"I am not responsible" says Barbara Walters on Rosie O’Donnell’s extremist remarks on "The View." Appearing on the May 7 "O’Reilly Factor," host Bill O’Reilly brought up Rosie’s most controversial remarks, notably comparing "radical Christianity" to radical Islam and her famous 9-11 conspiracy theories editorializing it hurt Barbara as the founder and co-executive producer of the show.
Although Walters did not defend Rosie’s ravings, she refused to take responsibility asserting Rosie did not hurt her, "The View," or ABC. Additionally, the veteran journalist felt Rosie regrets some of those remarks. O’Reilly sharply disagreed and alluded to Rosie’s comments this week praising Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
The relevant portion of the transcript is below.
BILL O’REILLY: Rosie O’Donnell, now, I am going to talk about this because I was involved with this story. You even mentioned me in this book, erroneously, and I’ll mention that in a moment.
BARBARA WALTERS: Oh dear.
O’REILLY: But the, the problem here and you do in your book give both sides of the O’Donnell story. You give the bad Rosie and the good Rosie, okay, and that’s fine with me. I think the inside baseball is good. But the problem here is that you, Barbara Walters, and ABC were given this woman a platform to spew hate, H-A-T-E. That was my problem with her. It wasn’t, it wasn’t that I disagreed or ideology. But when you say Evangelical Christians are just as bad as Al Qaeda, when you accuse your government of killing people on 9-11, that’s hate.
O’REILLY: Go ahead.
WALTERS: Okay, when we hired Rosie-
WALTERS: -she had not been on television in three years. She had an enormously successful program, rather uncontroversial that she did for years. She was, she was loved, you know, she was the good Rosie. When she was on the program there were some wonderful times. I had some great affection for Rosie. I did and I still do. I deplored what she said. I think it did her harm. I think it eventually worked against her. And I think perhaps she knows it. And nobody can say that what she said was wonderful, but there are so many good sides to Rosie.
O’REILLY: You know, it hurt you.
WALTERS: You don’t think so, I do. It hurt the program.
O’REILLY: It hurt you because you’re the face of the program.
WALTERS: I don’t, I don’t think it-
O’REILLY: It hurt ABC and it hurt you.
WALTERS: I don’t think I was responsible for what Rosie O’Donnell said and I don’t think anybody-
O’REILLY: You’re her boss.
WALTERS: -including you blamed me for that. You know, we have a wonderful year this year. I don’t want to be Pollyanna and say everything is wonderful.
O’REILLY: No, Goldberg has done a good job and your ratings are good.
WALTERS: Rosie hurt herself. Sometimes she says things that she regrets, and I’m sure she regretted a lot of them.
O’REILLY: No, she doesn’t regret it. She’s up, she’s out this week saying Reverend Wright is a good guy and we should all applaud him. She’s a nut.
WALTERS: I have not heard her say that.
O’REILLY: She hurt you because she dragged you in the mud with the Trump thing and all of this other business, and you were in a very difficult position. And you write about what a difficult position it was.
WALTERS: Bill, you can only hurt yourself. She did not hurt me. She did not drag me through the mud. Did I like it? No, I didn’t like it. But I don’t think that people blamed me for her remarks anymore than anybody’s going to blame you for whatever I say. I sure hope they don’t.