With co-host Whoopi Goldberg on the set, the ladies of "The View" continued to discuss the Imus controversy on the April 20 show. Goldberg felt strongly that Imus deserved at least a strong suspension and noted that, while all Americans have free speech, our words can still have consequences. The guest co-host then went through a long list of celebrities whose careers were damaged from inflammatory statements. Rosie responded with another one of her scary predictions and Joy Behar reacted with the "Nazi Germany" card.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: I think racist is one thing. But when people start to say this person has a dissenting political opinion, therefore we want them off the air. That's when we're in dangerous territory. That’s what I think.
As part of ABC’s Earth Day "celebration," the Friday edition of "Good Morning America" featured another segment on just how wasteful Americans are. GMA anchor Diane Sawyer hosted a piece on the destruction Americans create simply by existing. The piece repeatedly hit the United States for producing so much trash. What follows is a sampling of some of Sawyer’s comments about her wasteful compatriots:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, think of Americans with all our waste."
Sawyer: "Toss in some other emblems of consumption, American style. Like all those cell phones in your life, TVs and computers and cars. "
Sawyer: "And let's be honest with each other about the way Americans squander water."
Friday’s "Good Morning America" kicked off Earth Day with a push for liberal solutions to environmental issues such as climate change. And while weatherman Sam Champion reported on global warming in snow covered New York, GMA co-host Chris Cuomo appeared live from France to tout how far ahead that country is compared to America's envrionmental progress. In Paris, he noted approvingly, "the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling."
Later in the piece, Cuomo agan touted the superior Europeans:
Chris Cuomo: "Europe does have a lot of significant issues it has to deal with, like the United States. But they're much more innovative here in terms of figuring out what to do."
Media theories certainly do change. In light of ABC’s aggressive promotion of the danger of global warming and the liberal solutions the network has embraced, I thought it might be a good idea to consider the ‘70s-era threat of global cooling.
My parents recently unearthed a time capsule that they created in 1977 for the birth of my sister Kimberly. Included in the assorted memorabilia of the time was a March '77 edition of Readers Digest. An article by Samuel W. Matthews, entitled "What’s Happening To Our Climate," wondered whether "we are entering another ice age?" Additionally, a graph showing the Earth’s cooling and warming throughout history is accompanied by this ominous caption [All emphasis added]:
"This chart illustrates the dominant fact about Earth's past climate: It was colder....Over the last century, air temperatures have ranged from somewhat above today’s mean, resulting in an abnormally warm and beneficent climate. Is this unusual cycle coming to an end? Does an icy future loom ahead? Nobody knows for sure."
Mother Nature must have a wicked sense of humor. She forced ABC's Sam Champion to report on anti-global warming initiative . . . . while standing in a field of snow in late April.
Champion was there as part of Good Morning America's "Planet Earth 2007" segment, in which reporters chimed in from around the globe on various environmental initiatives. Diane Sawyer [badly alarmed by a warm spell in January] introduced the segment with a little bit of enviro-alarmist cheerleading, declaring it was "good news" that as per a recent Stanford poll 94% are ready to make a change to help the planet and that 73% are already taking steps to reduce energy consumption.
"There's many simple, even money-saving ways that we can actually give our little bit of help in our own lives and in our own homes and make a little bit of a difference," said weatherman Sam Champion on April 19 "Good Morning America."
But when it came to cost, the April 19 USA Today contradicted Champion:
“Products that help people use less energy – or leave a smaller ‘environmental footprint,’ as green advocates say – often are more costly than their alternatives, causing some to argue that going green is only for those who can afford it,” said USA Today.
Champion's segment focused on a special energy-efficient home built by BASF The Chemical Company that is 80 percent more energy efficient than other houses.
Michael Welner, an ABC News consultant and a forensic psychiatrist, appeared on Thursday’s "Good Morning America" to slam the media for gratuitously airing videos sent by deceased mass killer Seung-Hui Cho. Welner even referenced the network frenzy over fired radio host Don Imus by saying, "Just listen, if you can take Imus off the air, you can certainly keep [Cho] from having his own morning show."
