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Whoopi! Stirrin’ The View: Caution: Always read with both ears

September 5, 2007 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode

whoopiI first learned of Whoopi’s debut comments on The View re: Michael Vick from a couple of friends who were kind enough to send me media links to the story. Even before I read or listened to the video segment of the show, the headline made me swallow my heart: “ Goldberg Defends Vick in `View' Debut.

How could my Whoopi do such a thing? I loved her as an actress (esp. her role in Ghost). Whoopi was cool. IS cool? I read the brief articles that filed quickly across the internet analyzing her words. Then I finally watched the video clip.

If Whoopi had out-and-out defended Vick, I would be the FIRST in line to go all “Anti-Whoopi”. Instead, I would like to corner the headline or article writer to [smack], I mean discuss how they arrived at such a conclusion based on what she said during the conversation with the other hosts.

Believe me, I was braced with pillows (so as to not harm my computer) when I hit “play”. Instead, what I saw, and heard, was a person, one of a group of four talk show hosts discussing her individual take on Vick. She did not support Vick. She did not defend Vick. She did not condone his actions. Instead, she implied that right or wrong (and it is wrong) he came from an unfortunate upbringing, full of ignorance and a limited culture, which somehow sadly finds sport in fighting dogs. She stated it was wrong and further stated that there are other actions that take place against animals throughout the world that would “p*@# you off.”

More importantly, I think she brought to light that horrid acts do in fact still take place simply because a people or culture integrated the act into their society and accept it as okay. She stated sad truths about people and atrocious activities involving animals that continue to take place even though we are well into the 21st century.

If anything, I heard her say, “hey people, you can believe what you want but this stuff IS taking place. I was glad to see Vick, who apparently was raised to never think such a horrid act was wrong, now sees the light and why society as a whole does not accept such an act. Perhaps now is the time to do something about that which we consider wrong.”

I’m not defending Whoopi. I am defending your, and my, right as a viewer and reader to form your own opinions about a story and not be influenced by a writer who tries to abuse his or her power of the pen to persuade readers by tweaking a headline or injecting personal opinions in a news story.

Technology is a wonderful thing. We have access to news as it happens 24/7. We couldn’t possibly ingest it all. Just remember, that when you do read a news story, the writer has an obligation to show you the respect and intelligence you deserve and not attempt to persuade your opinions. Their job is to present the facts. Your job is to filter and come to your own conclusion.

And, if I’m EVER made to watch any segment of The View ever again, I will throw myself off the nearest building, TV in hand. That show, and those squabbling women are a nightmare to watch - and, worse, listen to. It gave me a migraine.

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