01-10-11 - The Shooting in Arizona, Gun Control and Mistaken Identities

In case you missed it...

Rosie started today's broadcast discussing the homeless man with the amazing radio voice that has been all over the media.  She thinks it's a wonderful story but wonders why we need to discuss it on every single channel. 

She also told a funny story about her paranoia over having every illness she hears about.  She said the other day she smelled a very strong maple syrup smell during a morning meeting and since she didn't see any maple syrup, and not realizing it was Pete's coffee, was sure it was a sign she was having a stroke.  Turns out a sign of having a stroke is a "burnt toast smell" and not a maple syrup smell.  Everyone laughed at Rosie's hypochondriasis.

She asked if everyone had heard that Barbra Streisand is in discussions to star in the big-screen adaptation of the musical Gypsy!  Rosie was very very excited at the prospect.  Janette revealed she has never seen Gypsy and this made Rosie wonder what was wrong with Janette. 

Rosie said she was traveling this weekend with Vivi, though she didn't say where they went.  She and her youngest daughter went on an "alone trip" together.  This meant they had to go through airport screening together and Rosie wasn't really comfortable putting Vivi through the full body scan so she asked if she could go through the metal detector instead.

Rosie then wanted to discuss the assassination attempt of Gabrielle Giffords and the mass shooting in Tuscon Arizona that occurred this weekend.  Janette said her gut reaction when she first heard about it was, "No, not this again."  But she said this time, the fact that it was the assassination attempt of an elected official felt even scarier to her.  They recalled the events that lead up to the shooting and what happened on the day.  They discussed Sarah Palin's sniper-target map and the gun metaphors she likes to use in her political speeches and whether or not this incites violence.  Rosie thought it was an "interesting connection" that Gabrielle Giffords' district was one the the "targeted" districts that Palin had on her map.  They played audio of Giffords discussing the map Sarah Palin used.  Listen below...

They discussed how Giffords' opponent Republican candidate Jesse Kelly held a shooting event in June to "get on target" and "remove Gabrielle."  (see image on left)  Bobby said he can never remember a time in politics before when there's been so many gun metaphors being used.  He talked about how it's illegal to make those suggestions about our President and how it should be illegal to say that about all our representatives too.  Rosie wondered what has become of our society that there's all this violence and hate mongering that goes unnoticed.  Rosie then read Giffords' husband's statement of thanks and prayer.   

They discussed reporter's Bob Woodruff's statement discussing the similarities between his own brain injury and Giffords'.  Watch him in his own words below:  

Rosie and the staff then discussed the handgun that was used and wondered why anyone needs a handgun that can hold 33 bullets.  Rosie said when she participated in the Million Mom March in 2000, there was a woman who opposed gun legislation whom she spoke with.  The woman had both her parents shot in front of her but her handgun was in the glove-box of her car instead of on her body.  She said for the rest of her life she wished she had her gun on her that day.  She said it's hard to argue with but at the same time she believes in sensible gun laws.  Rosie took a call from a listener who lives in Tuscon.  She has a 9 year-old daughter too and said the political climate in Arizona is very bad.  She said when people like Sarah Palin use irresponsible language it doesn't affect normal people but there are crazy people out there who will misinterpret their message.  The caller was very unhappy that Palin hasn't come out and denounced the shooting. 

Rosie said she watched Palin's reality show this weekend and was thinking what a likable person Palin is.  She discussed a scene where Palin is crying when thinking of her son's future, the one that has Down Syndrome, yet her love for him was so palpable.  She said it made Sarah so relatable.  But she said after all this, her opinion of Palin has shifted once again.  Rosie and Janette discussed how we need to be civil to one another, even those that have differing political opinions.  Jeannie, on the other hand, has a harder time separating someone from their political beliefs.  She said there's so much overlap with who you are as a person and what you believe politically it's hard for her to separate the two.  

Rosie took a call from a listener who really blamed the shooter's parents.  Rosie wondered what the parents could have done.  The caller thought the parents should have done more when he was kicked out of school and had him evaluated and treated for a possible mental disorder.  Rosie referenced 60 Minutes episode about David Letterman's stalker where they interviewed the woman's mother who was simply heartbroken over losing her daughter and what her daughter had done.  Rosie said the pain that the mother went through was horrific and we can't expect a parents love to fix the neurology of a child.  She said the shooter had never shot anyone before and how could they know he was going to go on a shooting spree.  She asked people ready to blame the parents to imagine the pain they are living with right now knowing their son grew up to be a murderer. 

