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I'm not sure how many here at DailyKos watch "The View." I remember this diary, published the day Rosie O'Donnell announced she was leaving the show, indicated from the poll and comments that about equal numbers of DailyKos readers view O'Donnell herself as either good or bad for the progressive movement. Nevertheless, Rosie is not the only progressive voice on the show. Joy Behar, a stand-up comic who speaks with a nasally Brooklyn accent, is another extremely outspoken liberal and has been on the show for its full 10 years. Anyone who watches the show knows she does not buy into Rosie's conspiracy theories and often makes far more articulate arguments for progressive causes and against conservative dingbats.

Case in point: watch this interesting discussion concerning Ron Paul and Giuliani's exchange at the second Republican debate.

Let me first set up how this conversation came to be on the show.

The show always opens with 20 minutes of what is termed Hot Topics, during which the hosts of the show discuss topics ranging from politics to entertainment gossip to current events. Toward the end of the first segment, before the commercial break, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the blond Republican cheerleader on the panel, commented that Joy had mentioned that she could see herself possibly supporting one of the Republican candidates in the Presidential race. Behar clarfied that, while she probably wouldn't support him in the general election, she certainly endorsed his foreign policy perspective. Thus followed the conversation you can watch above.

Anyway, I think there is a great deal that's interesting and important to note about this segment and about what this shows about "The View":

  1. Keep in the mind that this nearly 10 minute conversation about American foreign policy occurred at 11 AM Eastern Time and its audience is predominantly female - a great portion of which consists of stay-at-home mothers. Anyone versed in poltical democraphics knows that stay-at-home mothers tend to vote more Republican than most female voters. I would venture to guess that such viewers are less likely to make time to view programs like Hardball with Chris Matthews or other daily political shows, let alone Sunday morning political shows. However, if you watch the graphics at the bottom of the screen, you will see that later in the program guests will include Ian Ziering of Beverly Hill 90210 fame and his dance partner Cheryl Burke from Dancing with the Stars. Many of the people tuning into "The View" want to hear the latest gossip about Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and other celebrities but happen to get along with such gossip and fluffy talk debates like the one you just viewed.
  1. To a pretty good degree, the panelists did a better job than other supposedly better informed political commentators at clarifying what Ron Paul intended to say in his debate comments. Hasselbeck tried to again pass on the misinterpretation Republicans have tried to disemminate about Paul's views and Rosie and Joy immediate shot her down and tried to make clear what Paul was trying to say.
  1. Later the same day this aired, Chris Matthews mischaracterized Rosie's comments about how Iraqis - who have lost 100,000s of their countrymen - must perceive America. The way I understood Rosie's inartful attempt at trying to empathize with the Iraq people is that any foreigners who come into anyone's native country and helps lead to the death of their fellow countrymen are often perceived not only as occupiers but perhaps as Hasselbeck labels people, "terrorists." At no time did Rosie call American soldiers terrorists, but rather if one were to use Hasselbeck's framing, Americans would probably be viewed as "terrorists" by the Iraqis. Chris Matthews took just a portion of the conversation and stated that O'Donnell called American troops terrorists, which I do not believe she did. While Rosie indeed has one or two of what I consider some outlandish conspiracy theories, esp. considering what happened on 9/11, I find I agree with 95% of what she states. However, rightwingers and even occasional demogogues like Matthews will use those few outlandish beliefs on Rosie's part to paint her as a whackjob, which she most certainly is not. If anything, she has very conservative beliefs about how to bring up and guard children. She can be a real prude. Nevertheless, her lesbianism, weight, impulsiveness, and politically liberal positions has made her the target of what I believe are gross mischaracterizations. She has in fact been a huge plus in the advancement of how America sees gay and lesbian families and the need for protection under the law.
  1. Notice the audience reaction when Joy Behar articulates Ron Paul's positions, especially when she reasserts the need for us to consider the consequences of our actions overseas and how the U.S. would react if China were to do what we did in Iraq, which is essentially establish military outposts in and around our terriortory. The audience understands and agrees with Paul's argument - especially that terroists hate Americans not because of our freedom but because of our policies - and claps loudly. Most of these people probably did not watch the Republican debate and had not heard the argument Paul put forth. Only because of this program are they exposed to such ideas.

For the above reasons, I believe "The View" is far more influential on the voting public than say Hardball, Meet the Press, and other typically political programs. I would assert that most people who tune into a Hardball or Meet the Press already bring rather well developed political views and are rarely persuaded by the arguments they hear. "The View" probably has the less politically formed mindsets tuning in and are more likely than not to be influenced by what they hear. Perhaps the only two programs more politically influential are The Daily Show and The Colbert Report because of the influence they have on young college age voters. However, I would argue "The View" has far more influence on a non-political audience.

Of course I expect to hear snide, condescending, even sexist comments from many here at DailyKos concerning this topic. "The View" is far too low-brow for certain Kossacks. Nevertheless, I'm proud to include among those who are fans of the program James Wolcott, the culture critic from Vanity Fair. You can read some of his takes on Rosie and the show here, here, and here. (Perhaps Wolcott's approval will make some pause before they denounce the show in a typically knee-jerk fashion.)