Earlier in the segment, Welner gave an impassioned plea for the networks to stop airing the killer’s footage:
Michael Welner: "If anybody cares about the victims in Blacksburg and if anybody cares about their children, stop showing this video now. Take it off the internet. Let it be relegated to YouTube. This is a social catastrophe. Showing the video is a social catastrophe. I promise you the disaffected will watch him the way they watched 'Natural Born Killers.' I know. I examine these people. I've examined mass shooters who have told me they've watched 'Natural Born Killers' 20 times. You cannot saturate the American public with this kind of message."
On April 19, the ladies of "The View" offered their analysis of the Gonzales v. Carhart decision upholding a federal partial birth abortion ban. Most of the segment was a back and forth between Rosie O’Donnell, who clearly opposed the decision and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who supported it. Joy Behar and Barbara Walters chimed in occasionally with Behar clearly in the abortion rights camp and Barbara Walters mildly there. Video: Real (1.4 MB) or Windows (1.6 MB); plus MP3 (256 KB)
Rosie expressed horror that there are five Catholics on the Supreme Court and Catholics on the Court apparently violate the "separation of church and state"
Not a media bias item, but a reflection of how the media coverage of the VA Tech massacre is evolving . . .
Good Morning America's Chris Cuomo gave VA Tech a rough going-over today regarding its failure to have removed Cho from campus before he murdered 32 people. Cuomo introduced the segment, entitled "Were Warning Signs Missed on Campus," this way:
CHRIS CUOMO: Now students, their parents and friends are left with many questions of whether or not the university did everything it could to prevent all this.
Cuomo then played a video clip of Anne Atkinson, the parent of a VA Tech student, asking: "why did they allow him to stay? I think this could have been prevented."
Gun control advocate and controversial "View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell has given up trying to push for anti-gun legislation.
Despite a series of news events that ought to have, in her view, persuaded Americans to come around to her views on guns, O'Donnell said Tuesday that she believed "there will never be gun control in America" and fighting for it was a "futile attempt." Co-host Joy Behar asked if Rosie "throw(s) up" her "hand." Rosie replied sadly "I sort of do."
"Conservation is a cause that has been espoused by some thoughtful Americans at least since the days of Thoreau, a cause whose time has come because life is running out," the New York Times editorialized on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970.
Media support for environmentalism is not waning since the first Earth Day, in fact uncritical coverage of green rallies and protest is the norm nearly 37 years later.
There are so many green events this year you just might need a separate calendar to keep track. Just make sure it's printed on post-consumer recycled paper.
"What can Al Gore expect now that he is organizing a concert to save the entire planet from a global warming disaster," asked the Los Angeles Times on February 16. Noting that Bob Geldof earned a knighthood for Live Aid, a previous fundraising concert, the paper asked:
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," Sam Champion, ABC weatherman and liberal environmentalist, escalated his campaign to encourage Americans to fight global warming. In addition to lecturing viewers about their contribution to climate change, he, once again, engaged in identification bias.
Champion’s segment featured a representative from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a liberal environmental group. The organization’s ideology, not surprisingly, went completely unmentioned. However, the weatherman began the piece by standing in front of a bank of televisions and scolding viewers for their energy output:
Sam Champion: "For example, did you know that even with the flip of a switch, we all contribute to global warming? Well, I know it sounds a little intense. But there are some small things you can do to change that, like paying attention to your carbon footprint...If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
After a demoralized Rosie O’Donnell stated the previous day that she gave up on gun control, Barbara Walters, on the April 18 edition of "The View," expressed disappointment in Rosie’s surrender. Rosie, again expressed her frustration with not accomplishing anything in the eight years since the Columbine massacre. Perhaps disarming her bodyguards would be a start.
BARBARA WALTERS: When I'm not on, I watch the program. And, I mean this tragedy that has happened is so terrible, but you Rosie are always so passionate. Right or wrong, you're passionate. You care. And you're one of the people who talked about gun control. And for me to hear you yesterday, because we haven't talked too much about it, numb, saying we're never going to get a gun control law, kind of giving up made me sad. I don't want to see you do that.
It certainly was predictable that in the wake of the horrific Virginia Tech massacre, the ladies of ABC’s “The View” – in particular, former gun control advocate Rosie O’Donnell – were going to use the incident to once again attack the Second Amendment.
