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Rosie O'Donnell has more thoughts on 'The View'

November 20, 2008|Denise Martin

While promoting her upcoming NBC variety special, "Rosie Live," Rosie O'Donnell couldn't avoid questions about her controversial time on "The View."

Barbara Walters, she told reporters on Wednesday morning, "wanted everyone to believe and think and act as if [the women on 'The View'] get along and are really good friends and happy and hang out together, and, you know, that's just not the reality.

"I'm not saying they loathe each other, but the fact of the matter is there was not a lot of camaraderie off camera."

O'Donnell famously exited the ABC daytime talk show after months of politically charged bickering with her co-hosts, among them Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who came under scrutiny again in this election year as the show's only conservative voice.

But she conceded "arguing about politics is not the best use of my talent.

"I didn't grow up thinking, 'I hope I can talk about politics.' If you watch my stand-up comedy, I talk about my life, my family. It only became about [politics] with the job on 'The View.' "

And so the comedian returns to her roots with next week's feel-good variety show.

"The job description here is to entertain. . . . It will be an hour of fun, laughter, singing and dancing. No politics. No arguing. No talking about controversial things. That, to me, is what is needed now."

O'Donnell said the economic downturn could even mark the return of the variety genre. "I think they'll all come back in a few years. The timing is right for this. The economy has made it so families are staying home more."

Guests scheduled to appear on "Rosie Live" include Liza Minnelli, Ne-Yo, Alanis Morissette, Gloria Estefan, Kathy Griffin, Jane Krakowski and Alec Baldwin. If NBC chooses to pick up the show to series, O'Donnell says they'll be produced in six-episode installments, the first of which would arrive in January.

Some reporters questioned why O'Donnell has been "oddly absent" from the uproar of California's passing of Proposition 8, which denies same-sex marriage.

But the comedian scoffed. "This is nothing new for me. When I got married it was an act of civil disobedience as much as it was a love story. There is not any person in the country who doesn't know I'm for gay marriage.

"I'm not vocal enough? I got married before anyone else did. I've been living it and living it for a very long time."

"Rosie Live" airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on NBC.

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denise.martin@latimes.com

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