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Right-winger from Heritage Foundation sole guest to criticize Rosie O'Donnell

Reported by Chrish - May 17, 2007 -

Rosie O'Donnell partook in a four-way debate this morning on The View, with regulars Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck and guest host Chandra Wilson. Behar started the conversation, praising Ron Paul for his stance that we were attacked on 9/11 because of our foreign policies and not our lifestyles or freedoms. She agreed with him that we need to accept some responsibility for reaction to our policies, and look at and change some current policies. No surprise, John Gibson singled out O'Donnell's comments for repudiation on the Big Story today 5/17/07, and outsourced the vitriolic hyperbole to Brian Darling from the Heritage Foundation.*

*Amended 11AM : Founded in 1973, Heritage's initial funding came from political conservative Joseph Coors, co-owner of the Coors Brewing Company. Coors funding was later augmented by financial support from billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife (link)

In a nutshell, O'Donnell said that our 6,000 Americans killed (on 9/11 and in Iraq) is considerably lower than the 655,000 Iraqis killed (according to a Johns Hopkins study.) She also refused to differentiate between "terrorists" as they are commonly framed and governments all over the world, including ours, who wage war.

Darling flatly stated that the 655,000 number is "hype." But the Independent reported March 27th that

British government officials have backed the methods used by scientists who concluded that more than 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion, the BBC reported yesterday.

The Government publicly rejected the findings, published in The Lancet in October. But the BBC said documents obtained under freedom of information legislation showed advisers concluded that the much-criticised study had used sound methods.

The study, conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, estimated that 655,000 more Iraqis had died since March 2003 than one would expect without the war. The study estimated that 601,027 of those deaths were from violence.

The researchers, reflecting the inherent uncertainties in such extrapolations, said they were 95 per cent certain that the real number of deaths lay somewhere between 392,979 and 942,636.

The conclusion, based on interviews and not a body count, was disputed by some experts, and rejected by the US and British governments. But the chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, Roy Anderson, described the methods used in the study as "robust" and "close to best practice". Another official said it was "a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones".

Just because some people dispute or reject a study does not make its findings any less true. This can also be applied to Bill O'Reilly's dismissal of the Indiana University study that found him to be the biggest propagandist since Father Charles Coughlin.

But back to Darling. He used all the usual labels and was outraged and indignant that Rosie O'Donnell got to say things to millions of people that are not approved neo-con talking points. Like Bill O'Reilly, he wants to dictate what can be said, when and where. He said it's "disgusting" that she uses these figures, and for her to blame the US (shock and awe, baby) is outrageous. It's a hate-America attitude, disgusting, and he doesn't understand why she is still on TV, spouting such hate. Her "left-wing talking points" are an outrage. We are fighting a global war on terror, fighting to spread freedom across the globe. War is ugly, but we're not terrorists, and to imply that on a major netwwork, domestically, speaking to millions, is disgusting. It really should stop.

Jeez, if he didn't have his pre-packaged sound-bites he'd have nothing to say at all. It was just another bash Rosie segment, but she doesn't care - she only has five weeks left on The View and she can say whatever she wants. (And she's sifting through job offers, too.)

H/T Claudo for the funding reminder.