3-1-11 - Talking Wisconsin and Interviews with Ed Schultz and Henriette Mantel

In case you missed it...

Rosie started today's broadcast discussing the stream of Charlie Sheen interviews that have hit the airwaves over the past few days.  She's hoping to hear his interview on Howard Stern from today, too.  Janette said she's going to listen to the replay of Howard's interview with Charlie because she said he'll do an interview with him that will be different than anyone else.  Rosie watched Charlie Sheen on Piers Morgan last night.  Rosie sent a private message to Piers before the interview last night asking him to remember that Sheen is ill and asking him to lead with compassion.  She said she thinks Charlie might be battling a mental illness like bipolar disorder after seeing all the interviews.  Rosie talked about how a lot of people who get addicted to drugs suffer from mental illness in an attempt to self-medicate.  Rosie said it's sad to watch Charlie and what he's going through and she wished someone could reach him.  She said you know it's especially bad when the person who is suffering with the illness/addiction is no longer able to see how they're coming off.  Rosie said she thought all the media outlets are exploiting and enabling Charlie and was frustrated that no one seems like they're trying to help him at all.  Janette said the only way to protect him right now would be to not book him on your show.  Overall, Rosie was disappointed with Piers' interview with Sheen.  She said she expected a different level than she got from him.  She didn't like it how Piers was laughing and Charlie wasn't being funny, let alone making sense.  And Rosie was pretty sure at the end of the interview Charlie said he was on crack.

part of Piers Morgan's interview with Charlie Sheen

Rosie took some callers about the deluge of Charlie Sheen interviews.  One caller is also in showbiz and was also addicted to drugs.  He is bipolar and said he smoked crack to maintain the adrenaline he got from the applause after a performance and to also self-medicate.  The caller thought Sheen was definitely high during many (if not all) of his recent interviews.  Rosie saw it too and noticed how Charlie looked very thin, how he was acting oddly and missing some teeth.  She said we're watching his descent into insanity or possibly death. She compared him to how Corey Haim looked right at the end.

Rosie talked about her own battle with depression and how that feels as a celebrity.  She said many of the people close to her in her life didn't want her to discuss her battle with depression publicly.  After her magazine came out where she discussed it she went to a game and four people came up to her crying thanking her for talking about it.  She said that was when her family and friends realized how important and valuable it was for her to speak out.  Rosie watched Mackenzie Phillips recently on The Talk.  She said she was fascinated by her story of incest with her father and the vitriol she got as the result.  She remembered how Billy Bush came out and said her experience was a private matter and shouldn't be talked about publicly. Rosie said that kind of condemnation is exactly what's wrong.  If a topic is made "too disgusting" to talk about, how is any survivor supposed to heal?  Mackenzie has also said some of her family members have not spoken to her since she came forward

Rosie talked about a message she recently posted in her AskRo portion of her blog from a very unstable person who feels he and Rosie had some sort of relationship they never had and that she was sending him messages through his television.  Now her therapist has told her the chances of a celebrity actually being attacked from someone who is mentally ill is very slim.  Rosie said celebrities rarely talk about this side of fame but she puts it out there to try and show people all the sides of what it's like to be in the public eye and the realities of fame. 

Rosie took another call from a listener who is recovering addict who when she was using was diagnosed with many disorders.  She said none of those diagnoses were valid until she got completely clean.  This caller looks at Charlie and can see her old self in him.  He also seemed to her like he was on drugs during the interviews. 

They briefly read some of the Chuck Lorre (the show's creator) Vanity Cards and how that has been involved in Charlie Sheen's recent rants.  HERE IS A LINK to an article about  them and since I'm still not even sure what they are, I won't write too much about them.   Overall Rosie talked about the tragedy of it all and hopes Charlie gets some help before it's too late.

Rosie then introduced television and radio host Ed Schultz!  Rosie invited Ed on the show to help make what's happening in Wisconsin clear and understandable for all the listeners.  Ed said there is a collection of Republican governors, Walker being one of them, who've decided to work out of the same playbook when it comes to balancing budgets, giving the rich tax breaks and attacking workers.  In Wisconsin, Walker has declared a war on Unions going after pensions and health-care while taking away their rights to collective bargaining.  Ed believes this is all actually about a run for the 2012 elections by the Republican party.  Ed believes there's been a serious miscalculation by the Republican governors about how much flack they were going to receive for this move.

