If you want a sense of the priorities of Meredith Vieira, the future host of the Today show, look no further then the distinction she makes between the lives of unborn children and those of rodents. On May 25, Vieira and her fellow co-hosts were discussing the terrible case of the climber who died on Mount Everest after being ignored by other mountaineers. Star Jones decried the actions as callous and inhumane. Vieira stopped the conversation cold with a complete subject shift. She compared the Everest case to her personal use of humane mouse traps. (It should be pointed out that nobody had been discussing mouse traps on the show. So this was perhaps a reference to a conversation on an earlier program or an off-air conversation.):
Vieira: "Then why did you give me a hard time for saving a mouse?"
Jones incredulously replied, "Saving a mouse?" Vieira immediately became defensive and retorted:
Vieira: "What’s the difference between that, really? It’s a life. You save a life if you see a life in danger."
Ms. Jones, a bit more combative since those rumors surfaced that she is to be fired from The View, immediately quipped, "You know what? They’re not going to let you say this kind of stuff on the Today show. Trust me! They’re not."
Vieira’s concern for all the creatures of the world is somewhat of a contrast to her views on abortion. On January 22, 2003, pro-life actress Jennifer O’Neill appeared on The View.
Vieira lectured her with the following insight:
"But prior to abortion becoming legal that’s when things were really secret much more so than after it became legal, and very dangerous. So there is going to be abortion one way or the other."
And, again, this is what she said on today’s edition of the The View:
Vieira: "I’m sorry. Life is life. If you see something dying, struggling and dying, you save it."
Apparently this maxim only applies to rodents. Liberal viewers take heart, the co-anchor on Today may be changing, but the outlook on life will be identical. Perhaps Star Jones said it best when she ended the mouse conversation by saying, "You’re brilliant and I admire you so much, but that was crazy!"