Speaking as a presumably liberal, progressive, and open-minded gay man, I risk sounding conservative and judgmental when I plainly declare that I really don't like Rosie O'Donnell. Furthermore, while the presence of her very big mouth on The View says a lot about how far gay Americans have progressed in the fight for acceptance, I believe that Rosie not only fails in her self-declared mission of advancing gay rights, she actually has a negative impact.
Rosie is a lesbian clown — a three-ring circus act. Rosie is a lesbian train wreck and we cannot avert our eyes.
She conducts herself as if she's the ambassador of gay to the mainstream and proper world of Barbara Walters' Land o' Straight. Gossip flies out of her cavernous loudspeaker with the self-imagined authority of "I'm gay and you're not." I imagine that in a desperate attempt to remain relevant, Barbara lassoed Rosie because notorious faux-celebrity gossip blogger Mario Lavandeira was too busy battling lawsuits. Ms. Walters, like most American journalists, has betrayed her professional integrity for ratings and advertising, pandering to the lowest common denominator.
A diet of facts and relevance requires critical thinking from Americans whereas the gossip and scandal as coughed up by the Lavandeiras, O'Donnells, and now Walters of our time is pure crack — cheap and fatally addictive. Never mind that the former is vital to the future of democracy and freedom while the latter is quickly eroding the very foundation of our culture and society.
Okay, you get the picture, I don't like Rosie. I think she's profoundly dysfunctional. But she sure does make an entertaining pet lesbo for HRH Barbara. And speaking of Barbara, I recently watched the two-hour TV special hosted by Barbara as a tribute to Barbara. Entitled "The Barbara Walters Special: 30 Mistakes in 30 Years", the point of the special was to confirm that Barbara is in fact perfect and while she can sometimes be slightly inappropriately adorable, she never really makes any mistakes. She ended the special with a sly and knowing grin as if to say, "Okay, I tried to do a special on my greatest flubs and outtakes, but, well, there just weren't any to be found." The special pretty much focused on the mistakes and fumbles made by her vulnerable guests.
Barbara and Rosie make a lovely couple, separated only by tone and grace.
And then there's Ellen. While Rosie is America's most notorious professional lesbian, Ellen is a witty, charming comic and host who is openly gay. Ellen has advanced the cause of gay rights and acceptance with style, intelligence, and endurance. Her varied guest are straight, gay, and who knows what, but that's not an issue — the focus is on their talents and their contributions which have little to nothing to do with their sex lives. Ellen makes sexual orientation incidental, normal, and natural.
Her references to her personal life and her significant other, Portia, are infrequent but appropriately integrated into her talk show as would be the case with any straight host. There's plenty of "we" did this and "we" did that, and occasionally Ellen will show photographs of aspects of her life and there's Portia at her side. Ellen will be the first openly gay celebrity to host the Oscars, not because she's gay but because she's talented — and the fact that she's gay is almost incidental.
I'm all for taking to the streets and manning the barricades when appropriate, but in the gay ambassador to Land o' Straight competition, Ellen takes Rosie with nothing more than a sideways glance.
I also dislike The Donald, but loved him to death these past few days as he openly and honestly turned Rosie into his own personal roll of bathroom tissue (that's Barbara Walters Upper East Side English for "toilet paper".)