Janette agreed and said it's easy to blame but it's not productive.  She said the responsibility, however. is all of ours, as a society. She said we're allowing this type of rhetoric to occur and we're using it in our own conversations.  She said we're all responsible and only through taking responsibility as a society will we make it possible to change.  

Rosie told a story of the one and only time she ever shot a gun.  She said she was in her 20s and was asked to go to a friends house who had a shooting range in his backyard.  She shot a tomato paste can with a gun and what came out the back of the can gave her an instant visual of John Kennedy's assassination.  She never did it again.  It really frightened her how easy it was to shoot that weapon and cause such damage.  Jeannie wondered what the statistics are and how many people have actually defended themselves from an attack because of having a gun in the house vs. the many senseless lives that have been taken.  Rosie said she used to know all of those statistics until she battled the NRA for sensible gun legislation and realized how powerful the gun lobby is in this country.  Rosie still doesn't believe that our founding fathers wrote "the right to bear arms" in the Constitution thinking that meant it should be legal to carry a semi-automatic weapon.

Rosie asked the staff if they think he should face the death penalty.  Janette said no because she's against the death penalty.  Bobby said if the shooter is mentally ill, then no.  Rosie asked if all murderers aren't mentally ill if they're willing to kill another human being.  Jeannie doesn't think the death penalty is a deterrent at all and if we as a society say killing people is wrong then it's wrong. 

Rosie took another caller who spoke about his frustrations with media presenting slanted opinion based reporting and how they bear some of the responsibility for why this tragedy occurred.  Rosie agreed  the media bears some of the responsibility and said when all of the major media networks are owned by 4 corporations in the U.S. who have investments in the wars going on we can't expect fair and balanced reporting.   Rosie used the homeless man with the great radio voice as an example.  She said with everything going on in the country - the high unemployment rate, the economic slowdown, the high foreclosure rate - the fact that this man was on every media channel is merely the art of distraction.  Rosie took another call from a listener whose 20 year-old son wants them to get a gun because of a  murder that happened in their hometown.  The caller was struggling with the idea of it.  Rosie read some of the statistics of gun ownership and how you're much more likely to be shot in an assault if you have a gun then if you do not.  Rosie told the caller we have two choices- Faith or Fear.  She said she believes in responsible gun ownership and told the caller if owning a gun provides her with solace, then to do it.  But the facts are that most people are shot by someone they know but each person has to weigh the risks and make their own decision.

Rosie ended the conversation on the Arizona shooting by sending her hopes for a speedy recovery to the victims of this tragedy. 

Rosie said on the flight this weekend there was a funny flight attendant who delivered a great line about teenagers.  There was possibly going to be a delay with their landing because of fog but the pilots weren't sure.  The flight attendant came over the speaker-system to alert the passengers of the possible delay and said, "We're not sure yet but if you're sitting next to a teenager, why don't you ask them because they know everything."  Rosie told the flight attendant she was stealing that line! 

Rosie and Vivi had a delay in the airport and saw a French family sitting with their children waiting for a flight in the lounge.  There was a young little girl and a boy about Vivi's age.  Rosie tried to encourage Vivi to go over to the children and play with them but she was too shy.  Later they went to the gift shop and Vivi asked if she could buy little presents for the children in the lounge.  Rosie let her buy the gifts on the condition she would give them to the children herself.  She gave it to the little girl but was too embarrassed to give the present to the boy.  Later the little girl came over to Vivi and tugged on her sweater and said in broken English, "Excusez-moi, thank you."  Rosie said it was so cute.   

Bobby said he once had a fight with himself at an airport.  He overheard a mother telling her daughter that Ariel (the Princess from Disney's The Little Mermaid) wasn't actually a princess, she was just a mermaid.    The little girl said to her mom, "No, I think she's a princess too!"  The mother said back "No, dear Ariel is just a mermaid."  Bobby KNEW this wasn't true and that Ariel was a princess and the daughter of a King.  It killed him but he said nothing to the mother and to this day he regrets it! 

