The significance of Rosie and “The View” to the future of news 4/25/07Posted by Steve Boriss in News, Rosie O’Donnell, The View.
Is it all sound and fury that signifies nothing, or is the political chatter on this 10-year old show that is suddenly in the headlines changing the way we get our news and form opinions? To answer this, it’s important to recognize that despite its pretentions, this is a show that has never taken big chances. The political discussion has been like a shower faucet that is stuck in a narrow range between luke warm and luke cold, if there were such a thing. “The View” was actually the perfect name for it, because the panelists as a group have always provided that same center-left/establishment view that Americans overwhelming perceive in the media, and that journalists overwhelmingly don’t. Rosie O’Donnell’s “appeal” as a recent addition has had less to do with her sometimes extreme far-left opinions than her skills as a comedienne and the hope she brings to some viewers that they will get to witness a trainwreck. To the extent “The View” can be considered opinion-shaping news programming, it might be thought of as offering the same material as network evening news, but delivered by chatter around a coffee table instead of a pretentious, authoritative voice behind a desk. Those who are serious about news will continue to flee to cable TV news and the Internet, where they can rotate the “views” faucet the full range until they feel comfortable, from far-left to far-right.