I TiVO "The View" everyday just to watch the first 20 minutes of the program when Hot Topics are debated because I want to see people who are less than political junkies are registering what is going on in this country. Even after the Hot Topics portion they will have guests like Hillary Clinton and Bill Maher or they will engage their celebrity guests in political conversations. I would gently urge others to tune in occasionally, just to get outside the echo chamber that are the political blogs and political chat shows.

Originally posted to John Campanelli on Sat May 19, 2007 at 06:12 PM PDT.


Do you watch The View?

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Comment Preferences

    •  What if they replace Rosie.... (0+ / 0-)

      with a wingnut?

      Politicians and diapers need to be changed frequently -- often for the same reason.

      by KnowVox on Sat May 19, 2007 at 07:24:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree completely---- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MTgirl, buddabelly, prettyobvious

      that this show has done more to open eyes than any program on TV---for the exact reason you stated---they're reaching a daytime audience who are more likely to be the go along to get along types---the non politicals.  I have defended Rosie every time someone criticizes her here---- for reasons I don't understand at all----unless they feel threatened for some reason by her.  But she especially and also Joy have daily exposed the lies of the Bush administration and have made the mostly female audience sit up and pay attention.  Rosie may be a tad rough around the edges but she forces the truth out there and makes people think.  MSNBC males have their britches in a knot about Rosie and distort her words and air incomplete videos of her statements on their show.  It's really really weird.  I am sad Rosie is leaving because I think she has made a huge contribution to the enlightenment of the daytime viewers.  Read her blog sometime---it is an education in study in hate and love and the political awareness she has brought.  Joy will continue to speak out but it has been great having both of them to balance out the inexplicably naive Elisabeth who has swallowed the propaganda whole. One can criticize The View for being light weight in the political sphere, but it has probably done more than anything to shine the light on all the lies and has probably changed more minds than any organized political campaign ever could.  

      •  They are obsessed with her that's for sure (0+ / 0-)

        Scarborough in particular.  He's gone all Billo on her.  Rather pathetic to see a grown man so rattled by an outspoken woman who is clearly presenting left wing views.  Even if some of what she says is a bit over the top, she is certainly no worse at distorting the debate than some of the more radical right wing females. And yet, Scarborough is so fearful that Barbara will loose all her credibility, boohoo hoo... could he come across more disingenuous?  Makes you wonder what the real agenda is there.  Are the higher ups at MSNBC worried that these discussions are influencing a broad portion of the population?  Scarborough's crusade against her is embarrassing.

  •  The YouTube video was the first I've watched. (7+ / 0-)

    I don't have cable and don't watch local TV, so I haven't watched The View.  That said, this was an amazing thing to see running in a morning gab fest.  Just amazing.

    Trust no organizaton bigger than two, and even those are suspect!

    by rjones2818 on Sat May 19, 2007 at 06:10:18 PM PDT

  •  The View... (11+ / 0-)

    is tremendously influential politically.  I don't watch it personally, but Faux Noise is very worried about it and frequently has segment after segment attempting to demonize Rosie and debunk the political points made by her and Joy.

    So not snide or condescending at all.  Politics is the conversations you have with people.  The View sparks many of them.

    •  You can understand why Faux News feels the need (7+ / 0-)

      to counteract the influence of this show. My family is Republican but I know for a fact that they all love Joy Behar 1) because they can relate to her humor and 2) they relate to her NYC outerborough persona. More times than I can count, I've heard my very Republican mother agreeing with what Joy Behar says. It was such reactions that tuned me into how influential these women can be during the day.

      John McCain: Bush-licker (and not the good kind, either)

      by John Campanelli on Sat May 19, 2007 at 06:21:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would go as far as to say (5+ / 0-)

        they have a lot to do with the continually sinking poll #'s of this admin.

        Every since Rosie started and Joy had a partner they have been systematically destroying the winger positions and really voicing serious opposition to the current admin. At the same time their ratings are way up.

         It will be interesting to see who they replace Rosie with.

        "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future" Oscar Wilde

        by buddabelly on Sat May 19, 2007 at 06:28:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They give lie (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly, dotster, prettyobvious

          to the ridiculous right wing talking points that so-called "real" TV journalists repeat over and over as if they had any real merit or even made sense.

          They are where Americans are at TODAY...Matthews and many of the rest of the talking heads are at least 2 years behind in political sentiment in this country.  We should all be offended.

          •  Rosies favorite repeat rant is just that (4+ / 0-)

             I can't remember how many times she asks why are we covering Brittany Spears, why are we covering Paris Hilton when there is a war going on and the admin is lying through their teeth.

             And they really don't pull their punches very much. The political criticism is much harsher than any other talk show period esp. the sunday shows and the like.

