ABC's Rosie O'Donnell Praises 'Fantastic' ACLU and Phil Donahue to O'Reilly
As reported earlier here on Newsbusters, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly appeared on Wednesday’s edition of 'The View' to promote his new book Culture Warrior. As one would expect, O’Reilly and liberal 'View' co-host Rosie O’Donnell clashed at several points during the segment, particularly in their discussion of the war in Iraq. O’Donnell would go on in the interview to praise the ACLU as a "fantastic organization" and express her appreciation for liberal Phil Donahue:
Barbara Walters: "Name some well-known secular progressives."
Bill O’Reilly: "All right. George Soros is the money man...The ACLU is the vanguard–"
Rosie O’Donnell: "The American Civil Liberties Union, a fantastic organization."
In his book, O’Reilly argues there is a culture war taking place between "traditionalists" and "secular progressives." He defines traditionalists as those who believe the United States is a good country, with flaws, and believe in the Judeo-Christian principles upon which the country was based, while secular progressives see a "fundamentally flawed" country in need of drastic changes in every facet of American life. O’Reilly named O’Donnell and fellow co-host Joy Behar as secular progressives (SP’s), which stirred a defensive reaction from the women:
O’Reilly: "Traditionalists believe the country is noble and makes mistakes, but the Judeo-Christian philosophy on which the country was founded is good. And that we have freed billions of people. That we provide opportunity for 300 hundred million people, plus anyone else who can sneak in here. That it is a good country. Secular progressives believe–"
O’Donnell: "Just so you know, we believe it’s a good country, too. Joy and I believe this is a great country."
Joy Behar: "...The other thing you said that I object to is that as if we don't believe in the Judeo-Christian ethic. We’re both Catholic girls."
O’Reilly went on to explain that liberals can be traditionalists, using Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman as an example. O’Donnell snidely predicted that Lieberman would lose his re-election bid to Ned Lamont, despite a recent poll showing Lieberman with an eight-point lead:
O’Reilly: "You can be–you can be a traditionalist and liberal. Let me name a few people. Lieberman, up in Connecticut, the senator...He's a traditionalist. He’s a liberal. But he’s a liberal."
O’Donnell: "And he's going to lose to Ned Lamont."
O’Reilly: "No, he won’t. He will win pretty–by ten points."
O’Donnell: "I don’t think he will win...I donated a lot to, I maxed out to Ned Lamont. That’s, that’s my donation. That’s my bet."
Walters later asked O’Reilly to give examples of secular progressives, whereupon O’Donnell heartily endorsed the ACLU:
Walters: "Name some well-known secular progressives."
O’Reilly: "All right. George Soros is the money man."
Walters: "A lot of people don’t know who he is."
O’Reilly: "The ACLU is the vanguard–"
O’Donnell: "The American Civil Liberties Union, a fantastic organization."
O’Donnell then accused O’Reilly of hosting more traditionalist guests than secular progressives on his program. A loud response from O’Reilly rebutting this charge led O’Donnell to parrot this remark from another liberal talk show host:
O’Donnell: "As Phil Donahue said to you, Bill, just cause you’re louder doesn’t mean you’re right."
O’Reilly: "Oh, there’s–there’s an SP, Phil Donahue."
O’Donnell: "I love Phil Donahue...All hail, Phil Donahue." [this is the gazing heavenward in the picture above.]
O’Reilly asked O’Donnell if she wanted the U.S. to succeed in its mission in Iraq, which, as NB’s Greg Tinti pointed out, O’Donnell refused to answer:
O’Reilly: "Do you want America to win in Iraq, by the way, Rosie?"
O’Donnell: "I don't think it's possible. I think it’s an ill-thought out plan, and I think we should get out of that situation before Americans are killed. Out. Out of Iraq!"
O’Reilly: "Do you want America to win in Iraq?"
O’Donnell: "I want America to be what the founding fathers wanted it to be, a democracy, where we, the people–"
O’Reilly: "Okay, so you don't want America to win in Iraq."
Walters: "Oh no, no, don’t put words in her mouth!"
O’Reilly: "She won’t answer the question, Barbara. She won’t answer the question. Do you want America to win there?"
O’Donnell: "Bill! Listen to me. Listen to me. It’s like saying do you believe in God or the devil? If you’re not with us, you’re against us. That’s antiquated thinking, Bill. Peace and harmony can come."
Towards the end of the heated segment, O’Donnell pointedly asked O’Reilly whether he would be willing to "send" his own child off to fight in the war:
O’Donnell: "Would you send your child there to fight?
O’Reilly: "Would I send him? If he volunteered–my nephew volunteered for the army, and I am very proud of him."
O’Donnell: "Your child....Would you send your child to fight in Iraq, yes or no?"
Elisabeth Hasselbeck then correctly pointed out that no parent could actually "send" their child off to war with a volunteer army:
Hasselbeck: "I'm saying no one sends a child to the war. There–there–"
O’Donnell: "Your child?"
Hasselbeck: "I could never send my child to the war because that child would have to be an adult, be in the, be in the army and make a choice"
When the interview was concluded, O’Donnell announced that the studio audience was receiving a copy of O’Reilly’s book:
O’Donnell: "Everyone in our audience is getting a copy of this book. Don't go away. I'm all for America. Peace out."