Rosie O'Donnell Offers 'Giant Hug' to Helen Thomas: A Summit of Role Models?

Nicholas Benton, the leftist editor of that tiny community paper he calls "the mighty Falls Church News-Press," is clearly enjoying his role as the publisher of Helen Thomas diatribes. He's now in Helen's "entourage." On Wednesday, he described how he witnessed the great Helen get a "giant hug" from the great Rosie O'Donnell at CNN after a taping of the Joy Behar show:

As she [Thomas] exited the studio with her entourage, including me, a CNN assistant came up and said, "There's somebody here who wants to meet you." When we got to the green room, O'Donnell burst through the door from the other side and with an irrepressible enthusiasm and fervor charged at Thomas to give her a giant hug.

It was an extraordinary moment, totally authentic with no cameras or recorders running. It was an unforgettable, spontaneous encounter of two of the most important women leaders and role models of our time.

O'Donnell did most of the talking. More than just talking, it was loud and passionate accolades, praises strung together and hurled at Thomas for her pioneering role on behalf of women everywhere. "Don't let them tell you that you are anything less than an absolutely historic, indispensable pioneer of the cause for the equality of women," O'Donnell intoned, this admittedly being a paraphrase by me, who was hardly prepared to take careful notes at the moment.

Thomas, who had just come from setting Behar back on her heels in the studio with a sharp, articulate defense of her views, was unprepared for O'Donnell.

Caught off guard by the force of O'Donnell's love, Thomas got emotional. "You're making me cry," she said, truthfully. O'Donnell asked Thomas about her parents as role models for her and her new career with the News-Press. She assured Thomas that when she begins her new talk show on Oprah's network in the fall, that Thomas will be an honored guest.

As long as Rosie is the subject, on her XM/Sirius satellite radio on Thursday, O'Donnell explained that social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter would have gone a long way to curbing the secrecy fetish of the Bush administration:  

As far as what's going on in the United States, as far as secrecy in government, it can't happen [anymore] the way it did, even during the Bush administration. I don't think there's any way they would have gotten away with all the stuff they did [when there were no social media like Facebook and Twitter].

Rosie also said the same for the Tea Party-funding plutocrats:The Koch brothers...would we all know about who they are and what they're trying to do if it wasn't for the Internet? No. It would all be under the radar."

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