Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Everything's Rosy for Rosie 

Today ABC and Rosie O'Donnell announced that they will be parting ways in June. That's good, because Rosie has been a poisonous presence on broadcast TV, spouting ignorance and mean-spirited misinformation, not to mention outright lies, to millions of people who, unfortunately, believe everything she says. I'm glad to see Rosie leaving ABC, and I hope she doesn't get picked up by any other broadcast television network. She more properly belongs on cable.

I hold with the theory that Rosie has spent the last few months trying to get fired, probably because she senses that she's a hot property and that there is someone in the business who's willing to throw a lot more money at her. More importantly to Rosie, that someone would not be anywhere near as skittish about Rosie's pronouncements. Something like MTV comes to mind.

The story is that Rosie and ABC couldn't agree on "key elements" of her new contract. I'm sure. I wouldn't be surprised if ABC wanted something like a "morals clause" that would allow them to terminate Rosie if she did or said something so outrageous that they thought it would hurt ABC's bottom line or the Mouse House's stock price, and Rosie wouldn't agree to any such thing because, well, Rosie is Rosie.

Being a big believer in the right of free speech, I wouldn't advocate muzzling Rosie. I think it was Mark Twain who said, "It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." Rosie, in my view, is a living example of Twain's wisdom. But freedom to speak one's mind does not equate to being able to do so without consequences, contrary to what many seem to believe. It wouldn't bother me one whit if Rosie found herself marginalized and derided as the ignorant buffoon she is.

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