Unethical Quote of the Week: Rosie O’Donnell


“I’d like to take my period blood I no longer have and write, ‘you’re all assholes.’ I’d like to smear it all over some people’s faces.”

—-Former actress, occasional comic and former talk show host  Rosie O’Donnell, extemporizing on her hatred of anti-abortion advocates and conservatives on Jenny Hutt on SiriusXM’s radio program “Just Jenny.”

This kind of vituperative and hate-infected comment poisons public discourse, polarizes society  and harms the nation by not only making a functioning democracy nearly impossible but making living in one ugly.

No one in any movement or party should tolerate this from someone on their own side. Nobody wants to take women’s rights away. People who in good faith and concern for ethical values reach different conclusions about what is right and wrong, and how the government should align priorities in the law, that’s all. Demonizing good citizens who have different opinions is infantile and destructive. It encourages hate as the response to hate. The most anonymous, powerless, badly educated and thoughtless man on the street should not talk this way. Celebrities and opinion-makers—why Rosie O’Donnell is either of these is God’s little joke, I guess, and at the risk of being zapped, I must say that this one is not funny—must take stock of the influence they wield on the culture, and display at least a minimum of self-restraint. O’Donnell is encouraging anger and seeding misogyny, because she refuses to respect opposing views.

The fact that Barbara Walters allowed this insufficiently learned, narrow-minded, biased, opinionated and loud-mouthed woman to have a public forum for her half-baked thoughts on public affairs through a daily chair on ABC’s The View is a wide scar slashed across the journalist’s legacy.

Rosie is not alone, of course. She displays the kind of attitude that the supporters of Donald Trump applaud. Whole news organizations bask in her kind of hatred, like MSNBC,  which wouldn’t have lifted a metaphorical finger to remove a host who solemnly declared that Sarah Palin should be forced to consume human excrement, had the public reaction not been so strong. Corrupt politicians like Hilary Clinton exploit the emotional, irrational polarization that statements like O’Donnell’s exacerbate to cover up their own misdeeds and ugly motives, by saying, “This is all THEM, you know. THOSE people, who hate you and want to harm you. THEY are the ones attacking me, and you know what THEY are like. I know you hate THEM. Don’t pay any attention to what THEY say.” Untrustworthy seekers of power revel in hate, and swim upstream in it like some demonic salmon.

This hateful discourse must stop, and the only way it will stop is if it is condemned by the allies and supporters of those who spew it.




Sources: The Hill, Newsbusters

Graphic: itf

40 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Week: Rosie O’Donnell

  1. I agree with you; too any of us are reluctant to condemn a foul-mouthed advocate who’s on OUR side. We can’t expect to advance our cause until we declare that the newly spewed bilge isn’t part of the discussion.

  2. “Celebrities and opinion-makers … must take stock of the influence they wield on the culture, and display at least a minimum of self-restraint. O’Donnell is encouraging anger and seeding misogyny, because she refuses to respect opposing views.”

    Unfortunately Jack, celebrities and opinion-makers have taken stock of the influence they wield on the culture and they’re going full speed ahead in Rosie O’Donnell’s direction. Bill Maher, George Clooney, Paul Begala. You name them, they’re (to use a hip phrase they’d favor) all in.

    I need to research Lenny Bruce. I was going to say this coarsening is attributable to Howard Stern and his ilk, but if I had, someone would cite the great Saint Lenny as the one true source of all that is good.

  3. I can’t stand this guy! Everyone was falling over themselves to point out how restrained she was when Trumped attacked her. I guess she just didn’t have anything clever to say, or she just prefers soft targets. It’s just typical; the sort of adolescent behavior I’ve come to expect from that side.

    • Congratulations? I mean… Really… Are you defending the comment by comparing it to something worse? Because if you aren’t… I have no idea what motivated you to write this.

    • I mention Loius C.K. only in that we tend to vilify female comedians who make disgusting, vile comments but tolerate it coming from men. Most of my male friends think that he is the funniest comic ever and I just don’t get it.

          • See, I never know the right strategy:

            Either directly show someone how their analogy is false or try to pull out the premises they think makes the analogy sound until they realize their analogy has NO basis.

          • This is one of Louis C.K.’s recent jokes — from May, 2015:

            “Child molesters are very tenacious people. They love molesting childs. It’s crazy. It’s like their favorite thing. When you consider the risk of being a child molester — there is no worse life available to a human than being a caught child molester. And yet they still do it! Which you could only really surmise, that it must be really good.”

            My ONLY observation is that horrible things sound even worse coming from women — because we aren’t conditioned to women being crass and vulgar.

