Rosie responds to Barbara Walters on Oprah

Did any of you catch Barbara Walters on Oprah yesterday? In an hour-long interview, she discussed all the revelations from her new memoir, Audition — a book that I couldn’t have imagined being at all interested in reading a day ago and is now already on my Amazon wish list. I kid you not. It honestly sounds that good.


Who knew Walters had such a fascinating, and at times sordid, personal life? An affair with a married senator — and a black senator at that! A father who attempted suicide! Three failed marriages and a mentally disabled sister! For more on the details of the memoir, check out this USA Today story.

tjndc5-5elrm29n5zr12g6je348_layout.jpgOf course, the first questions on everyone’s mind — including Oprah’s — revolved around The View. Specifically, the tumultuous two-year period beginning with Irvington resident Meredith Vieira’s departure, then the Star Jones saga, and finally Rosie O’Donnell. Walters spent the longest period on Oprah’s couch discussing Rosie, and how the South Nyack often seemed to give their relationship a mother-daughter dynamic.

Rosie used her Ask Ro message board to respond to a lot of the questions raised by Babwa. We’ll recap the key points, along with Ro’s trademark haiku-ish thoughts, after the break.

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Rosie O’Donnell won’t be “Detox”-ing with Diane Sawyer (or Oprah) after all

tjndc5-5f2qol0l38859cmebjm_layout1.jpgAfter giving Oprah a big, fat umnah last week — declining to appear on her show to promote her new memoir, “Celebrity Detox” — South Nyack’s Rosie O’Donnell made an equally surprising move over the weekend: pulling the plug on her planned two-part interview with Diane Sawyer.

Rosie broke the news on her own r blog, where she wrote a lengthy free-verse missive (titled, oddly, “Ms. Winfrey,” not “Ms. Sawyer”):


i do not feel ready
to discuss or defend
the things i shared
on those 209 pages

read it urself
take away what u need
leave the rest
it is what it is

the goal always is peace
self revelation
sharing – learning – teaching
wax on wax off

for now
i decided no interviews
about celebrity detox
it is too raw

my no
has nothing 2 do with anything
but me
my need 2 find my place

oprah is a force of nature
her invitation made me cry
her kind words about the book
reinforce what we all know
2 b true about her


Her publicist, Cindi Berger, confirmed to the NY Post’s Michael Starr, “She feels people should read the book and take away from it what they will. She does not want to do any interviews.” However, despite her reluctance to talk about “Detox,” she couldn’t me more excited to talk about reprising her role as Dawn Budge on FX’s “Nip/Tuck.” She posted multiple times about the show’s upcoming debut. Truth be told, the prospect of seeing her face sewn shut on the show (as previewed on her Flickr page) kind of has me a little excited too.

MORE: Rosie O’Donnell posts

(AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

O’Donnell to ‘Detox’ with Diane, not Oprah

celebrity-detox.JPGRosie O’Donnell’s highly anticipated memoir, “Celebrity Detox,” is set to hit the stores on October 2, and already it’s shaping up to be one of the South Nyack resident’s most provoctive moves yet. This week she made news by snubbing Oprah and instead giving Diane Sawyer the first interview about the book (Because, duh, nobody sells books quite like Diane Sawyer! Oh wait.).

Then, all over the web, details about the book began to leak out. Here are just a few of the most telling points:

• O’Donnell says that Barbara Walters is “tired” and implied that she should retire, or at least “step back.” [NY Post]

• As a child, O’Donnell says she used to break her own limbs with either a baseball bat or a wooden hanger. [Fox News]

• During commercial breaks on “The View” audience members would sometimes shout out, “I love you, Rosie” – “and Barbara politely tells them in a schoolteacher tone, ‘It is impolite to say I love you to one person when there are four of us up here.’ ” []

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    Why did Lorraine Bracco cheat on Harvey Keitel?


    Three words: Edward James Olmos.

    I was catching up on some back-episodes of Oprah last night (hey, lay off, the wife is working night and there’s nothing else on TV right now), and I caught an from last week in which the Sopranos star talked about her own battle with depression — a depression, she said, thatgrew mostly out of her messy split with Harvey Keitel and the custody battle over their daughter, Stella. I already knew that Bracco had put out a memoir, “On the Couch,” about the whole ordeal, but what I didn’t know is that the breakup was largely driven by her own infidelity … with Edward James Olmos.

    “Eddie was a lovely man,” she said on the show, “And, in all retrospect, Harvey is a good man… It was an immature choice. I was on that river in Egypt, called denial! And I wasn’t mature enough or smart enough or willing to accept that I was unhappy in that relationship.”

