Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What would make you walk off a TV set?

Asked by wundayatta (58638points) October 14th, 2010

Whoopie Goldberg walked off the set of The View, disgusted with Bill O’Reilly’s statements.

Would you have done that? Would you have stayed to represent the other side? Think about the millions of people watching you. Think about your reputation. Your job. Would you have done that? Really?

And what would make you walk off the set, no matter what?

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35 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

If I felt assured that the message I sent by walking off would be significantly more effective than the message I could send by staying on the set, I would walk off.

BoBo1946's avatar

I love Whoopie! She is usually very cool calm and collected. Bill is a jackass and proud of it.

I would walk off if the “common-potato” was verbally harassing me! And actually, i don’t really know what i would do until i was in that situation. On second thought, don’t think i would ever walk off…if i did, that person wins.

CMaz's avatar

Ok, this is creepy. Just a few minutes ago. One of my camera men walked off the set.
He got his pat on the head, and is back on the set.

There is never a reason. Unless you are on fire. The show must go on. Take your interferences to the post mortem meeting.

Some people get insecure and arrogant. The studio lights do that.

As far a the View goes… It is to be expected for time to time when you have a room full of hot air and people that are use to being full of themselves.

They walked off because THEIR opinion is what matters. AND, they were not getting the ass kissing they needed and demanded.

For gods sake… Ladies, sit you fat asses down. You will get your turn. It is their show and can/will have the final say. It did not surprise me. Those Prima donnas.

Barbara is so right. THAT is a pro.

erichw1504's avatar

If somebody brought in doughnuts.

tedd's avatar

Didn’t see it, but based on my prior knowledge of those involved.

They can all be pretty big jerk-offs, and it doesn’t really surprise me at all.

GladysMensch's avatar

She walked off the set, because it will increase her exposure and the show’s ratings.

choppersangel's avatar

I’d be very happy just to be able to balance on top of one.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There are times when passively protesting can make a clear statement and cases where it does little to no good. It just depends upon what the activist is trying to accomplish. I doubt that walking out ever changes the mind of the opposer, as the debate then becomes more one-sided. And I question if walking out would sway an audience to change their opinion as well.

The only time I have walked out of a live performance was at a company conference. A well-known comedian had been hired as the entertainment for the post-dinner function. At one point, the comedian launched into a litany of teasing and slurs aimed at our beloved company leader who happens to be homosexual.

I found the things the comedian was saying were utterly tasteless and couldn’t stand it anymore. I whispered to my friends that I had had enough and would wait for them outside. Twenty minutes, a glass of chardonnay and some fresh air got my blood pressure back down. Other then the friends, no one would have noticed my absence. Yet, in my heart, I am glad that I did. To stay there and listen to that crap about someone I care very deeply about, even in jest, was just too much for me to sit there and accept.

@wundayatta Dang, you tapped into another pocket of emotion. Pardon me while I go scrub the daylights out of the kitchen floor.

iamthemob's avatar

I don’t think it’s appropriate to assume any motivations from what they did. There are very good reasons to do it that may be more professional than staying in the fray.

On the clip, Behar and Goldberg began talking calmly, addressing the issues rationally, while O’Reilly was spouting facts and absolute statements without backup. Both Behar and Goldberg started getting more heated, until O’Reilly stated “Muslims killed us on 9/11”

Objectively horrifying to say, easily interpreted to mean something other than what it means in the simplest sense.

This was when they walked off. If the conversation had continued in that manner, it would have gotten very very ugly. In that situation, I would probably have had to walk off and cool down.

It was also a very effective strategy. As Barbara Walters stated that what they had done, calmly quieting the audience, was wrong – that it shouldn’t have happened and that they should have been able to discuss it and not wash their hands of each other. She then turned to O’Reilly, and told him that what he said was wrong, discriminatory, and a mischaracterization of one of the most terrible events in our nation’s history.

Behar and Goldberg then returned, after O’Reilly had apologized, saying that they could now discuss the issue after he had cleared the air.

They were off the stage for less than a minute, giving Walters the opportunity to mediate the situation, and making O’Reilly look like a jackwagon for saying something so inflammatory. If they hadn’t walked off…who knows what would have been communicated.

ucme's avatar

Diarrhea! Well truth be told i’d probably run off, carefully.

iamthemob's avatar

@ucme – It might be better if you back off, actually…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I get paid to do a job and would not walk off a set.
What a big fucking baby.

ucme's avatar

@iamthemob How very dare you! Why i’ve every right to post an answer if I choose to. Okay, not a very good answer granted, but an answer all the same. You big bully XD

iamthemob's avatar

@ucme – I know…I’m a terrible person right? You should probably flag me…;-)

ucme's avatar

@iamthemob Nah. This one’s a slow burner, it’ll keep ;¬}

Trillian's avatar

I don’t understand why the truth should cause such offense. They were Muslims, right? Did something happen to change that information when I wasn’t looking?
Denial can be funny.

wundayatta's avatar

@ChazMaz what is your job on the set?

iamthemob's avatar


(1) It was offensive because it was not Muslims…it was radical Islamic terrorists, aligned with a particular terrorist group.