Yet, when such a discussion on Tuesday completely ignored Rosie O’Donnell’s own controversy surrounding this issue – it was identified in May 2000 that one of her bodyguards applied for a gun permit – the coffee klatch oozed with hypocrisy.
To properly set the table, Rosie and the gang were discussing the Virginia Tech killings, and all those present took a predictably anti-Second Amendment and anti-NRA stance with the predictable exception of Elisabeth Hasselbeck whose challenge to O’Donnell set off the following delicious exchange: (h/t and video available here thanks to NRO’s Media Blog):
Yes, "Good Morning America" did let us hear from a member of the VA Tech gun club saying he wished he could have had a concealed carry permit and "that I would not have felt that I was totally just a helpless victim at the mercy of this lunatic." But when it came to people in positions of authority, GMA, during it's first half-hour this morning, aired only the views of anti-gun advocates in a segment on how Cho got his guns. And a senior ABC reporter passed along the lament of those opposing the right to bear arms.
Narrating the segment, ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross [file photo] rolled a clip of Josh Horwitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, who complained: "Virginia's [attitude] is let's sell it and not find out anything about them and that may have led to a tragedy in this case."
On Saturday’s "Good Morning America," correspondent Christianne Klein hyped this past weekend’s global warming rallies by reporting hyperbolic and misleading information on the subject of rising sea levels. Reporting from lower Manhattan before a gaggle of environmental activists, she said of the protesters, "Now, where they will stand represents where the Manhattan coastline could be if the sea level rises just 10 feet, actually, a moderate estimate for global warming standards."
A 10 feet increase is a moderate estimate? Not quite. As the CATO Institute's Patrick Michaels noted, the much hyped U.N. report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested a rise of inches, not feet, is likely:
Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100....Even 17 inches is likely to be high, because it assumes that the concentration of methane, an important greenhouse gas, is growing rapidly.
Here's a little lighthearted item to punctuate the serious news of the past day.
"The View" co-host Joy Behar appeared on today's "Martha Stewart Show" to help the program's host make piñatas from scratch. The final product: a piñata emblazoned with Rosie O'Donnell's photographic image.
For what it's worth, Behar insisted in a Q&A session with the audience that the heated discussion on-set doesn't translate to off-camera animosity.
A day after posting a blog entry
replete with falsehoods, and despite more than dozens of comments
pointing out the factual inaccuracies of the story, Brian Ross and Dana
Hughes of the ABC News blog "The Blotter" have yet to issue a
Does ABC News have an obligation to report facts, or is peddling a
political agenda buttressed by lies their preferred stock in trade?
As I noted yesterday, the ABC News blog did not get so much as a single fact in their blog entry correct.
The Ross entry states that high-capacity magazines "became widely
available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned
assault weapons." This is a patently false statement, containing no
truth at all.
In a 2:30 p.m. posting, well before details about the weapons used in the tragic Virginia Tech shootings were available, ABC News's Brian Ross devoted a "Blotter" blog entry to a gun control advocate's talking points. Ross didn't make room for any gun rights advocates or find a critic to suggest the Brady Center was callously capitalizing on a tragedy to further its political agenda. Here's the entire blog post:
High capacity ammo clips became widely available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned assault weapons.
sites now advertise overnight UPS delivery of the clips, which carry up
to 40 rounds for both semi-automatic rifles, including 9mm pistols, and
"High capacity magazines read extreme firepower and gusto. Stock Up!" is the headline of one of many gun shop Web sites.
law enforcement officials have not identified the weapon used in the
shootings today at Virginia Tech, but gun experts say the number of
shots fired indicate, at the very least, that the gunman had large
quantities of ammunition.