Rosie and Ed talked a little about Obama's comments he made yesterday on the issue.  He said it's clear the President is obviously on the side of labor but he needs to do more.  Ed said this whole message is about setting up a narrative for the Republican party in 2012.  He said it will effect every wage earner in America, not just Union workers because Unions set the wages in this country. 

Rosie and Ed discussed how the police are standing by the protesters in Wisconsin and how they're no longer allowing people outside the capitol building to pass food to the protesters inside. 

Rosie asked Ed if he can remember another time in history when teachers, firemen, police and state workers were as vilified as they are now.  Ed said he could not.  Ed's mom was a high school accelerated English teacher and sometimes stayed up until 3am grading papers. He said she wasn't concerned about politics she was concerned about educating kids.  Ed said there are millions of teachers who care deeply about their students and we're losing our focus.  Ed said teachers are not a "bargaining chip" and we need to re-evaluate our country and what we're doing to them.  Ed said the government is picking on teachers.  Rosie and Ed discussed how states with teachers Unions actually have higher test scores than those that do not have Unions.

Lastly, Ed said when he started his program he made a commitment to address middle class issues and giving them more exposure.  He said when the Middle East broke open he went to the Midwest because that's where the people are.  Ed said if we don't care about the Midwest we can forget about the Middle East. Rosie agreed and said Wisconsin workers deserve our support and media attention because they are all of us.  Rosie asked Ed to call in whenever he has something he'd like to share and Ed promised he would.  Rosie said to the workers of Wisconsin, "We are inspired by you, we are moved by you and we are behind you."   You can catch Ed Schultz on MSNBC Tonight at 10pm est and on The Ed Schultz Radio Show weekdays on XM America Left (ch. 167) from 12PM-3PM est and on Sirius Left (ch 146) from 3-5PM est..

Rosie and Pete then told listeners what they can do if they would like to donate to the cause of Union workers in Wisconsin.  One way to help is to donate to the Teaching Assistant's Association of Madison and the Milwaukee Graduate Assistance Association (Rosie gave to this).  Another way is to donate food to Defend Wisconsin

Rosie briefly discussed discussed the importance of social media in this cause.  She said today with social media the way it is Walker and those like him can't get away with the same lies and deception that have occurred in the past because people have an easier way to find out about what's going on in their government. 

Rosie took many calls on the topic most of whom called in in support of Union workers.  Many of the callers were very appreciative of Rosie shedding light on what's happening in Wisconsin and wished there was more media coverage.  One caller mentioned the documentary Waiting for Superman.  The caller implied that Rosie "glossed over" the topic but Rosie was quick to point out that she did not gloss over it and even discussed it in detail during a previous show.  Rosie said she thinks the documentary is a must-see for everyone in the United States.  The caller agreed and was very anti-teachers union.  The caller was a teacher and won't teach in the public school system.  She said all the best teachers leave the public school system and go to private schools because they are forced to join Unions. (Don't kill the messenger teachers, I'm typing what she said.  My sister is a teacher.  My mom was a teacher. I love teachers.)  Rosie didn't agree with that statement and said she's not 100% against the Teacher's Union she just wants a way to fire people who are bad at their job as in any other industry.  Rosie said vilifying teachers doesn't help.  She said there are amazing teachers out there and it was a public school teacher who saved her.  Rosie said she believes teachers are the heartbeat of America and she supports them and is behind them.  She said just because a union has something bad about it that doesn't mean you throw it away all together. 

Janette agreed.  She said it's all about anecdotes.  She said you can't take one story of a bad teacher who stayed teaching for too long and then abolish all unions because of it.  And Jeannie pointed out that tenure is only one aspect that the Teacher's Union deals with.  And Pete pointed out that the Unions in Wisconsin have agreed to make concessions but Walker still refuses to budge!  In the end Rosie said this could be the most important political issue she will face in her lifetime.

Rosie briefly mentioned yesterday's Oprah where it mistakenly broadcasted in NYC with someone speaking Spanish in the background.   She said she Twittered about it yesterday.  Rosie said Oprah looked fantastic but when she was talking to Anne about the many dresses she wore Rosie realized what a lesbian she was because she couldn't remember one dress from the Oscars!  Rosie said she loves Twitter and thinks it's the greatest thing when you have teens that don't care to hear what you have to say. 

Rosie then introduced her friend and documentary filmmaker and fellow comedienne Henriette Mantel.  Rosie and Henriette joked about weight and the old days doing standup together.  Henriette said she started doing standup when she was 28 after her brother died in a motorcycle accident.  She thought she had better go make people laugh because she was never going to laugh again.  Henriette and her brother were very close and she and her family just had a celebration of his life with friends.  A couple of Henriette's siblings are teachers and she recently went to march with the workers of Wisconsin. 

