WASHINGTON, May 25, 2007 — “Good riddance,” said media analyst Roger Aronoff in response to ABC’s announcement that Rosie O’Donnell will not return to “The View” after an on-air spat with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
“We can only wonder about the conversations that led up to that decision, and whether she was pushed, or left voluntarily. It would be to ABC’s credit if they asked her to go, to avoid any more of her misinformation and baseless conspiracy theories,” he said.
In a column  released today, Aronoff questioned O’Donnell’s claim that the war in Iraq has claimed the lives of 655,000 Iraqi citizens. He writes, “The figure of dead Iraqis is probably closer to 50,000 than 650,000. How many of them were terrorists? And of those civilian dead, a significant number, probably a majority, was killed by insurgents or jihadists. Rosie makes no such distinctions, blaming the U.S. for deaths carried out by anti-American terrorists.”
He continues, “Using misinformation as a weapon is what people like Rosie accuse Bush of doing. Bush is held accountable, as evidenced by the hostile questions at his Thursday news conference. But why isn’t Rosie being held accountable? Is it because she is assumed to be a know-nothing who utters nonsensical things for entertainment purposes only? Unfortunately, we can’t assume that’s the case. She may believe what she’s saying, and some who listen to her may believe it, too.”
Aronoff concludes, “The reaction to the show may help explain why the Iraq War is so unpopular. Fake ‘facts’ with an anti-American slant go unchallenged and the exchange is treated as fun-loving entertainment. But there’s nothing funny about media personalities with millions of viewers spewing out misinformation to a national television audience.”
Accuracy in Media (AIM), founded by Reed Irvine in 1969, is America’s original media watchdog organization. For more information, please visit http://www.aim.org .