And then there were two … two fans of “The View.” Once they were friends and respected colleagues who valued each other’s opinions, personalities, and contributions. But now, MSNBC contributors Helen A.S. Popkin and Ree Hines, like the rest of the nation, are bitterly embroiled in a “She said/She said” war of words.
Not since fans of Brad Pitt were forced to choose between Team Jolie and Team Aniston, has sister taken arms against sister in eye-scratching, hair-pulling civil war. Now, barely having time to mend our mannies and peddies, American women must choose again. Here members of Team Star and Team Babs venture once more into the breach.
Helen: They set her up, man! They set Star Jones Reynolds up!
Ree: Barbara Walters and ABC set her up with the opportunity to leave “The View” with dignity. But Star made another choice.
Helen: That’s right. Star chose to do it her way. She was told, “you’ll be able to leave on your own terms.” And when she did, Babs couldn’t handle it.
Ree: Perhaps if Star had exercised some grace, rather than springing the news of her departure on her co-hosts last Tuesday morning, that argument might work. Instead she spilled the beans impromptu-style, which, by the way, totally sabotaged the show’s “Hot Topics” segment.
Helen: Star says she felt that fans were owed the truth. She could have made something up, as suggested by the producers, but that wouldn’t have been fair to viewers. She didn’t expect to be blasted for telling the truth.
Ree: You mean blasted by Barbara for telling “People” magazine that she was “fired” several days before Star dropped her “Tuesday Surprise?” Babs is a seasoned journalist with 172 years in the industry. She expected a higher level of professionalism from her protégé.
Helen: “Professionalism,” like when Barbara took Star’s arch nemesis Rosie O’Donnell as her date to the Emmys last April? That was the exact same week that Barbara, Star’s mentor, colleague and friend of nine years, called Rosie and invited her to be co-host on “The View.” How could any reasonable human being, after being vilified by Rosie, wrap herself around that concept? Huh? How?
Ree: When you say “vilified,” are you referring to Rosie’s Star-related posts on her “r blog”? Now really, how can those indecipherable haikus offend anyone? Are we really even sure those are insults?
Helen: Are you for real? Let me quote from the “r blog,” with emphasis on the (sic): “theview/i can no longer/stomach/as i have connected my heart/to my mouth/in a new bypass operation/shhhhh …… dont tell”
Clearly, Rosie is implying that Star is deceptive concerning her weight loss, which Star has repeatedly stated was due to “medical intervention.”
Ree: What is this “medical intervention” of which you speak? Are you referring to a gastric bypass surgery, which Star has yet to fully admit having undergone? Even when she was ever so delicately pressed by Larry King whether this “medical intervention” meant surgery, Star only replied, “What else could it mean?” She made similar substance-free admissions the following day to Today Show’s Al Roker.
Helen: OK, so maybe Star wants to exercise portion control in aspects of her private life. Gee, I wonder if Rosie ever kept any secrets from middle American back when she was hosting her own daytime talk show.
Ree: Get off Rosie already. Lets talk about the real reason Star’s contract wasn’t renewed. America no longer connects to her off-air persona.
Helen: This is about the wedding freebies isn’t it? You’re alleging that in 2004, while planning her wedding to handsome and successful Wall Street banker Al Reynolds, she accepted gifts from companies in return for on-air plugs. Well, Star 100 percent confesses that she used her celebrity 100 percent during that time, and she feels 100 percent bad about it.
Ree: Extensive focus groups were conducted, and according to ABC, Star’s freebie fiasco caused her to lose credibility with viewers and damaged the show. That’s what ABC said, Helen … damaged the show!
Helen: Poppycock! Star has made sure everyone knows her wedding-planning shows were among the top 10 rated episodes of “The View” in 2004.
Ree: You know there are a variety of reasons I disagree with that, which I won’t go into now. Instead, what I’d like to say is: What about the focus groups? Focus groups don’t lie.
Helen: You know what I think? Barbara is totally jealous.
Ree: Um … you know it wasn’t Barbara who chose not to renew Star’s contract. It was ABC.
Helen: O.M.G. Why don’t you just marry ABC?
Helen: It doesn’t matter, because Star is now, and will always be a star. Opportunities are no doubt pounding on her door now that she’s no longer saddled with those harpies from “The View.” And, if all else fails, she’s still got her AOL Love Coach gig.
Ree: Please. That won’t even cover Mr. Star Jones Reynolds’ Starbucks tab. You want to talk Star’s future earning potential? Let’s just say she’d do well to consider the words of wisdom her former co-host, Joy Behar, delivered during Star’s farewell episode. “One door closes and another slams in your face.”
Helen A.S. Popkin and Ree Hines can agree on one thing: Finally, “The View” is interesting!