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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dirty Mitts

I wanted to say something about this last week, but I was bitten by the Political-Correctness-Gone-Amuck bug and for a few days feared it would be mean-spirited of me. But the venom wore off. Now I can say with a certainty that Rosie O'Donnell is nuts!

I don't know if she's always nuts, 'cause I don't watch her show or read her opinions. But she is nuts where the over-hyped tabloid spat between Clay Aiken and Kelly Ripa is concerned.

If you have more of a life than me and were not aware, last week Clay Aiken guest-hosted (filled in for Regis Philbin) on the Live With Regis and Kelly morning show. At one point during an interview with Dancing with the Stars winner Emmitt Smith, Aiken, who reportedly felt that he couldn't get a word/question in edgewise, reached over to Kelly Ripa and covered her mouth with his hand. He didn't hold his hand in front of her mouth. He placed his bare hand on her mouth.

Audience members laughed, and Ripa grinned but got a little salty. She told Clay that hand-on-mouth move was "a no no" because she didn't know where his hands had been.

Anyway, here's where O'Donnell comes in. On her show, The View, O'Donnell said she felt Ripa's anger over the hand-over-mouth incident was homophobic. She said she didn't think Ripa would have been upset if Aiken had been a different guy, "cute," or if Ripa didn't suspect Aiken might be gay.

Ripa responded that the only reason she got upset was that there are germs out there - Amen Kelly! - and she has kids. Stuff can be passed on from touch to touch.

For the record, folks, I don't even like relatives or close friends - straight, gay, bi, or other -touching my mouth, much less a casual acquaintance or a stranger. I don't care if they're wearing surgical gloves and we're in a sterile environment. The exception, of course, is my wife. Unless her hands are soaked in pee or poo she's welcome to touch my mouth.

When I was a kid we used to gauge "how far" you could take a joke (or intimate contact) with someone by whether or not we were "cool like that." If you were "cool like that" with someone you could probably get away with a little more of a joke or a little more intimate contact. If you were not "cool like that" you risked getting knocked the hell out by the offended party.

I think it was a low blow for O'Donnell to bring sexual orientation into the mix. So if Aiken had been a big, buff, manly man...perhaps with dirty hands, Ripa wouldn't have minded him touching her mouth? Nonsense.

The irony is Aiken hasn't come out. He hasn't declared anything publicly about his sexuality. So IF he is actually gay, O'Donnell inadvertently put a spotlight on him that might force the guy to come out before he's ready.

There are real battles of discrimination to be fought. Let's not cheapen those fights by turning a matter of bad manners and germs into a spat over sexual orientation.


  • (I promise not to mention lending out one's cell phone in this post.) So Rosie, who has admitted to being gay, finds reason to believe homophobia is the cause of this exchange between Aiken and Ripa. This must be a historical first time a minority has blamed stereotyping of said minority for a behavior, in spite of no evidence whatsoever to support it.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 5:18 PM  

  • ooh, I did miss this!! And man...that is just invasion of personal space much less worrying about the germs. You just don't do that!! I'd like to see someone pull that on Rosie and see how she reacts!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:22 PM  

  • It's not politically incorrect to point out the obvious. O'Donnell is nuts. Period. Everyone knows that. Why do you think anyone watches The View? We're all waiting for her to climb the proverbial belltower.

    When the day comes that Rosie O'Donnell finally nuts up on the air, we all want to see it in beautiful technicolor instead of some poorly-recorded version captured on someone's cellphone and uploaded to YouTube.

    But there is a more pressing concern that I and several of your readers have: why on earth are you watching Regis & Kelly? You're scaring us James.

    ...and why the heck am I abusing the italicized font?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:40 PM  

  • Ripken only said what she said because she was searching for words, any words, to recover from the humiliation of being assaulted on her own damn show. It was also an ego buster and she was only trying to save some face.

    But Rosie's a very sensitive one and doesn't mind using someone to make a point, I guess....

    I dunno... She's realy fat.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:41 PM  

  • As I've said before - people need hobbies. And lives. And common sense.

    PC is ridic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:46 PM  

  • " I think it was a low blow for O'Donnell to bring sexual orientation into the mix"

    That's the thing about Rosie. She's a one-issue person - sexual orientation.

    She is nuts. Rarely does she say anything that even resembles logic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 PM  

  • Very funny, Sarc. But I have to say touche to you. Good point - except that if your theory is applicable in this case it means Rosie either outed Aiken or she made a huge assumption about who he is. Either way she was out of order.

    And Claudia, Rosie would probably pimp slap someone who put a palm over her mouth.

    Has anybody thought about the fact that Clay could've just scratched his bum or picked his nose or dug out his ear wax with that hand before coming on stage?

    Queen, I just happened to be "channel surfing" after work one evening last week and caught the clip on Inside Edition or Access Hollywood or one of those shows. I swear I didn't actually watch Reg and Kelly.

    Matt, as always you wax eloquent.

    Melissa I'm w/you, PC is waaaaay overdone, so much so it takes credence away from real complaints.

    And Ms. Green, I haven't seen/read/watched much about Rosie, but you don't have to try very hard to convince me.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:49 PM  

  • Sweet baby Jebus, what is wrong with Rosie O'Donnell?!? Her assertion of Kelly Ripa's homophobia is just silly. She must not have enough to do over on that other crap TV show she's on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:43 AM  

  • James: I caught a little blurb about this some where but had no idea what it was about or what caused it until now. I agree with you, in that it seems to have been a definite violation of 'personal space.'

    ::::Has anybody thought about the fact that Clay could've just scratched his bum or picked his nose or dug out his ear wax with that hand before coming on stage?:::

    ewwwww well not until NOW I hadn't thanks for the visual!


    thanks for the comment over on my side of the world. It is, as you said, always good to meet a fellow Floridian in Blog world.

    Till next time,


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 AM  

  • I think it's Rosie's job to introduce inflammatory comments. If it gets people to talk about her, it might impact her ratings positive. And that's exactly what the O'Reillies and Coulters of the world do.

    But I agree - I don't want anyone putting their hand over my mouth. It's a legitimate concern for anybody.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 2:10 PM  

  • The problem here is that Kelly has done this to Regis, which is why Clay did it to her. She needs to stop doing this too. I'm sure Regis doesn't want her hands on his mouth either. And yes, Rosie is nuts for drawing that conclusion!

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 2:23 PM  

  • the idea of some stranger touching my mouth with full palm to lips contact freaks me out to no end. you know why? because people dont wash their damned hands! thats disgusting.

    and yes. O'Donnell is nuts. trust me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:45 PM  

  • You know, everyone knows that hands are the worst things when it comes to spreading disease. That's why they always tell us to wash them regularly, right? O'Donnell is surfin' for things to be outraged about, but that's her role on the show, I guess. If he were openly heterosexual, instead of asexual, she'd probably be justified in worrying if he'd washed his hands from the last time he wrung out mister happy at the urinal. Just eeeeew.

    By Blogger Fathairybastard, at 4:07 PM  

  • Rosie put the nut in nuts. She had five minutes in her early comedy career, and the\n she went insane and began to think her opinions had meaning. Who watches this woman?

    By Anonymous og, at 10:58 PM  

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