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November 21, 2006

Catfight!

I never watch The View (don't even know what channel it's on). But Mary Katharine Ham does and particularly didn't like what she saw recently. In short, Rosie O'Donnell accused Kelly Ripa of "homophobia" because when Clay Aiken clapped his hand over Ripa's mouth, she said, "I don't know where that hand's been, honey." If that's "homophobia," then I'm guilty of humanphobia, I suppose, because as anyone who knows me knows, I don't like being touched, period (not to the extent of Howie Mandel or Howard Hughes, of course). I would have said the same as Ripa: I don't know where that hand's been -- whether you didn't wash it after visiting the restroom, whether you wiped your nose with it, whether you touched some nasty food product I don't like. Just keep it off my face.

Ripa called Rosie and let her know she was (rightly) offended by the accusation.

Kelly promptly called into the show and let Rosie have it, saying her comments were "irresponsible" and "she should know better. Not everything is homophobic." Kelly said she was concerned about germs because it's cold-and-flu season, and miffed that her guest-host had made a pretty rude, condescending gesture toward her.

Watch the video Ham posted and judge for yourself. 

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Comments

Dennis Babish

Latest headlines "Rosie O'Donnell places her own hand to her mouth, takes it away, and declares herself to be homophobic". Give a kid a hammer and everything is a nail.

Phil

I think Ripa is justified in being irritated at _Aiken_ for touching her mouth. But it seems naive to pretend that her line "I don't know where that hand's been" is just the statement of a germ-fearing woman.

Ripa's an entertainer, and after Aiken took his hand away, she directed the line at the audience and got a laugh. Clearly, she knew she would get a laugh. The most obvious reference is to Aiken's perceived sexuality--if not, what's so funny about it?

That said, O'Donnell overreacted. Ripa's line was subtle and ambiguous; it's not exactly a "Mel Gibson" moment. And Ripa's in an odd position because even if she wanted to apologize, she risks making it sound like she's confirming that Aiken, who has not "come out" publicly, is gay.

CLH

Phil, good point. But sorry, I disagree, because I can empathize. I'd say, "I don't know where that hand's been," to anyone who dared to put their hand on my mouth before not-so-gently removing their hand.

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