Henriette said she's in shock that the Wisconsin Governor is being so uncompromising but she doesn't think he's going to get away with it. 

Henriette was a producer for the MTV reality series The Osbourne's which Rosie loved.  Rosie said it set the bar for what it was like to follow a family.  Henriette said there were two reasons why the show was such a success.  She said firstly, MTV left them alone to do what they wanted to do and the second reason it worked was because the Osbourne family really loves each other.  Henriette said filming the Osbourne's was fun and full of love and fun.  She said nothing in the show was set up, it was truly their life. 

Henriette also was the Executive Producer for An Unreasonable Man, a documentary about Ralph Nader.  Henriette said she's proud of the documentary because it shows both sides of the story.  Rosie and Henriette briefly discussed Phil Donahue who is in the documentary and Rosie said she is speaking at NYU tomorrow night with Phil Donahue!  Rosie said she will be hosting a documentary series on OWN starting in May.  She said they'll debut a documentary once a month and she'll do a sit down interview with the filmmaker and viewers interested in the topic!!  COOL! 

Henriette is is currently making another documentary (entitled 'In The Pitts') about the musicians that work in the pit in musical theater.  Rosie said she can't wait to see it!  She's also doing a book of essays by women who have not had children entitled "No Kidding."  She's asked Janette to write and essay for it too. Henriette said she wants there to be a book out there about women who haven't had children but still continue to do motherly things in a lot of other ways. 

Rosie asked Henriette what was the worst standup gig she's ever done.  Henriette described a time where someone from the audience threw a bottled beer and a shoe at her.  Henriette said it made her cry but Dicky Smothers came up to her afterward and told her how funny she was.  He was so sweet to her and told her that everybody bombs.  Rosie said Shirley Hemphill saw her perform when she was only 16 years old and then took her backstage and told the owner that she wanted Rosie to open for her.  The owner of the club said Rosie wasn't ready yet but Shirley insisted.  That was Rosie's first paying gig ever.  Henriette asked Rosie if she still goes to the clubs.  Rosie said she sometimes stops into the comedy club that's on the same street as her apartment in NYC but it makes her sad because she doesn't know any of the comics anymore.  And it makes her remember the days when Dangerfield would come into a comedy club and bump them when they were young - except now she's Dangerfield!  

Rosie thanked Henriette for coming in and wished her luck on her documentary "In the Pitts" and her book "No Kidding."

Pete read the new cast of Dancing With The Stars.  Jeannie said it sounded like a "yawn fest" and Shoshana agreed.  Rosie said she will be watching the Celebrity Apprentice this year because it seems like a season she's interested in watching.

During this game, James read a survey question given to 100 people and the players had to guess the number one answer from the survey to get a point.

Jeannie: Name something you put in an emergency road kit.  She guessed "flashlight" but the number 1 answer was "flares."  0 points
Shoshana: Name a popular food item that's often chocolate covered.  She guessed "strawberries" which was correct for 1 point.
Rosie: Name something people try to get out of.  She guessed "jury duty"but the number 1 answer was "work."  0 points.
Pete: Name something people keep their money in.  He said "a bank" but the number 1 answer was "wallet." 0 points.
Janette:  If you were in a fender bender what's the first thing you would do?  She said "cry" but the number 1 answer was "call the police."

Jeannie: Name a reason your eyes might water.  She guessed "allergies" but the number 1 answer was "onions."  0 points
Shoshana: Name an animal shape that appears in a box of animal crackers. She said "elephant" which was the number 1 answer for 1 point.
Rosie: Name something a Disney employee would never do in costume.  She guessed "smoke" which was the number 1 answer for 1 point.
Pete: Name a department at a home improvement store. He said "lumber" but the number 1 answer was "paint." 0 points
Janette: Name a breakfast food that could easily be a dessert.  She guessed "muffin" but the number 1 answer was "pancakes."  0 points

Jeannie: What's something a grandmother would pass onto her children?  She guessed "jewelry" which was the number 1 answer for 1 point.
Shoshana: Name something a person sitting next to you at a bar might do to annoy you.  She guessed "talk a lot" but the number 1 answer was "smoke."  0 points
Rosie: Name something you wear that never comes with pockets.  She said "earrings" but the number 1 answer was "underwear." 0 points
Pete: Name a food that melts quickly.  He guessed "chocolate" but the number 1 answer was "ice cream." 0 points
Janette: Name a website that most people would not go a day without checking.  She joked "Rosie.com" then she said The New York Times.  The number 1 answer was Facebook.  0 points


Rosie closed the show reminding listeners to not forget to watch Glee and asking them to pay attention to the people of Wisconsin. 

and that's what you missed - kw


  1. Loved the Ed Schultz interview, and I'm so glad that Rosie is letting people know how they can support the protestors in Wisconsin. (Not interested at all in Charlie Sheen, so I'm glad that Rosie didn't spend too much time on it.)