(2) It was offensive because O’Reilly clearly knows this, and knows that when he says things like that many people will link Islam with terrorism rather than terrorists.

(3) It was offensive because in the context at hand, because the entire controversy regarding the community center surrounds certain media pundits claiming that it is offensive for Muslims to want a center near the WTC site because it was Muslims who killed us on 9/11, when people who happened to be claim allegiance to Allah were the ones who did it…and O’Reilly is clearly feeding that fire when he says things of this sort.

Denial can be a funny thing. But this has nothing to do with denial. If O’Reilly wants to claim that people aren’t considering the wisdom of their actions when they put a community center near (not as a part of) the WTC grounds, he probably should consider the wisdom of characterizing those who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks as “Muslim.”

Trillian's avatar

Muslim [ˈmʊzlɪm ˈmʌz-], Moslem
n pl -lims, -lim
(Non-Christian Religions / Islam) a follower of the religion of Islam
(Non-Christian Religions / Islam) of or relating to Islam, its doctrines, culture, etc. Also (but not in Muslim use) Muhammadan Muhammedan Mohammedan

Mus·lim (mzlm, mz-, ms-, ms-)
1. also Mos·lem (mzlm, ms-) A believer in or adherent of Islam.
2. A member of the Nation of Islam; a Black Muslim.

So…I thought they were one and the same.

iamthemob's avatar

Yep. That has nothing to do with what O’Reilly said. It was a profoundly irresponsible way of stating the facts and framing the argument for a well-known and popular journalist. That’s what was offensive, and what Barbara Walters rightly chastised him for.

diavolobella's avatar

@Trillian I think the point being made is that O’Reilly’s comment was a irresponsible sweeping generalization. The 9/11 terrorists were radical extremists who also happened to be Muslims, but that isn’t what he said. He just said “Muslims killed us on 9/11”. Meaning all Muslims, blaming all Muslims. That’s like calling all Germans “Nazis”.

CMaz's avatar

@wundayatta – I am a Producer/Station Manager.

Mikewlf337's avatar

I knew what Bill O’Rielly meant. He wasn’t meaning all muslims. He just didn’t choose his words carefully. As far as the the two view members walking off the set. That was also inappropriate. They knew what he meant. They were just scanning every word he said for something to use against him. Everyone knows that he didn’t actually mean all muslims but people who disagree with Bill O’Rielly are always looking for ammo and will eat us anything potentially harmful to career just to silence him. He even apologized. He made mistake. A poor choice of words that’s all and nothing more and nothing less.

iamthemob's avatar


He spends a short time trying to defend it… “Weren’t they Muslim?” etc. Of course, the good majority of people would more than likely not assume that he didn’t think that all Muslims were extremists. However, his job is (nominally) to communicate issues to the people, and he claims to do it without spin. And he also is intelligent enough to know how his words will be received.

Again, the issue is that this was said in the context of the Islamic community center near the WTC. He knew that the issue was based on a concern that people will take offense, and perhaps violent offense, at it’s location. But to characterize the issue as “Muslims killed us on 9/11” is as inflammatory as “Arabs killed us on 9/11.” And if this is true, then it is inappropriate for anyone of Arab dissent to run a business near the WTC. Of course, in both cases, this is ridiculous…neither Arabs nor Muslims are Al Qaeda, and it is not a failing of him to choose his words more carefully.

If that is the case, I would be interested to see if he refrains from using the term Muslims in a similar way. If he has a history, and continues to use it in this manner, I’m willing to bet that this is part of the rhetoric to push his agenda.

diavolobella's avatar

@Mikewlf337 Whether he intended it that way or not, it is not the first time in his career he’s blurted out something highly inflammatory. He’s kind of known for that. Anyone with as much broadcast experience as he has should be experienced enough by now to have gotten a handle on that, which is why some people are less inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt this time. He also frequently apologizes. If you make the same mistake over and over again, wouldn’t you be considered more sincere if you stopped the behavior rather than continually repeating it, followed by an apology? At some point if the behavior doesn’t stop, the apologies start to ring false.

I agree that the others walking off set was inappropriate. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@diavolobella @iamthemob He is just another politcal commentater. He does have a big mouth and is very opinionated. He however is entitled to his opinion as much as the rest of the world. He is also entitled to disagree. Yes saying muslims attacked the world trade center was a poor choice of words but they didn’t have to yell at him. They could have just corrected him like Barbara Walters did. That would have been the grown up thing to do. Not throw a tantrum and walk of the stage and act like a baby about it. Marylin Manson was once on his show and he disagreed with him on lots of things but both marilyn and O’Rielly had friendly conversation throughout the whole interview. No one got mad and no one walked of the set in a sobbing hissy fit. All they had to do was do what Barbara Walters did. There is no place for thin skin in a political discussion.

iamthemob's avatar

Yes saying muslims attacked the world trade center was a poor choice of words but they didn’t have to yell at him. They could have just corrected him like Barbara Walters did.

