Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
Rosie vs. The Donald
There’s been so much talk about war in the Middle East these days that many Americans have forgotten the troubles that plague our homeland. Like, for example, the growing war between talk show host Rosie O’Donnell and real estate mogul Donald Trump. What hope is there for lasting peace between Muslims and Jews if we can’t get a couple of spotlight-hogging celebrities to play nice?
The average American can be forgiven, of course, for not knowing--or frankly caring--how this overly hyped donnybrook started. In fact, it began in mid-December when Trump briefly considered taking the crown from current Miss USA Tara Conner, who was caught drinking and performing other acts inappropriate for a beauty queen. (Trump owns the Miss Universe organization, which controls Miss USA.) O’Donnell, not so incorrectly, noted on her talk show “The View” that twice-divorced Trump might not be America’s most appropriate “moral compass.”
From there, the insults grew, with new snaps added daily. The Donald called Rosie “a very, very unattractive woman,” “a loser” and “a fat pig.” Rosie called Donald “a snake-oil salesman,” “bankrupt” and “the Combover Bunny.” Trump threatened to sue O’Donnell and steal her lesbian partner Kelli Carpenter. He also dropped hints that O’Donnell’s boss/co-host Barbara Walters secretly hated her and was looking for excuses to give her the boot.
On Jan. 3, Walters returned to “The View.” (She was on vacation during the start of this particular war of words.) She denied Trump’s allegations and dubbed him a “poor, pathetic man.” Since then, things have shown no sign of slowing down, with Trump firing off daily press releases to Billy Bush and O’Donnell composing thinly veiled poems on her website about men with bad hairdos.
The cynics have noted this battle coincides nicely with the sixth season of Trump’s TV show “The Apprentice.” If this is a publicity stunt, it has backfired against The Donald. Ratings for “The View” have spiked over the last month, while “The Apprentice” premiered to a mere 9.1 million viewers--good enough for a “Top 41” debut and the lowest ever ratings for the show’s season opener.
So widespread has speculation over this showbiz imbroglio become that it has spilled over into other branches of the entertainment industry. On Jan. 4, GSN.com debuted an online game featuring O’Donnell and Trump in an animated street fight. Last week, WWE’s “Raw” TV show featured a knock-down-drag-out battle between a Rosie impersonator and a Trump imitator. (The winner: Trump by a head butt.)
So who’s right and who’s wrong in this particular case? The correct answer is: Who cares? They’re both annoying and always have been. Rosie is an abrasive loudmouth, but her job is to gab about stuff--useless, timewasting, who-cares-it’s-early-morning-and-I’m-still-drinking-my-coffee stuff. Donald is an egotistical boor, but his job is to toot his own horn--loudly and repeatedly. From that perspective, they’re both just doing their jobs. Now, can we please stick these two in the “Surreal Life” house and be done with it?