Rosie O’Donnell’s 50th birthday was last week, and to celebrate that fact, yesterday Oprah Winfrey’s new network chose to air the final show one day earlier than scheduled. The show had 500,000 viewers when it began and the audience had dwindled to less than 150,000, which spelled doom for the acerbic actress. Six months ago there was a live band; but that later morphed into O’Donnell doing one-on-one interviews, which wasn’t a good plan, since O’Donnell has never been renowned for the depth of her intelligence.
Remember 2007, on The View, when she went toe-to-toe with Elizabeth Hasselback by calling American troops terrorists?
O’DONNELL: I haven’t — I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
HASSELBECK: Who are the terrorists?
O’DONNELL: 655,000 Iraqis — I’m saying you have to look, we invaded —
HASSELBECK: Wait, who are you calling terrorists now? Americans?
O’DONNELL: I’m saying if you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?
Or September 13, 2006, when O’Donnell said, “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.”
Or one month later, calling the Bush administration terrorists: “The blacks in South Africa, who were trying to fight for their own civil rights, were called terrorists and the government was allowed to arrest them at will and interrogate them … just on the suspicion. Very similar today to what we have in the United States, thanks to the Patriot Act.”
Or one month after that, on terrorists: “You can walk through life believing in the goodness of the world, or walk through life afraid of anyone who thinks different than you and trying to convert them to your way of thinking . . . don’t fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers.”
Thankfully, Rosie is off the air. But it won’t be long until some enterprising executive decides she deserves another shot. In Hollywood, bad talk show hosts never die – they just fade out, and then in, and then out again.