Rosie remembered a time when she was shopping in Target during her talk show days when a little girl kept pointing at her saying, "Emo's friend! Emo's friend!"  The mother didn't understand what the toddler was trying to tell her and told her not to talk to strangers.  Rosie intervened and said, "Excuse me ma'am, she's saying 'Elmo's friend' because I'm Rosie O'Donnell and she's probably seen me in videos with him."  The woman said, "You don't look like Rosie O'Donnell."  She had to explain to the woman that was what she looked like in real life without hair and makeup.  Rosie admitted she has impulse control disorder and feels the need to intervene with conversations that have nothing to do with her.  Like if she hears people debating which Broadway show to see at a restaurant she feels the need to provide unsolicited advice.  Janette never feels this way and chooses to not talk to people she doesn't know.  Jeannie then sighed and said how much she misses her "radio crazies" when she's not there. Rosie said she and Vivi were in a mall in a state they aren't normally in and a woman came up to her and said, "I just have to touch you, Rosie O'Donnell."  Vivi said to the woman, "You are strange." 

Rosie took a call from a listener who also interjects unsolicited advice to strangers.  Rosie said she's overheard people behind her even debating her career and what movies she's been in!  She never says anything to the people though.  Rosie said some of her friends feel the need to help her and defend  her to people that say horrible things about her.  She said it doesn't help her when she's trying to NOT ingest the horrible things people say about her.  Rosie took another call from a listener whose husband will go up to famous people and ask who they are and where he knows them from.  She said it's incredibly embarrassing and has stopped pointing famous people out to him completely.  Bobby said he was once backstage and was introduced to Christine Lahti who he thought was Sigourney Weaver!  Rosie said she once mistook Ilene Chaiken with Patricia Cornwell.  She said Ilene walked onto an airplane she was on and Rosie referred to the time she was on her show and Ilene said, "I was never on your show." She then asked her who Rosie was confusing her with.  Rosie was embarrassed.  When Pete lived in D.C. with his parents, his mom once was sure she knew someone they saw at Costco.  She said she was convinced she had had that man over her house for dinner before and had to go up to him and say hello and ask how they knew each other.  She got steps away from him and realized it was Colin Powell!

Janette said she has a new bible and it's Suzanne Somers' latest book Sexy Forever! Janette said she never would have picked up the book based on the title but said she thinks it's a fantastic book and everyone should read it.  Rosie said Suzanne is brilliant and amazing and will be on the show tomorrow (1/11/11)!  Janette said the book is filled with tons of facts about what we're eating and said tomorrow's interview is not to be missed!  Rosie said Suzanne is one of her favorite people and said how articulate she is at saying things people may not want to hear but should.  Janette, who has lost 9 pounds since last week doing The Primal Blueprint diet, said when her weight began with a "2" again she had to do something about it.  But she said every single person who's listening needs to read Suzanne's book because it's really revelatory.

Rosie said she saw 127 Hours with James Franco and she thought it was really good!  She let her eldest daughter Chelsea watch it with her because she was really interested in seeing it.  Chelsea was convinced she would never be able to do what the person in the movie did - cut off his own arm to save his own life.  Rosie said it was very well done and a beautiful film.  Rosie and the staff then discussed if they could cut off their own arms to save their lives and Rosie thinks she could if she had to.  Rosie took a call from a listener who saw it too and said it was "one of Franco's finest acting moments."  They discussed many movies including The King's Speech, The Fighter, Black Swan and Blue Valentine.  Rosie said she thinks The King's Speech will win best picture and possibly Natalie Portman will win for Black Swan.  She said she hopes the mother in The Fighter will win best supporting actress.  . 

Rosie quickly checked in with Lou whom she hadn't spoken to recently.  She asked Lou how his friendship with Jeannie is going.  They have a double-date planned soon sometime in February.  Rosie asked Lou if there was any possibility he might be announcing an engagement to his girlfriend anytime soon.  He said it's something he considers but wonders if it might be too soon?  He said he'll be considering it in the next year!  Jeannie said she and Lou's girlfriend have talked about marriage and she has said she'd marry Lou if he asked!  Nothing like pressure!!  Jeannie said she waited four years to get engaged to her second husband because her first marriage was so traumatic.  Rosie joked that the reason Jeannie had to wait 4 years was because she had to wait for him to graduate high school (because he's so much younger than her). 

