Although ABC overlooked it, MSNBC on April 3 cited Rosie O’Donnell’s September 11 conspiracy theories as well as her Iran British hostage crisis conspiracy theory. Media analyst Steve Adubato weighed in on the issue.
Adubato called on her to "back up" her claims and held ABC and Barbara Walters accountable for allowing Rosie to continue. Host Contessa Brewer sought to make an equivalency when she inquired:
"Take a look at Ann Coulter. She’s known for saying very provocative, outrageous things and, and who cracks down on that? You just sort of let her do it."
After condemning Coulter’s comments, Adubato asserted that Ann Coulter "doesn’t have a daily show on a major network" where as Rosie O’Donnell does.
Finally, Ms. Brewer asked his opinion on Bill O’Reilly "bashing" Rosie O’Donnell. Steve Adubato responded with this statement.
"He does it, he does it consistently. I believe it's intellectually dishonest on his part because he picks his targets. He doesn't go after Ann Coulter. In fact he has her on his show. He doesn't go after Rush Limbaugh when Limbaugh makes fun of Michael J. Fox makes and fun of how he-is someone who has a Parkinson's patient. It's insane. It was horrible. I don't hear him criticizing In fact, he has them on the show, and it's wrong. Be consistent when you're calling for people to be taken off the air."
Mr. Adubato, after calling Rosie O’Donnell to get her facts straight on the air, didn’t seem to get the facts right himself. Bill O’Reilly in fact condemned Ann Coulter for some of her controversial remarks. While Bill O’Reilly did later have Ms. Coulter on his show, he extended the same invitation to Rosie O’Donnell on March 29 when he said: "Rosie O’Donnell is invited on this program anytime she wants to reply." The full transcript is below.
CONTESSA BREWER: The comedian Rosie O'Donnell is known for saying some rather outlandish things. But when she started floating some conspiracy theories, she shocked and awed some viewers and critics alike. Rosie has been using her perch on "The View" to wonder aloud about whether 9/11 might have been an inside job and whether the standoff over those detained British sailors held in Iran might have been planned. Steve Adubato is our MSNBC media analyst, writes a weekly column on media issues for MSNBC.com. Look at the very least, Steve, she's provocative.
STEVE ADUBATO: You're being kind Contessa. She is outrageous. She is off the reservation. She says the most, the craziest things. And, I always say she has a right to be idiotic on the air. What I ask of Rosie is that she just back some of it up. The 9/11 conspiracy stuff is amazing. She talks about building seven, World Trade Center Number Seven. She says: "I don't understand how a building could collapse like that." She implies that the U.S. had something to do with it. All I say, Rosie, is you have a right to be outrageous. Back it up. And if you don't, your employers at ABC and Barbara Walters need to hold her accountable. They don't do it.
BREWER: We see, a lot of people say outrageous things. Take a look at Ann Coulter. She's known for saying very provocative, outrageous things and, and who cracks down on that? You just sort of let her do it.
ADUBATO: Well, yeah, I tell you what, Ann Coulter writes a column, and a lot of newspapers dropped her when she said, she said about the 9/11 widows. She said a really insensitive thing, 9/11 widows many of whom in New Jersey, my home state, were glad to have lost their husbands. Look at the celebrity. Look at the money they got. That's crazy. But you also notice that Ann Coulter doesn't have a daily show on a major network for a reason. Rosie, for whatever reason, gets away with it and the numbers are pretty good over there.
BREWER: Here she is as a comedian, and I remember seeing Margaret Cho at a black tie dinner event, and she started bashing the administration. And in the middle of this, it didn't have anything to do with journalism or anything like that, they cut her mic off. They brought the band off the stage, and she was yanked right off the stage.
ADUBATO: Just threw her right off.
BREWER: Yeah, so a lot six times, they don't like comedians who cross those boundaries. Is Rosie crossing the boundaries?
ADUBATO: She's crossing the boundaries, but, if the numbers are right, and apparently, I want to get the numbers on this. "The View's" numbers are down a little bit, But year to date, it looks like 600,000 up. The problem is Margaret Cho didn't have those numbers. She had a sitcom that didn't succeed. If it had, I'm not convinced they would have pulled that plug, because ratings are king or queen, if you will, in this business. And Rosie has figured it out. And her employers, for whatever reason, are letting her get away with it.
BREWER: What about Bill O'Reilly bashing Rosie O'Donnell?
ADUBATO: He does it, he does it consistently. I believe it's intellectually dishonest on his part because he picks his targets. He doesn't go after Ann Coulter. In fact he has her on his show. He doesn't go after Rush Limbaugh when Limbaugh makes fun of Michael J. Fox makes and fun of how he-is someone who has a Parkinson's patient. It's insane. It was horrible. I don't hear him criticizing In fact, he has them on the show, and it's wrong. Be consistent when you're calling for people to be taken off the air.