I On Politics
A furious City Councilmember John Liu last week blasted talk show star Rosie O’Donnell for remarks she made while using mock Chinese language phrases on “The View” television show last Thursday.
Liu (D–Flushing), the first Asian- American elected to the city council, also demanded to know what television
I star Barbara Walters, the owner–producer of the popular show, is going to do about O’Donnell’s insensitive actions.
In a short letter to Walters, Liu stated: “Asian Americans across the country are very offended by remarks made by Rosie O’Donnell this past week on your program, ‘The View’.
“Her caricature of the Chinese language hits a raw nerve in our community.”
Acknowledging Barbara Walters as “a well-traveled and experienced journalist who has gained respect from many people around the world”, Liu declared, “You better than anyone should know that these types of derogatory remarks have consequences beyond the stupidity of the person who made them.
“Yet, you more than anyone stand to profit handsomely from the pumped-up ratings generated by this type of controversy.”
Liu concluded: “I do not believe the production and broadcast of these remarks
reflects the high standards of excellence
held by you or the American Broadcasting Company.
“But, what will you do to
hold yourself and those who host the program accountable for such offensive
remarks? I and the many Asian
Americans offended by ‘The View’ look forward to your response.”
This latest confrontation involving the outspoken and controversial O’Donnell comes amidst rumors that she may be leaving “The View” in six months to headline a new weekly show on the tube. She has been with “The View” for about three months as host of the woman-oriented program.
HEVESI REFUSES TO BUDGE: Despite continuing intense scrutiny of state Comptroller Alan Hevesi by the media, an ongoing probe by the Albany district attorney, and persistent reports that Eliot Spitzer is determined to keep a campaign promise to remove him from office, Hevesi is still hanging on to his job and completing the second term he won in last month’s elections.
In the latest flurry of stories, it was reported that his longtime aide, Jack Chartier, who’s presently his chief of staff, appeared before the Albany grand jury to be questioned about Hevesi using a state-paid driver to chauffeur and also about Chartier allegedly doing the same thing for actress Peggy Lipton.
The only bright note for the beleaguered Hevesi was a story that appeared in the most recent New York Magazine that any removal can be challenged in the courts on the grounds that the voters forgave him of any law violation when they re-elected him to a second term.
The magazine article was written by Long Island state Senator Michael Balboni, but former federal prosecutor David N. Kelley had made the same point before the November election.
Kelley said the removal of Hevesi could be challenged in court.
During Kelley’s review of the Hevesi case requested by Governor George Pataki for possible referral to the state Senate, Kelley made the point that any removal could be challenged in court on those grounds.
Hevesi has said repeatedly since being reelected that he would not surrender his post because the voters had given him their stamp of approval and he would not resign. Perhaps he already had knowledge of the Balboni article, and surely he was aware of Kelley’s comments, and was depending on this legal life line to weather any storm and keep his job.
Meanwhile, continuing to do the job he was elected to, Hevesi last week charged that Pataki had signed off on “questionable contracts” worth $93 million.
Hevesi said he took the action so that Spitzer can review them. Three of the contracts blocked by Hevesi covered the costs of acquiring voting machines; the fourth involved a Department of Transportation action.
CUT OFF PALESTINIAN FUNDS, SAYS CROWLEY: Citing the terrorist activities of the anti-Israel organization Hamas, Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx) announced unanimous house passage of a bill that would restrict U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until its Hamas dominated government cleans up its act.
The legislation, now awaiting President George W. Bush’s signature, would restrict aid to the PA until Hamas renounces violence, recognizes Israel and moves against terrorist groups.
Crowley, a Chief Deputy Whip, stated, “Rather than taking steps toward peace with Israel, Hamas officials have endorsed suicide bombings and an increase in attacks against civilians.” If it continues, he said, “[Hamas] will meet with financial and diplomatic isolation from the U.S.”
BILL WOULD FORCE SEX OFFENDERS TO REGISTER NET ADDRESS: U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D–New York) and John McCain (R–Arizona) announced last week they plan to introduce a bill next year that would mandate sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses with federal authorities. They said such a registry would aid in tracking offenders on social networking sites like MySpace.com.
Schumer said, “Sex offenders have no business joining social networking communities— especially those with teenage users— and our legislation will keep them out.”