GMA Salutes Departing Rosie as a ‘Pioneer’; Omits 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter John Berman discussed Rosie O’Donnell’s departure from "The View" and described the comedienne as "something of a pioneer."

The piece, which was extremely favorable to Ms. O’Donnell, omitted her well documented 9/11 conspiracy theories and also portrayed Rosie as someone who broke ground for women:

John Berman: "Plenty of people didn't like her opinions, not to mention her behavior. But she was provocative in a way that, in the past, that had been the domain of male shock jocks."

Linda Stasi (Columnist, New York Post): "I think she’s a pioneer for television, because we're not used to bad girls. We're not used to bad girls who are bad in a smart way, as opposed to bad because they're taking off their clothes."

GMA co-host Robin Roberts introduced the segment, which aired at 7:32am on April 26, by describing O’Donnell as a person who has been "butting heads, taking on critics and speaking her mind."

Berman began his piece by labeling the talk show host a "pioneer":

John Berman: "Good morning, Robin. You know, I think this is headline news on Saturn this morning. Everyone want to know what makes Rosie O’Donnell tick. Well, one analyst told me she has the rare ability to make a sleeping puppy seem controversial. It’s a radioactive talent, to be sure. But also one that’s made her something of a pioneer."

The ABC reporter followed with a montage of the comedienne’s greatest hits, including her attacks on President Bush and the feud with Donald Trump. Strangely absent was this rant from March 29, 2007:

HASSELBECK: Do you believe that the government had anything to do with the attack of 9/11? Do you believe in a conspiracy in terms of the attack of 9/11?

O’DONNELL: No. But I do believe the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Tower Seven, building seven, which collapsed in on itself, it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved, World Trade Center Seven. World Trade Center one and Two got hit by planes. Seven, miraculously, for the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.

HASSELBECK: And who do you think is responsible for that?

O’DONNELL: I have no idea. But to say that we don't know it was imploded, that there was implosion in the demolition, is beyond ignorant. Look at the film. Get a physics expert here from Yale, from Harvard. Pick the school. It defies reason.

Other than Trump, who has a personal grudge against O’Donnell, Berman featured no guests who disagreed or challenged the talk show host’s numerous liberal assertions. He did, however, find a columnist, Linda Stasi of the New York Post, to gush over Rosie’s "smart" opinions:

Berman: "But Rosie O’Donnell did more than just create controversy."

Stasi: "Her fireworks had a lot of content. She knew what she was talking about for the most part."

Berman: "On her own talk show, the issue was gun control, with guest Tom Selleck."

[File footage from Rosie’s debate with Tom Selleck]

O’Donnell: "I think the Second Amendment is in the Constitution so we can have muskets when the British people come over in 1800."

Berman: "On ‘The View,’ it was the war in Iraq."

O’Donnell: "The United Nations said no, you cannot invade Iraq and the President did it anyway."

Berman: "Plenty of people didn't like her opinions, not to mention her behavior. But she was provocative in a way that, in the past, that had been the domain of male shock jocks."

Stasi: "I think she’s a pioneer for television, because we're not used to bad girls. We're not used to bad girls who are bad in a smart way, as opposed to bad because they're taking off their clothes."

It’s odd, but ABC didn’t seem to celebrate the "provocative" nature of Don Imus.

For those interested, the MRC has compiled a complete list of Ms. O'Donnell's more extreme statements.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org