September 20, 2006

My GayView

Rosie's View

Those girls on the "The View" may rue the day they hired gay icon Rosie O'Donnell. She's off to the races already — a mere two weeks into her gig.

There was quite a reaction to her honesty and openness on September 12 when she dared to discuss a topic a bit more real than who's screwing who in Hollywood. Or what color of eye shadow to wear with brown, which is the new black. You know, the usual daytime crap: diets, and wrinkle creams and footwear that looks expensive but isn't.

Anyway, things got a bit too candid for many of The View's fans when Rosie decided to contest Elizabeth [token Republican] Hasselbeck's defense of the Bush Administration's disastrous policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The quote that got so many twisted into knots is: "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of Church and State. We're a democracy here."

Can someone explain to me what's so inflammatory about that statement? The operative word, the way I interpret it, is "radical." Isn't any overly radical movement (for lack of a better word) of concern to most people? When did we get so crazy and sensitive in this country? The followers of daytime TV are especially touchy, apparently.

Freedom of Speech — that's the key, people! I cannot believe the venom I've received for daring to make some disparaging remarks about Oprah Winfrey. Reality Check: she was a weather girl in Baltimore who landed in the honey pot, for goodness sake. She's better than most, no doubt. She holds a much higher standard than the likes of Jerry Springer, to be sure. But she's a mere mortal — like you and me — who works as a talk show host and does some part time acting. It's made her as rich as Midas, but she's not a Holy Figure deserving of great reverence.

I'm allowed to poke a little fun, and even question her sexuality. I'm allowed to be snide about it. Every public figure has pot shots thrown their way — it's part of the job. But a Saint is not being besmirched, folks. She puts her shoes on one at a time, she sleeps, breathes, sweats (and she sure knows how to eat) just like the rest of us. Same with George W. Bush. Do the people who watch daytime TV have special needs or learning disabilities? Is that why they're home in front of the tube all day instead of at work? Now Rosie, the only lesbian on "The View" (as far as we know) has yanked their chains.

It was a pretty hot day for the ladies around the round table. Earlier in the show, O'Donnell pondered the logic of a sentence President Bush made the previous day: "The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad." Her response was, "I would say the outcome, really, of America depends on the battle in the streets of New Orleans. That city is still decimated and $303 billion have been spent fighting this war." These concerns need to be voiced. Bush & Company are not sacred cows — they are public servants. And lousy ones at that, according to their own six year track record.

Just wait until a hurricane, flood, earthquake or wildfire hits your community. As you remain homeless and watch your tax dollars go to Baghdad, you'll see the government is not using your money to fit your needs. Bin Laden didn't destroy NOLA, Katrina did. But the result is the same.

The quote I supplied in the beginning of my column is the "sound bite" being sent out coast-to-coast, but here's something else she said on the same show: "We will never bring peace at the hands of war. As a species we have to rise above it. But in life, you have two choices always; faith or fear. A government should lead by faith, never by fear." Finally, some daytime yakity-yak worth listening to! You go Rosie . . . we're all ears.

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