O'Reilly Calls Rosie 'Wicked Witch of East;' Barbara Walters Laughs

Barbara Walters did not defend Rosie O’Donnell against Bill O’Reilly’s "Wicked Witch of the East" comment, but laughed and diverted to complimenting Whoopi Goldberg. "Not defending" usually fires up the former "View" moderator as was best exemplified on Rosie’s last live "View."

The veteran journalist and "View" creator appeared on the December 5 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor" to promote her upcoming special "The Ten Most Fascinating People of 2007." After discussing the special, Bill O’Reilly moved on to "The View" and noted that the ratings are up from the "Wicked Witch of the East" era last season. It led to this exchange between Walters and O’Reilly.

WALTERS: Now, people said, well, you know, if we didn’t have controversy and feuds- look, when the woman that you referred to as the Wicked Witch of the East, okay.

O’REILLY: Yeah, who is that by the way?

WALTERS: [laughing] Rosie O’Donnell-

O’REILLY: Oh I see, yeah!

WALTERS: -did bring a lot to the show last time.

O’REILLY: She did.

WALTERS: I will not put her down, okay?

Barbara Walters continued to compliment Whoopi Goldberg as "a very mellow lady" and "audiences love her." O’Reilly claimed that some staffers he knows on "The View" are "much happier because Miss Goldberg treats everybody very nicely." Is that to say that were not happy with Rosie O’Donnell because she did not treat them well?

Walters also called co-host Sherri Shepherd "very conservative." While Shepherd does have some strong Christian views and is conservative on some moral issues, she is hardly a conservative as documented by NewsBusters.

The entire transcript is below.

BILL O’REILLY: Now, "The View," I was on "The View." You know, I wouldn’t go on with the Wicked Witch of the East, and you got rid of her. But with Goldberg, and I like her, Whoopi Goldberg, you’re up in the ratings a little bit.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn’t that interesting?

O’REILLY: Yeah, and the press doesn’t say that.

WALTERS: Now, people said, well, you know, if we didn’t have controversy and feuds- look, when the woman that you referred to as the Wicked Witch of the East, okay.

O’REILLY: Yeah, who is that by the way?

WALTERS: [laughing] Rosie O’Donnell-

O’REILLY: Oh I see, yeah!

WALTERS: -did bring a lot to the show last time.

O’REILLY: She did.

WALTERS: I will not put her down, okay?

O’REILLY: No, you’re too classy for that.

WALTERS: However, there is an edge about Whoopi and a charm about Whoopi. And Whoopi’s learned a lot. She’s a very mellow lady. And the audiences love her. And then we have Sherri Shepherd who is, who is very conservative, gives us another voice on the show and-

O’REILLY: Yeah, we’re going to get into her not thinking that Jesus came before the Greeks.

WALTERS: Well, let me tell her what she says, though.

O’REILLY: No, I don’t care. You don’t have to do that. I like Sherri, and everybody makes mistakes.

WALTERS: I thought I’d tell you anyway.

O’REILLY: But I’m glad, I’m glad that the show’s calmed down.

WALTERS: Yes.

O’REILLY: I must tell everybody when I was on the show, I know a lot of the folks there who work with you. They’re much happier because Miss Goldberg treats everybody very nicely.

WALTERS: Yes she does.

O’REILLY: And you might not agree with her politics, but she’s a nice woman.

WALTERS: Yes, she is.