24.11.08

Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters Duke It Out


The rumors were true after all.




Rosie O'Donnell will be the executive producer and host of a variety-special pilot for NBC called "Rosie Live."




Could it be that O'Donnell is craftily promoting her show by picking a fight with former "View" boss Barbara Walters?




If so, Walters has played right into O'Donnell's hands.




Through her Rosie.com Web site, press statements and appearances, O'Donnell has been pushing her new project hard.




She recently told the press, "I didn't want to be paid to fight. When I started and took that job it was with the idea of speaking for the millions of mothers whose voices weren't heard on television."




She added that after leaving "The View" in 2007, Walters "wanted everyone to believe and think and act" as if everyone on the show got along with one another and were "really good friends. And you know, that's just not the reality."




In an apparent attempt to counter Rosie, shortly after the O'Donnell comment Walters took co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to a highly visible dinner at Le Cirque. She also used the opening of "The View" to grumble about "some people who have done this show" and then have disparaged it after they leave.




"I resent it," Walters said, referring to O'Donnell's comments. "So if the shoe fits, lady, get on with your life."




Rosie responded to Barbara with a new video on her blog titled "Lady," which opens with a photo of O'Donnell posing with Walters. "I do not know what Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos did, but oooooh, lady… she is pissed off!" Rosie says in the video post.




O'Donnell went on to appear on "Late Night" with Conan O'Brien where she said that she experienced "post-traumatic stress disorder" from her time co-hosting on "The View."



The end result of all the fuss has been gobs of free publicity for O'Donnell and her new TV program.




Coincidentally, the debut of her new variety show just happens to be right around the corner.



James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in Media Psychology, is a media analyst, teacher of mass media and entertainment law at Biola University and professor at Trinity Law School.

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