PHIL DONAHUE AND ROSIE O’DONNELL ON DISPLAY
Catalyst April Issue 2003
The February 24 edition of “Donahue” (MSNBC) featured an interview of Rosie O’Donnell by host Phil Donahue. The segment ended with an extended conversation on Catholicism.
In discussing the sex abuse scandal in the Church, O’Donnell said: “And you know what? It needs to be out in the forefront. I really hope that the Catholic Church gets sued until the end of time. Maybe, you know, we can melt down some of the gold toilets in the pope’s Vatican and pay off some of the lawsuits because, you know, frankly, the whole tenet of Christianity, of being pious, of living a Christ-like life, has been lost in Catholicism, I believe.”
William Donohue couldn’t resist offering his own analysis to the media. Here it is:
“Well, you know, there is something about two aging and embittered Irish Catholics that is so, well, you know, embarrassing.
“We learned a lot from Rosie last night and none of it was endearing. Here is a grown woman crediting Oprah Winfrey with ‘teaching America how to have feelings and how to grieve.’ Prior to Oprah we just sulked. Now we all bleed. Then there was the exchange she had with Phil laughing heartily about those times of yesteryear when their parents scrubbed the house before the Monsignor popped by for a visit. Now their houses are a filthy mess as not even a deacon will drop by.
“To hear Rosie proclaim that the Church should not be exempt ‘from the laws of nature and God’ was quite a treat, especially given that her ideas on the subject strike some as being intrinsically disordered these days. Equally perverse is her comment on the gold toilets in the Vatican: she must be thinking about where she last sat when visiting her grieving friends in Hollywood.”
“Well, you know, it’s a shame that this close to St. Patrick’s Day two deracinated Irish Catholics should find the need to vent on national television. Talk about reality TV—these two are not to be believed.”
As it turned out, this was the very last show Phil Donahue did. MSNBC cancelled the show due to poor ratings.