Inspired By Ellen: CBS Challenges Viewers to Befriend Those With Differing Politics

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In a thought-provoking conclusion to Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell seemed inspired by the friendship between former Republican President George W. Bush and liberal comedian Ellen DeGeneres, and encouraged viewers to seek out people of a different political opinion and befriend them.

Before getting to the report about Bush and DeGeneres at the recent Dallas Cowboys game, O’Donnell shared a disappointing study about how politics was stressing people out and damaging close friendships.

“And a new study finds nearly 40 percent of us say politics is to blame. Some say it's affecting their health. Others claim they've lost sleep over the subject. And 20 percent say political differences have damaged a valued friendship,” she reported ahead of a commercial break. “So on that note, coming up next, two very famous people prove it doesn't have to be that way.

Coming back from the break, O’Donnell began the final segment my lamenting, “We thought we'd address kindness, civility, and politics, which don't seem to be mentioned in the same sentence much these days.”

O’Donnell praised how DeGeneres refused to climb “into the fray on social media” with the bitter leftists who hated their friendship. Adding, “Ellen used the moment to preach about civility” on her talk show:

 

 

DEGENERES: But a lot of people were mad, and they did what people do when they're mad-- they tweet. But here's one tweet I love. This person says, "Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again."

(…)

DEGENERES: Here's the thing-- I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friend with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have. We're all different, and I think that we've forgotten that that's okay that we're all different. [Transition] When I say "Be kind to one another" I don't mean only the people who think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn't matter.

We agree, Ellen. And here's something for all of us to think about tonight: How many of us have friends who don't share our politics or beliefs? And if we don't, why not,” O’Donnell challenged her viewers.

The sentiment O’Donnell shared was an important one for America these days, but the liberal media also needed to take a long hard look at what their role was in getting people that stressed out about politics. The liberal media also needed to look at expanding their horizons and hire conservatives to be members of their newsrooms and mastheads. To paraphrase O’Donnell: and if they don't, why not?

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
October 8, 2019
6:53:03 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Now to this story: Americans are stressed out. And a new study finds nearly 40 percent of us say politics is to blame. Some say it's affecting their health. Others claim they've lost sleep over the subject. And 20 percent say political differences have damaged a valued friendship. So on that note, coming up next, two very famous people prove it doesn't have to be that way.

(…)

6:57:18 p.m. Eastern

O’DONNELL: Finally, tonight, we thought we'd address kindness, civility, and politics, which don't seem to be mentioned in the same sentence much these days. It took a greeting on the gridiron between former President George W. Bush, and Ellen DeGeneres, to bring it into sharp focus.

ELLEN DEGENERES: It may not seem like a big deal for a celebrity to attend a football game, but I never leave my house, so it is a big deal. Right?

O’DONNELL: Ellen and her wife, Portia de Rossi, were invited to sit in the private box of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, were also there.

DEGENERES: But during the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together, and so, people were upset. They thought why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president? Didn't even notice I'm holding the brand-new iPhone 11. [Transition]

But a lot of people were mad, and they did what people do when they're mad-- they tweet. But here's one tweet I love. This person says, "Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again."

[Applause]

O’DONNELL: But instead of getting into the fray on social media, Ellen used the moment to preach about civility.

DEGENERES: Here's the thing-- I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friend with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have. We're all different, and I think that we've forgotten that that's okay that we're all different. [Transition] When I say "Be kind to one another" I don't mean only the people who think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn't matter.

[Cuts back to live]

O’DONNELL: We agree, Ellen. And here's something for all of us to think about tonight: How many of us have friends who don't share our politics or beliefs? And if we don't, why not?

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