"When you have a weapon that can shoot
off 20, 30 rounds very quickly, you're going to have a lot more
injuries," said Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun
That item is the only "Blotter" entry about the Virginia Tech shootings so far today. Hamm's group, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, issued a press statement on the site's home page that peddles its talking points. It also has a brand new petition page up at the site set up to sign up readers for e-mail updates. Curiously enough, "journalist" is one of the selections a petitioner can check off when describing him or herself on the form:
On the April 16 edition of "The View," Rosie O’Donnell responded to Tom DeLay’s call for her firing by asserting we’re "entering dangerous territory" against free speech. Apparently, free speech does not extend to Mr. DeLay’s right to call for her firing. Rosie also tried to clarify her anti-Asian remarks noting she made a joke, and Don Imus did not.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: I don’t feel concerned, but I will tell you this. I think we're in dangerous territory when people like Tom DeLay a man of high moral standards, [laughter] when people like Tom DeLay want me to be fired for my political opinions. That's a dangerous state of affairs here in democracy. If you have a dissenting opinion, you know, that you are somehow a threat to the country or the world, if you want to bring up a subject or question something in our government or that our government is doing you're somehow not patriotic and therefore should be off the air. That’s when we’re–
In an online chat at washingtonpost.com today, media reporter Howard Kurtz condemned the media's rush to judgment in 2006 in the Duke lacross rape allegations.
"If you go back and lok at the coverage of 13 months ago, knowing what we know now, teh tone of much of it was irresponsible," wrote Kurtz in response to a question from Floris, Va. Later in response to a question from Portland, Ore., Kurtz cited the 1996 Olympic park bombing and the early media buzz over suspect Richard Jewell, "who turned out to be innocent." Kurtz worried that the media's rush to judgment in sensational crime stories "is a lesson the profession never seems to learn."
Kurtz's remarks about media coverage differ wildly from the cavalier tone taken by ABC's Terry Moran in a blog post from April 12.
Writing on his "Pushback" blog then, Moran insisted that the Duke lacrosse players received "special treatment in the justice system -- both negative and positive." He failed to offer a similar indictment of the media frenzy surrounding the case and even suggested that the Duke players would get over their ordeal with little trouble (portions in bold are my emphasis):
Bill Maher, host of HBO’s "Real Time," appeared on the April 16 edition of "The View" to voice his opposition to all religion. Maher asserted that "pretty much all religion" is bad and all religion is "childish destructive nonsense." Co-host, Joy Behar inquired "What about people who just like to go to church, you know, the old ladies in my neighborhood who used to go and light a candle?" Maher responded likewise.
"They are certainly better than people who fly planes into buildings, yes. But they are enablers for some thing that is worldwide and winds up killing more people, distracting us from more good works."
According to Maher’s logic, the Salvation Army, Father Joe’s Villages, and church going conservatives who donate more to charity than secular liberals, are all "distracted from more good works."
The controversial host of ABC’s “The View,” Rosie O’Donnell, posted a peculiar rant at her blog Saturday that seemed to be two parts confession, and one part recognition that the firing of Don Imus might be an ominous portent for her career.
To begin with, it certainly was no coincidence that she opened with a reference to the recently terminated radio host (emphasis added throughout):
a huge terrible storm is coming a nor easter
the potential hail has bumped imus off r top story tonight
Next, O’Donnell referenced the Stop Rosie website NB’s Matt Sheffield reported about on Sunday:
This is waaaaay too funny, folks, and requires all combustibles, potables, and sharp objects to be properly stowed before proceeding.
In response to the recent brouhaha concerning Don Imus and the Rutgers women’s basketball team, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has called on “conservatives to use the available media (radio talk shows, blogs, letters to the editor) to protest and demand that Rosie O’Donnell be kicked off The View.”
They didn’t call him “The Hammer” for nothing, folks.
In a piece posted at his blog Wednesday – obviously before CBS radio decided to fire Imus – and deliciously titled “If the Left takes Imus, We’ll take Rosie,” DeLay described this deplorable event in a way that only he could whilst issuing a reciprocal call to arms:
"View" token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck appeared on the April 12 edition of "Hannity and Colmes" to announce her co-host appearance on "Fox and Friends" and to add her opinion on the Imus controversy. Hasselbeck echoed her comments on "The View" that Imus deserved at the very least a long suspension. However, she sang a very different tune when asked about her "View" colleague Rosie O’Donnell and her outrageous comments.
Co-host Sean Hannity asked Hasselbeck about Rosie’s anti-Asian remarks and inquired if Rosie should be held to the same standard. "The View" co-host responded that "that would be for Rosie to decide" and noted Rosie’s intentions "were not malicious."The transcript is below.
