On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program promised to investigate the "final straw" that pushed Rosie O’Donnell to leave "The View." Yet, somehow, neither anchor Chris Cuomo, nor reporter John Berman managed to mention the comedienne’s obsessive promotion of bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories.
The segment also sympathetically portrayed O’Donnell. Co-anchor Cuomo even blurted out that Rosie "has to come here," meaning GMA. But first, reporter Berman tenderly noted that a video blog on her website features a picture of Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the show’s token conservative and frequent brunt of O’Donnell’s aggression:
John Berman: "As for Rosie O’Donnell, it does seem like she has at least a touch of nostalgia. On her blog, a new music video montage, pictures of her time at ‘The View,’ including one of Elisabeth Hasselbeck."
Cuomo began the segment, which aired at 7:32am on May 29, by asking what "really happened behind the scenes?" Berman echoed the same theme and frequently featured O’Donnell for the answers:
John Berman: "For the last year, ‘The View’ has been one part soap opera and one part professional wrestling, but no more. Today is the first day without Rosie. But the question remains, what was the final show that pushed her over the edge and can the show survive without her? You will never see a ‘View’ quite like this again. So, when did Rosie O’Donnell know it was over?"
[Clip from Rosie’s video blog]
Rosie O’Donnell: "When I saw the split-screen, that’s when I knew it was over. Seriously."
Berman: "This is from O’Donnell’s own video blog, seen here with a friend. She’s talking about how she was depicted in the famous face-off with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a moment she calls Nuclear Wednesday."
Again, the piece made no mention of the underlying issue: O’Donnell’s active promotion of convoluted 9/11 conspiracy theories. YouTube even featured a clip of the comedienne warming up the "View" audience by discussing "bombs" placed at the World Trade Center. NewsBusters has comprehensively covered Rosie’s insinuations about 9/11 and equating the U.S. with terrorism.
Berman ignored these multiple elephants in the room. (Although he did mention that the comedienne's writer had to be escorted from the building after defacing a picture of Hasselbeck.) Instead, he focused on other, unspecified "strains" that Ms. O’Donnell felt:
Berman: "O’Donnell says there were other strains on the show too."
O’Donnell: "I was really just like the foster kid for a year. I came and, you know, we considered adoption, but I really didn’t fit into the family and now it was time for the foster kid to go back home."
The ABC reporter closed his report by sympathetically noting O’Donnell’s nostalgia for the show she just quit:
Berman: "In a statement, Barbara Walters said, ‘Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at ‘The View.’ I am most appreciative. Our close and affectionate relationship will not change.’ As for Rosie O’Donnell, it does seem like she has at least a touch of nostalgia. On her blog, a new music video montage, pictures of her time at ‘The View,’ including one of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. So, what’s next for Rosie? Rosie says if she comes back to television, she wants it to be in a more peaceful setting. More peaceful than ‘The View.’ Chris?"
Cuomo: "She has to come here. That’s– That’s the only answer, John."
The MRC has a full report, with a whole bunch of video clips, of Rosie's many inflammatory remarks on The View and earlier: "The Full Rosie; Daytime Host’s Long Record of Mean-Spirited Left-Wing Ravings."