            • How is that apposite? Rosie announced that she felt a disgusting assault was earned by a political/social point of view. LCK made a George Carlin-style joke—seeking the thought—“Well, that’s interesting—why DO they molest children!” about a taboo subject, which is a genre in itself. Was I really so unclear? It is the disgusting and hateful rhetoric in a serious political social debate that makes Rosie an Ethics Dunce. LCK’s joke was a joke, it wasn’t political, it was not hateful, and it doesn’t degrade civil and civic discourse. Apples and jujubes.

              • Periods are taboo too. That’s why her comment is disgusting. I’m not defending her, and I’m not rationalizing her behavior. I’m just “observing” that disgusting comments sound even worse when said by a woman because of our conditioning.

                • I draw the distinction based on intent, not subject matter. O’Donnell expressed a vindictive desire to commit violence. Your quote from Louis C. K. only contains musings on the motivations of those who do commit violence, but does not demonstrate that he himself is violent. If the comparison was between a female comedian expressing bemusement at the mentality of women who commit menstrual assaults versus a male… whatever O’Donnell is nowadays, expressing a desire to molest children… yeah, my reasoning still stands. I would still find the comedian the more acceptable one by a large margin.

                  Honestly, I’m kind of surprised when anyone who looks particularly classy or demur says uncouth things, whatever gender they are. I was not terribly surprised in this case.

                  • You don’t think “relationship of comment-maker to greater community” is also a factor in addition to intent?

                    For example political leader of the nation saying something like that versus shock comedian saying something like that?

                    Or, kindergarten teacher saying something like that to her class versus shock comedian saying something like that?

                    Audience certain would be a factor as well…?

                    • Good point. Yes, those are also important aspects of a person’s speech that would factor into my judgment of its appropriateness.

            • Yeah, the quote from Rosie and the quote from Louis C.K. are not comparable in any way. They’re not even in the same universe. It’s not apples and oranges, it’s apples and mechanical bulls, or something to that effect.

        • Serious commentary and talk show hosting? Did you ever watch either of her shows? All she ever did was interview stars. “Hot topics” was a joke then and it is now as well.

          • Her level of success I don’t think is relevant.

            My objection to your analogy stands, however clumsily worded the objection was.

            Jack’s commentary is better.

            Your analogy is still flawed. (severely)

              • Uh, whether you like it or not, it was an analogy. You sought to compare conduct in Set M being treated differently than the same conduct in Set F. By means of saying Individual M1 is like individual F1 except in how their conduct is received, the only difference is they belong to two different sets…

                That’s an analogy. You’ve compared Louis CK to Rosie.

                Your analogy is flawed however, because for such a comparison to hold weight, Rosie and Louis *must* be completely equal *except* the characteristic you claim decides the reaction…that is, their gender.

                All responses to you, so far, have showed how there are multiple points of difference other than gender that bear clear impact on how their conduct is received. Hence, the false analogy.

    • How would that ever be a joke? Moreover, LCK is unabashedly a comedian. He’s not even in Jon Stewart’s category. Rosie hasn’t been a comedian for a decade. She’s am ignorant pundit.

        • THAT we can agree on. If I were the director, I would cast her in Orange is the New Black TODAY. She’s be great, even if she played herself in an alternate universe where she threw blood on, say, Rick Santorum and got real time.

            • No, I was. Everyone has just forgotten me, that’s all. “The William Frawley Story”? “Pride of the Brewers”? “”Left in a Pit”? “A Few Good Humor Men”? “My, My Antonia!”? “I Remember My Car Keys”? “The Big Sheep”? “My Big Fat Greek Cousin”? No?

                  • Speaking of James Earl’s…it occurred to me how unusually “common” that name cluster is.

                    James Earl Jones (b. 1931)
                    James Earl Rudder (b. 1910)
                    James Earl Ray (b. 1928)
                    James Earl Carter (“Jimmy” Carter”, b. 1924)

                    Now, I know given population, just about any combination of names occurs ALOT, but Signature Significance would imply that a large number of NOTABLE “James Earls” would imply there being ALOT of “James Earls”.

                    Was there some prominent politician or leader or other significant cultural individual by the name “James Earl” that parents would have been eager to name their sons after?

                    I can’t find anything in Google…and other than General Rudder, they all share a very similar birth time frame.

                    I doubt the late 18th century painter of the same name was the origin though.

                    All but the rotten murderer were in the military also.

  4. It’s possible to address the problem even if you’re not on the same side as the people creating it. It’s just difficult, even for the very perceptive, because you have to establish credibility, show that you actually care about other people’s concerns. Communication is key.

  5. Donald Trump’s name came up earlier in this discussion, and I want to call attention to his colossal slur about Megyn Kelly. How many of Trump’s rivals for the GOP nomination denounced what he said? And did you notice whom Trump apologized to? Not Kelly, but her boss, Roger Ailes. And did you notice that Trump summarized his discussion with Ailes, but (unless I missed something) Ailes has said nothing about the insult to his employee, much less what he told Trump.
    Megyn, polish up your resume.

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