O’Donnell v. Hasselbeck, round 482


On today’s episode of The View, things got a little crazy. The show began with the most uncomfortable Hot Topics segment ever. Joy started it off innocently enough — well, she did insist that the nation should be outraged and Bush should be kicked out of office, but it wasn’t personal. It soon got very, very personal, between (surprise) Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. (TMZ has the video.)

Rosie said that Elisabeth failed to defend her earlier this week, when Rosie was accused of saying that American troops are terrorists. Rosie didn’t say that, exactly (she was really implying that the Bush administration is sometimes no better than a terrorist regime), but her statement could have been interpreted that way. Elisabeth did try to give Rosie a chance to clarify her comment on Monday, but to Rosie, that wasn’t enough. When they revisited the whole thing today, it started out personal and stayed there, with Rosie focusing on how hurt she was and even calling Elisabeth "cowardly."

I’m reluctant to say so, but I found myself siding with Elisabeth, mostly because Rosie doesn’t fight fair. She kept saying, "You’re my friend," which sort of leaves the other person with nowhere to go. Elisabeth — in case you haven’t noticed — is a Republican, and can be expected to say things that would upset someone as left-leaning as Rosie. I’m not saying Elisabeth shouldn’t defend her friends, but nor should she be expected to refrain from speaking her mind. As Rosie knows better than most, sometimes speaking your mind causes friction, even among the best of friends. (Though I’m willing to bet a lot that these two don’t stay friends for long after Rosie leaves The View in June.)

At one point, the show went to a split screen so you could see every expression as Rosie and Elisabeth fought. It felt more like The Jerry Springer Show. Joy Behar, ever the voice of reason, finally asked, "Who’s directing this show?!" It went on too long, and went too far, way beyond debate. Elisabeth even brought up Donald Trump.

All in all, it was just tense. I can’t deny that Rosie had a point when she said that these things always get spun as a battle between a "big, fat lesbian" and an "innocent, pure Christian," but she could have stopped there. I, for one, wish she had.

Later, though, everything got better: The stunning Elizabeth Mitchell was one of the guests. (Tonight is the season finale of Lost, and even Mitchell doesn’t know how it ends. Exciting!)

As Mitchell (who is quite tall!) greeted the hosts, Rosie muttered something about loving Mitchell’s performance in Gia, "like every other lesbian in the world." (Never mind that Rosie lost a little lesbo street cred when she didn’t know the details of Mitchell’s stint on ER.) And I remembered again that we’ll soon lose that very gay perspective — on that score, Rosie, you will always be missed. But maybe Joy will take up the mantle a little:

She asked Mitchell whether Angelina Jolie is a good kisser. Mitchell said yes, of course.

Rosie: [to Joy] You don’t think, with those lips, she’s a good kisser? Hello.

Joy: She could suck you across the room with those lips.

Let’s just leave it at that: Elizabeth Mitchell is delightful and gorgeous; Angelina Jolie is a good kisser; Joy Behar is hilarious and smart; and lately, Rosie has been hungover a lot. (Her words.) And maybe when things get this uncomfortable, it really is time to bid The View a fond adieu.

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