Accuracy in Media

Yesterday on “The View” Rosie O’Donnell showed her ratings envy by criticizing ratings juggernaut ‘American Idol’ which just launched their new season on Tuesday night with a program featuring some of the nationwide auditions that are used to select the contestants.

For regular watchers of “Idol” the audition shows are some of the most painful and entertaining shows as thousands of hopefuls strut their stuff in front of the judges.  While invariably there are glimpses of some very talented individuals, the show at this stage is mostly filled with some of the most dreadful performances known to man.  The shows on Tuesday and Wednesday were no exception. 

O’Donnell however took exception to how judges Simon, Paula and Randy (especially Simon) treat the contestants.  She focused on one young man Kenneth Briggs, age 23 who was awful and was pilloried by Simon Cowell who told Briggs “You look a little odd. Your dancing is terrible. The singing was horrendous and you look like one of those creatures that live in the jungle with those massive eyes.  What are they called-bush baby?” 

Granted that Simon’s remarks are denigrating, but that is Simon.  He is an equal opportunity insulter.

For Rosie though it was just too much.  “That’s compassion for you,” an angry O’Donnell told her audience. “Isn’t that what America thinks is entertainment, to make fun of someone’s physical appearance and then, when they leave the room, laugh hysterically at them? Three millionaires. One probably intoxicated.”

She continued her rant by equating “Idol” with crap and thought that some contestants weren’t capable of making a decision as to whether or not they were strong enough to handle humiliation.  Finally she said of the “Idol” process is to “ridicule people who are mentally unstable.”

Was Rosie so wound up that she was having a Simon Cowell moment?  Mentally unstable?  She just insulted all of the contestants in one swoop.

What makes Rosie’s tirade even stranger is that former “Idol” contestant Kellie Pickler was a guest host on yesterday’s show and she explained that contestants are “very aware of exactly what you’re getting into. I mean, you’ve watched the show before. This year is not going to be any different than next year. You know what you’re doing when you get into it.”  Or is it likely to be any different than any of the previous years. 

The whole Rosie rant was just odd.  It was as if after all of these years and hundreds of clips later of terrible performances that she realized that contestants are sometimes humiliated.  Yet that hasn’t hurt the ratings for the show one iota.  As a matter of fact the ratings for the shows this week hit an all-time high of 37 million viewers, not to say how many more probably tivoed the show.

We don’t know what Kellie Pickler thought of Rosie’s remarks, but I think we know who is really mentally unstable on “The View”.

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