwaves at this critical time in our history. She is Anti-War but not anti-troops and certainly not anti-American. (they used to accuse everone of being a communist now they call you anti-American) She is a humanist trying to talk about the casualties of war who are not being covererd by the mainstream media. (The mainstream media is not right or left lately just incompetent) She is bringing up newsworthy topics that no one is talking about especially on network television.

Since Elizabeth Hasselback pretty much just argues Fox Television talking points it has been fun to watch Rosie poke holes in those points one by one. Elizabeth can get agitated and dramatic trying to make her points but Rosie exposes those views for what they are. Imperialistic, inhumane and greedy. Trying to watch Elizabeth defend torturing people or excuse Iraqi civilian deaths shows how disgusting those views are. It also shows how arguing with people so Republican often does no good whatsoever as far as changing their minds.

What is also important was that Elizabeth and Rosie have remained friends. Going to the theatre together, having play dates with the kids etc. Elizabeth showed that you can be Republican and not be anti-Gay. Their friendship also showed how you can overlook someone's politcal beliefs and be their friend anyway. (finding other things that make them special to you) I have had this several times in my life especially at work and coming from a Republican small town. (I do have some issues having gay Republican friends but that's another blog)

This has also made explosive televsion. You never knew what was going to happen next. Would all of them be laughing and enjoying each other's company or yelling across the table. Seeing Barbra Walters trying to maintain the cilivity and point out that everyone is entitled to their opinion has been fun as well. It has become "don't miss" television.

Where else on TV are we getting a gay person's perspective on the news? (except for the closeted Anderson Cooper that is) It was great to see an openly gay woman telling her views on gay Marriage and other topics affecting the gay community. She also talked about pop culture items from a perspective that other celebrities would be too careful to point out. (Such as American Idol making fun of perceived mentally challenged & transgendered people)

It's amazing to me how much negative attention Rosie has gotten from the press for her views. They let that certain greedy New York land baron go on every show making fat jokes, all the right wing pundits went out of their way to attack her (again calling her fat) and the mainstream press wasn't much better. I think USA TODAY listed "Rosie's Rants" which annoyed me. How is pointing out the Catholic Church moved pedophiles from one Parish to another a rant? Thats more like a fact. Just one of the examples. I don't see people talking about the Fox news pundits weight? or any men being attacked for their political beliefs like she is.

I hope that when Rosie returns to television it is not just a celebrity interview show. (We have ELLEN for that) I want to know her thoughts and beliefs on everything in the news and in the world. We need her humor. We need her humanity. Most of all we need her voice.

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