    Stella was also on the show, talking about how unstable her mom — who still owns a home in Sneden’s Landing — had been while growing up. The topic of how Stella has been seen smooching mom’s costar Robert Iler (aka A.J.), sadly, did not come up.

    (Bracco: AP Photo/Stephen Chernin; Keitel: AP Photo/Louis Lanzano; Olmos: AP Photo/Lisa Rose)

    Oprah/Maria Shriver interview Vanessa Williams and her mother (hmm, sound familiar to anyone?)

    tjndc5-5dxobsbta4og1i6fld4_layout.jpgLast Friday, for her Mother’s Day special, Oprah had Maria Shriver interview both Vanessa Williams and her mama, Helen. If that sounds like a familiar story, it should: It just happens to be the basis for the current May issue of InTown, in which freelance Adam Stone interviewed the two in New Rochelle.

    Now, I’m not saying we necessarily scooped Oprah (I have no idea when Shriver’s interview was filmed), but it’s certainly reassuring to know that the last two covers of our magazine have featured the same A-listers that have been appearing on the big O’s couch (in April we had Bob Woodruff). Still, the bad news: Schriver got plenty of juicy anecdotes that we just couldn’t squeeze into our 200-word writeup. Read about the best ones after the jump.

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    Blaming Katie Couric on Judge Judy: Have you no shame?

    tjndc5-5dssyv8wno11ecp0gfgg_layout.jpgSometimes the business of TV is complicated—Nielsen ratings, sweeps, Q scores, demographics, advertising revenue—it’s a stew of equations, speculation, and people with MBAs who are supposed to know what they’re talking about. But even for us remedial dolts, this equation was supposed to be easy enough to understand:

    Judge Judy + Katie Couric = ka-ching ka-ching

    And yet, somehow, something went horribly wrong. In the NY Times this morning, Jacques Steinberg, the busiest man on the TV beat, breaks it down for us: At the same time the network was agreeing to pay Couric $15 million a year to take over the Evening News, they were doling out “several million dollars more� to Judge Judy, coaxing her syndicated show from New York’s NBC affiliate to CBS’s.

    The dirty little secret of network news, you see, is even though the faces behind the desk tend to get the blame and/or glory, as any network exec will tell you, it’s all about the lead-in. Oprah of course is the queen and she keeps those eyeballs glued to the stations she airs on (mainly ABC affiliates). But Judge Judy, one of the highest paid women in entertainment, earns her salary for similar reasons. The only problem is, in this case, things didn’t work out that way. Steinberg explains:

    <blockquote><div>“’Judge Judy,’ featuring Judy Sheindlin, has kept up her end of the bargain, raising WCBS’s ratings between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. by more than 10 percent.
    But ratings for the half hour of local news that precedes Ms. Couric’s program in New York remain virtually identical to last year at this time. And not only has Ms. Couric received none of the intended bounce, her viewership is actually down slightly in New York, compared to a year ago, when Bob Schieffer was occupying the same desk.” </div></blockquote>
    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    No more lasagna at the Woodruff house

    woodruffs.jpegAlthough you’ll have to wait a few weeks to read InTown’s exclusive interview with Rye’s own Bob and Lee Woodruff (coming in our April ’07 issue), there was a sneak peek at the story in The Journal News on Sunday, courtesy of Sububarazzi’s own Robert Zeliger.

    For anyone who’s been living on the fifth ring of Saturn for the last year, Bob Woodruff is the former ABC World News Tonight anchor who was almost killed in a roadside IED blast in January 2006. The bomb left him with a tramautic brain injury, and doctors needed to remove part of his skull to allow the swelling — which Lee told Oprah was like a beach ball popping out of his head — to subside. Afterwards, Woodruff needed to relearn everything from his children’s names to how to say “seat belts” (that is, not to call them “blast rockers”).

    Even though this story saturated the national media last week — People, GMA, Oprah — Robert had the rare priviledge to interview the couple at their Rye home, and he uncovered many fascinating details you won’t find elsewhere. Like, for example, how their neighbors rallied around the family to support them during Bob’s recovery:


    From the beginning, neighbors – many of whom were strangers – made meals for the family. “That was such a huge deal for me,” says Lee Woodruff.

    “I was taking care of four children – and a fifth,” she says, jabbing her husband playfully.

    “I don’t think I had to go to a grocery store until June.”

    At one point, she says, neighbors put out an “APB,” or all-points bulletin, after a comment she made in passing that she was tired of lasagna.

    “The word went out, ‘Don’t give the Woodruffs lasagna.'”</div></blockquote>

    Brownies, we can only assume, will continue to be welcomed with open arms.

    “Home is His Anchor” [TJN]