For the hostess of a program that started out as a breezy talk/variety show, Rosie O'Donell did at times display a startlingly opinionated side. That's certainly true. But regarding the infamous dust-up with Tom Selleck, it should be pointed out that Rosie said she had asked Tom if they could have an on-air discussion about gun control and she claimed Tom agreed to it. Anyone watching the day that debacle occurred saw that after the first half of the interview was over, Rosie went to break saying they'd be back to talk about the issue of guns and Tom didn't seem surprised to hear that. "Sounds a lot like America" was his response, so obviously it was not a complete "ambush" on Tom by Rosie as many have unfairly described it.
Clearly, the debate grew more intense than Tom had expected, but one has to wonder if even Rosie went in there intending to so vociferously drive her point home the way she did. Initially, she did allow him time to make his case, but as things wore on she increasingly seemed to jump in before Tom could finish his thoughts on the subject. If nothing else, they may have simply demonstrated that a 10 minute segment is not sufficient time for an in-depth debate about such a complex and emotion-charged topic. It just looked like the two of them got caught up in the moment and yes, Tom, too as he was at times less than polite with her and towards the end he was downright surly.
By the way, while it's been mistakenly claimed to the contrary, before that segment wrapped Rosie most definitely did apologize to Tom. His response was "it's your show, and you can say what you want on it" and then he turned away from her.
I don't think either one of them represented themselves very well during that exchange, but since the emotion they displayed was almost certainly in part fueled by the mood of those painful post-Columbine days, maybe Rosie and Tom should both be cut some slack here. Nobody's perfect, and while you could go back and forth all day long about who was right and who was wrong, one thing is undeniable about that particular incident: it sure was riveting TV.
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