    Having Rosie host a documentary series....now there is a perfect fit!!!! Fan-freakin-tastic!!!

    Alison (aka Alderella)

  2. I went to that blog of the person Rosie is talking about who claims Rosie talked to him through his TV. I hear what Rosie's therapist says about not being attacked, but this guy needs help. His picture is even scary to me. I hope someone shows up at his door and takes him by the arm to the nearest mental health care facility. Stay safe Rosie!

  3. I'm glad these crazy T-party people showed up now during the mid-term elections and not during the coming Presidential election. If you believe the comments on news stores from the paid commentators then you might think the majority of the USA agrees with their strictly conservative agenda. I DON'T agree with them and I think the protests we are seeing in Wisconsin and elsewhere show that most Americans also don't agree. If things continue this way we should see a great landslide victory for Democrats in 2012. Fingers crossed!

    Thanks for the wrap-up Kelly!

    Dennis - Fort Lauderdale

  4. denbec,
    I am from WI. YES! my fingers are crossed! This is a very dark time here, I fear Scooter will win, and then the long legal battle will ensue to undo his damage. He did alot of damage as Milw Executive. He is a highly uneducated man. He is power hungry. yikes.

  5. i'm a teacher and proud to be one. i've been teaching for 9yrs now and it wasn't until this year that i decided to join the union. i have NEVER felt FORCED to join a union. i just decided to do it now because of all of the budget cuts going around and wanted some kind of security.

  6. I will be in the minority here but i am not a supporter of any Union. Do i want those people in WI or Ohio to lose their jobs? No. But serious, serious changes need to happen. There is not enough money for all the pensions. The government will soon have to bail the unions out.
    I'm tired of the government having to bail out anyone. Our kids are the ones who will suffer.
    I was union for 5 yrs while working in Detroit. I was union also in 2 other states. Not because i wanted to be, because i was made. Give people the choice. Let them use the dues for gas money, groceries and so on. I remember how hard I worked while others slacked off and went to rehab 3 or 4 times because they were stupid. Not because of illness. I remember how much of my paycheck they took for nothing.
    I think Unions were very important at a time in our history but now there are many laws in place that protect people.
    I still enjoy the conversation and am curious to see how all of this is going to end.


  7. hi kelly and rosie radio fans,
    brilliant, timely show and great recap, great job with all these details, kelly.

    ironically, i was watching ed schultz earlier tonight and was coming here to post that rosie should check out his show, and here she had him on today! loved the interview and hope he does come on again.

    and kelly, just fyi - it's the wisconsin graduate *assistants* association (graduate assistants are also called 'teaching assistants' in many universities, though in almost all cases, people with either title teach classes on their own.)

    in the late 1990s, i was in a union for graduate assistants at the university of florida, where i'd gone to get my ph.d., and we were one of the few unions of grad student teachers in the south. grad students teach the majority of classes in public higher education in this country, usually for a pittance (in the humanities, around $1500 - $3000 a course (1-3 courses a year), with usually no benefits - unless a union has success getting higher wages and benefits put into place).

    academia is one of the most oppressive professions - much more to say, but will stop there. way to go rosie and others who donate to this cause.

    two useful articles:
    one on how repub governors want wisconsin to model the south in its repressive economics:


    another on the real story behind the efforts of michelle rhee (lauded in 'waiting for superman') and the real results of her policies/politics:


    this latter article also describes an alternative - and more successful - way to evaluate and get rid of 'bad' teachers, than going after unions.

    making public education better is not really rocket science. for example, having smaller class sizes would make a huge difference! and lest someone immediately think, well that would cost too much: 1) better learning will mean less cost to society down the line, and 2) the 'budget crisis' is mostly cooked up anyway (if it were so real, big corporations wouldn't be getting so many tax breaks, for a start).

    on the documentary front - still hoping rosie will showcase one about the yes men, should be right up her street.

    love from a tennessean with a different point-of-view from the woman who called today!