For this game , each player had to listen to a song and identify the movie the song was from.  They would get one point for identifying the song, one point for identifying the movie, and one point for identifying the artist.
Bobby: (who was "right here!") heard a clip of In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel from the movie Say Anything.  He didn't know any of the answers so he got 0 points. 
Rosie: heard a clip of Maniac from the movie Flashdance.  She didn't know the artist but she knew the movie the song was from.  1 point
Pete: heard a clip of Aerosmith's Don't Want to Miss a Thing from the movie Armageddon. He didn't know any of them so he got 0 points.
Janette: heard a clip of the Beverly Hills Cop theme song. Rosie was STUNNED because she immediately knew the movie title!  She didn't know the artist however.  1 point.
Jeannie: heard a clip of Jai Ho by the Pussycat Dolls from the movie Slum Dog Millionaire.  She had no idea and got 0 points.   
caller: heard a clip of Eminem's Lose Yourself from the movie 8 Mile.  She got them all and was in the lead with 3 points.

Bobby: (right here!) heard a clip of Cyndi Lauper's Good Enough from the film Goonies.  He got them all for 3 points!
Rosie: heard a clip of This Is the End by The Doors from Apocalypse Now. She knew none of them and got 0 points.
Pete: heard a clip of It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop song) by Cher from the movie Mermaids.  He got the singer for 1 point.
Janette: heard a clip of Fight the Power by Public Enemy from the movie Coneheads. She didn't know any for 0 points. 
Jeannie: heard a clip of Into the Groove by Madonna from the movie Desperately Seeking Susan.  She knew them all for 3 points.
caller: heard a clip of I Believe I Can Fly, by R. Kelly from the movie Space Jam. She didn't know any of the answers for 0 points.

Bobby:  heard a clip of Let's Hear It for the Boy by Denise Williams from the movie Footloose.  He didn't know the artist but knew the rest for 2 points. 
Rosie: heard a clip of Nothing's Going To Stop Us Now by Starship from the movie Mannequin. She didn't know any for 0 points.
Pete: heard a clip of Alanis Morisette's Uninvited from the movie City of Angels.  He didn't know any of the answers for 0 points.
Janette: heard a clip of Celine Dion's Because You Loved Me from the movie Up Close and Personal. She didn't know any of the answers for 0 points.
Jeannie: heard a clip of Blaze of Glory by Bon Jovi from the movie Young Guns 2.  She didn't know the movie but knew the rest for 2 points.
caller: heard a clip of Let The River Run by Carly Simon from the movie Working Girl.  She didn't know any of the answers for 0 points. 

Bobby and Jeannie tied!!!!  They tried a tie-breaker, Let's Dance by Donna Summer which they both knew.  But neither one knew it was from the movie Thank God It's Friday so they both won! 

Rosie closed the show discussing Obama's moment of silence for the victims of the shooting in Arizona. She then read a blog that was sent to her by a friend and closed out the show.  You can read that blog in its entirety HERE.

and that's what you missed -kw


  1. Did Rosie mention the campaign that kelle Hampton is having in honor of Nelle's 1st bday? I wanted to email Rosie over the weekend but no comments on her site:-(

  2. Micaela, She didn't mention it on the show but I bet since Kelle was a guest on Rosie Radio she definitely has a way to reach Rosie and her staff directly. :) Very cool what Kelle's doing!

  3. Thanks so much for this blog Kelly. I had it bookmarked forever and finally took the time to check it out. I'm hooked! I saw Suzanne Somers on the Today show today with Katie Lee and Hoda. I really wasn't thinking about getting her book until I read Janette mentioned it's her bible. I think I will get it now. I need a bible. :) Thanks again for the blog. You do a FANTASTIC job with it!

  4. I'm going blind and move about this world with my wonderful guide dog. It is amazing to me how many people feel the need to make comments. And some of the things they say! I'm not too shy, but do have a enormous need to blend in and not stand out. So much for that! Whether I'm swinging a cane or using my guide dog, I now stick out like a sore thumb.

    Many of the comments people make really annoy me, quite frankly. Some of it is from the need to blend in, but the other part of it is becuase even though I can't see, it doesn't mean I can't hear! There are thousands of times that people talk about me, right in front of me, as if I weren't close enough to hear everything they say.

    Anyway, being new to blindness, this has been my experience with the public and their need to make unsolicited comments.

    Thanks so much for the blog, Kelly - I'm a daily reader.