You’re absolutely right. But O’Reilly does his fair share of yelling. And what he said was again, adding fuel to a potentially very dangerous fire. If it was handled quietly, it wouldn’t be receiving this attention – and the fact that it is is incredibly important.

It’s the same thing that happened in the course of the Iraq war. Press from the white house would almost invariably mentioned 9/11 in conjunction with the Iraq. What happened…? The majority of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 9/11 attacks.

Hassleback mentioned the issue in a way – when Obama apparently moved away from terrorists to Islamic extremists, it may have helped reinforce the idea that Islam is extremism. When you say things in a certain way repeatedly, you can state the truth and still get people to assume certain things that you didn’t say.

To say this is a poor choice of words alone is to ignore that Bill O’Reilly has repeatedly said the same or similar things, and to incorrectly assume that it’s not part of his agenda. That’s why walking out and making a big deal was important…it wasn’t over nothing…it was the kind of talk that profoundly contributes to the problem.

That’s why walking out was a reasonable response. I’m not going to say that this was part of his plan – but to assume that it was just a bad choice of words when (1) he attempted to defend the statement, and (2) he’s said it before is as dangerous an assumption.

diavolobella's avatar

Carry on without me. I hate political discussions and should have maintained my usual practice of ignoring them.

iamthemob's avatar


Mikewlf337's avatar

@iamthemob I’m not saying I agree with the things O’Rielly says. I agree with some of the things he says and I also disagree with him on things as well. The only reason that the Islamic center is a issue is because of 9/11. It is a very heated issue because this is where mob rule and the constitution start conflicting with each other. I always side with the constitution because mob rule isn’t always good. This is where I disagree with Bill O’Rielly because the people building the Islamic center are within their rights. Why couldn’t they just say that to him. He can’t argue with it. Bill O’Rielly is just like the rest of the politcal commentators. It doesn’t matter if they are liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. They all have big mouths that tend to piss people off.

iamthemob's avatar


The thing is…that’s just what they did. He was complaining about the fact that was the only position the President was taking – and that he wasn’t saying anything about if he thought the center should be built. He agreed that no one was arguing that it was within their rights…he wanted the Obama to state whether he thought it should be built (of course, when he stated that he supported the right to build it, he was attacked for speaking up on something people said should be a local issue only. ;-)). Essentially, he was criticizing Obama for taking a neutral stance on the moral issue of building the center.

That issue was already passed, and if you’ll notice he dismisses the argument as if it’s not important (well, that may honestly be more me…but he seemed to brush it off). He was arguing that they shouldn’t, that it was unwise as 70% of Americans didn’t want the “mosque” (another rhetorical strategy) there, and Whoopi asked “Why,” he responded, “Because it’s inappropriate,” and she asked “But why is it inappropriate,” and he said “Because Muslims killed us on 9/11.” ... “Excuse me, Muslim’s didn’t kill us on 9/11? What religion were they in?” and then went back to “I’m telling you…70% of the country.”

That’s why it’s offensive – O’Reilly was using a poll (from who, we didn’t see in the clip) to state that 70% of the country thought it was inappropriate because Muslims killed us on 9/11…and that this was appropriate. Meanwhile, Whoopi was trying to get at why 70% of Americans thought that way…why they connected Muslims as a whole to it. And O’Reilly responded, essentially, that because that’s okay. He was, therefore, encouraging the stereotype in order to help his argument that the stereotype was appropriate. This was, more objectionably, immediately following Whoopi’s point that 70 Muslim families died in the attack…an attempt to make a reasonable assertion that it has nothing to do with Islam as a religion but has everything to do with it being used against Arab citizens and American citizens alike.

This is why again they freaked out – I’m not saying anything about what he really meant, although I think he meant to set it up like that. He is in the business and should know how to choose his words, and again I think he did. But if they had let that quietly lie, we might not notice the propaganda while it was happening.

P.S. – Personally, I didn’t think you agreed with him. Just thought you were commenting on why the reaction was or was not appropriate…;-)

YARNLADY's avatar

When I saw it, my first thought was “Who put that in the script?” It just looks like a publicity stunt to me.

An earthquake would probably do the trick for me.

iamthemob's avatar

@YARNLADY – it did seem to go a little bit smoothly, didn’t it…;-)

filmfann's avatar

If I am on TV, and I have to sit next to O’Reilly, either I leave or you all see me vomit.

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