            "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future" Oscar Wilde

            by buddabelly on Sat May 19, 2007 at 06:39:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, we know the MSM (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buddabelly, dotster, prettyobvious

              is quite threatened by any form of information sharing in which they are not the sole voice.  Look how derogoatory they have been towards blogging...I'm sure they feel that shows like "The View" will become another vehicle that the public uses to form their opinions.  If we had several shows like this, there would be a lot less need for all the Matthews, Humes, Scarborough's, etc.  

  •  I have watched (4+ / 0-)

    the show a few times recently and was suprised by many things that Rosie and Joy said.  Quite wonderful and unlike any comments you would ever hear on network television.  It is difficult to watch the rest of the show most of the time though.

    •  For the last few months, (6+ / 0-)

      I've been watching that first 20 minutes or so where they have their "discussions".  

      They talk like real people...all the news people just spout off political talking points.  Over and Over.

      It also helps that Elizabeth whats-her-name is just no match for Rosie and Joy in the debate department.

      •  A real light weight (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly, prettyobvious

        Some of the things that come out of her mouth leave you speechless.  She really should try not to be such a dummy.

        •  Yes, a lightweight, but no more so than Hannity (4+ / 0-)

          She has her talking points down pat. She perfectly embodies today's "informed" Republican voter. Actually, try to think of any Republican defender who doesn't come across as lightweight in their attempts to toe the Republican line. Bill Maher had a brilliant summary of the Republican candiate talking points from the second Presidential debate. These guys came across as a bunch of trained parrots.

          John McCain: Bush-licker (and not the good kind, either)

          by John Campanelli on Sat May 19, 2007 at 06:56:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but the Hannitys of television and radio (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MTgirl, buddabelly, dougymi, prettyobvious

            make sure they aren't paired with anyone who can actually be successful in refuting their talking points.

            •  If they are matched with someone good (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MTgirl, buddabelly

              they are very quick with volume knobs and are experts at overtalking so the opposition can't be heard. hannity is also adept at giving less time to his opponents than his allies.

              One thing I like about the view is that they don't do that. It's usually pretty respectful of both sides, although rosie does sometimes overtalk. Not often, though.  I think that's the influence of walters. While I'm not fond of her, she does have a lot of journalistic gravitas and she's given that to the show.

              A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

              by dougymi on Sat May 19, 2007 at 07:05:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  She will do well on Fox and Friends (0+ / 0-)

            when her this gig can see it can't you...

            "Mommy, Mommy, there are terrorists....Dear Leader keeps telling me..."

            Of course there is a such this as a terrorist...but somehow she just had to get approval from all of the friends...

            I watched Penn & Teller BS the other was about patriotism and they got a bunch a people to sign a petition saying people shouldn't be able to protest within 300 feet of the US Capitol...

            The power of propaganda and what this President has done to our nation is pretty amazing...

            First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you...then you win -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by justmy2 on Sat May 19, 2007 at 08:16:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Rosie (6+ / 0-)

    The right is trashing Rosie because The View's audience has gone up so much since she arrived.

    If viewers thought she was as terrible as the cable white guys claim she wouldn't have pulled The View's ratings up so much.

    I loved that she wouldn't let Elizabeth get away with her winger lies. Elizabeth was given far too much freedom to spout partisan falsehoods because Barbara seemed to think it created balance.

    Liberal truth vs. conservative lies is not balance.

    I think Rosie made the show watchable again, but I usually talked over Elizabeth's comments because they were so misinformed and immature.

    I'd point out to the wingers that ratings didn't increase when Elizabeth joined the show. They did when Rosie joined -- and I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped again when she's gone.

  •  Used To. I Can't Tolerate Antithinkists. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so I don't watch or listen to any programs with any of them on.

    As there are almost no conservatives who are not also antithinkists, I don't catch much mainstream political programming. I already know their repertoire.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat May 19, 2007 at 06:32:42 PM PDT

  •  Joy Behar is a gift to liberal causes (9+ / 0-)

    She is continually articulate and emminently likable. I don't always agree with her, ie Imus, but she gets the big picture. Women respect her.

  •  Elizabeth is a rabid Bushie (0+ / 0-)

    She and her husband attended the Bush Administration's (5/7/07) first white-tie state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II, of England.

    Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

    by Pam from Calif on Sat May 19, 2007 at 08:05:07 PM PDT

  •  Loved it! (0+ / 0-)

    You don't get to see these issues being debated in this honest fashion anywhere else, I don't think.  Maybe on John McLaughlin's show.

    Joy had to scratch her head and slap her hands on the desk a few times to keep from throttling Blondie, didn't she?

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

    by TracieLynn on Sat May 19, 2007 at 09:22:22 PM PDT

  •  I agree 100 percent. (0+ / 0-)

    I watch The View regularly and have come to the same conclusion.

    As for Rosie, I've quoted Wolcott (no fool, he) before:

    My sympathies are clear and unequivocal.

    I support Rosie O'Donnell.

    Not in every instance, not in every utterance, not in every dispute, but generally, predominantly, and temperamentally I find myself on her side when controversy erupts.

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. -Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Sat May 19, 2007 at 09:59:03 PM PDT

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