On the April 13 edition of "The View" co-executive producer Barbara Walters again washed her hands clean of Rosie O’Donnell’s extreme remarks. Barbara Walters, Rosie O’Donnell’s boss, stated bluntly: "I don’t have to take responsibility. I do not control you and you and I are still affectionate friends."
On the same week Rosie defended Don Imus’s "free speech," Walters may be responding to the mounting criticism of Rosie’s extreme comments. Rosie, for her part, exclaimed: "If you hate me, hate me, but leave my Barbara out of it!" The entire transcript is below.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: Now, are you still getting in trouble because of me with your friends? Are they still calling you, going, you know, what is that crazy woman saying?
During Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC ran a promo previewing a day-long push for liberal environmental action. The event, which takes place on April 20, will encompass ‘Good Morning America,’ ‘Nightline’ and ‘World News.’ The ad’s narrator promises a "call to action," and notes that the proceedings be hosted by GMA’s Diane Sawyer and will culminate in a hour long special at 10pm:
ABC ad: "Mother nature is sending us a message and we hear it. [Video of falling glaciers, animals and pollution] In eight days, an extraordinary global event. Travel live to all seven continents with ABC News and Diane Sawyer, revealing first hand the real changes in our planet. This is a call to action."
Diane Sawyer: "On Friday, April 20th, ABC News will show you how and what you can do to help. Then, starting at 10 pm, don’t miss the landmark special: ‘Planet Earth 2007.’"
Touchy, touchy! Diane Sawyer is in the business of dishing out tough questions and challenging people's answers. But when a guest on today's "Good Morning America" politely corrected her on a First Amendment matter, the GMA host was quick to accuse him of "attacking" her.
Los Angeles-based radio talk show host Larry Elder was Diane's guest, in to discuss the Imus matter. Sawyer introduced him as a "conservative radio host" though on his own site Elder describes himself as a "libertarian" and "a blend of fiscal conservative and social liberal." Of course we all know how many times the MSM has described Al Sharpton as a "liberal" in the course of his innumerable appearances over the last week or so: that would be precisely zero, at last count.
Elder opined that Imus' punishment did not fit the crime. Imus' comment was offensive, sexist and racist, said Elder, "but he apologized, apologized again, did the obligatory beatdown tour à la Michael Richards by appearing on the Al Sharpton show, and as far as I'm concerned, that should have been enough. In the grand department store of life, Don Imus operates in the toy section and I think that those remarks should have been taken with some perspective, but they weren't."
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Kate Snow hosted a segment on whether the Duke lacrosse players will be able to get their reputations back. In so doing, she discussed Reverend Al Sharpton’s role in falsely accusing New York prosecutor Steven Pagones of raping then 15-year-old Tawana Brawley in 1987.
Though this segment was not specifically related to the unfolding Don Imus story, GMA has thus far been the only network morning show to interview Pagones and, by implication, seriously question Sharpton’s role as moral arbiter in the Imus case. (In fairness, “Today” has mentioned the Tawana Brawley case in general as has MSNBC.) After discussing the Duke case, Snow segued into other high profile, false accusations:
Kate Snow: "Steven Pagones knows exactly how that is. 20 years ago, he was very publicly accused of raping 15-year-old Tawana Brawley."
Al Sharpton [file footage of Sharpton]: "Six white men, one named Steve Pagones. I repeat it again! The assistant district attorney of Dutchess County, were among those that attacked her."
On April 12, for the third straight day "The View" co-hosts discussed the Imus controversy. Most noteworthy, though, they also discussed the lack of moral authority from Imus’ most visible critic, Reverend Al Sharpton. Guest co-host Rose McGowan read verbatim Sharpton’s most inflammatory, anti-semitic remarks including the Tawana Brawley hoax and labelling Jews "diamond merchants." Co-host Joy Behar editorialized on the key remarks. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck called Sharpton’s comments "hatred" and McGowan called them "complete bigotry." Rosie O’Donnell was unusually quiet. The entire transcript is below.
BEHAR: Because this Imus thing is not, you should pardon the pun, black and white issue. It’s not. It's a gray issue.