- Oscar Pistorius: In case you missed it, Whoopi started the show letting the audience know that Oscar Pistorius was about to be sentenced and they would let the audience know if the sentencing was announced during the show.
- Weekend Wrap-up: The panel then discussed their weekends. Rosie P was in Maine filming a movie with Diane Wiest. She didn’t identify the movie by name but she said it’s a film about grief and loss. She commented how beautiful it is in Maine, how wonderful the people were and said she’ll be back to continue filming this weekend. Rosie O and her son Blake have a tradition to go see a movie together the first weekend of every month. He always gets to select the film and this weekend they saw The Judge starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. She loved the film and said Robert Downey, Jr. has never been better. There was a very touching scene in the film where Robert Downey is taking care of his elderly father (who is ill) and Rosie O said she was so taken she reached out and squeezed her son’s hand, hard. Nicolle said she caught up on the Showtime series Homeland. Nicolle found herself harshly judging the main character in the show for leaving her new baby behind in order to take a job that required her to travel to Afghanistan. She said she hated that she felt so judgmental of her because she knew if that were a man, she might not have felt those same harsh feelings. But she admitted she couldn’t help herself. Then Rosie O and Nicolle discussed the show and the scene where the main character contemplates drowning her baby in the bathtub! Rosie O said she was screaming at the TV!
- Ebola Transmitted on U.S. Soil: The panel discussed the latest news about the first confirmed case of Ebola being transmitted on U.S. soil. The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said there was a breach of protocol that led to the nurse being infected with Ebola. Rosie P thought it was irresponsible for them to state there was a breach of protocol unless they know that for sure. She said they shouldn’t cause that speculation if they aren’t positive how the transmission occurred. Whoopi thinks the nursing staff may have been plagued with old, antiquated supplies like old gloves, and that’s how the transmission happened. She hoped all of our hospitals are using the best equipment available to treat these patients. Rosie P was offended the public is blaming nurses for the spread of the disease. Nicolle mentioned that in some cases all a hospital has to do to “check the box” that they’ve trained the staff and post a bulletin about how to care for Ebola patients. She said, in some cases, posting the bulletin is all the training they receive and they’re really only doing so in order to protect themselves from liability. Whoopi wondered if they should start screening people before they leave Africa instead of as they arrive. She also wondered why they’re not screening people at the LA airport. Rosie O said there’s speculation if we started screening people as they leave Liberia, the entire country might perish. She referenced a cartoon that illustrates what’s wrong with the media coverage concerning the crisis. Rosie P mentioned the story about Dr. Nancy Snyderman who violated the quarantine she was under after being exposed first-hand to the deadly disease. Rosie P called her actions “irresponsible” whether she’s infected or not. She said she’s putting fear into the public and as a public figure there’s no excuse for it. Nicolle said NBC is saying she was a very low risk to spread the disease but Whoopi said she had direct contact with a cameraman who was symptomatic! She told Dr. Snyderman, “That’s why they make a device called a telephone. Get delivery!”
- Books Are Better: The American Academy of Pediatrics is stating that using a tablet or e-reader to read to your child is no different than watching television. Nicolle and Rosie O agreed. Rosie O said her young daughter is allowed to play little games on the iPad but when it’s time to read a book she believes there’s vital contact, communication and bonding that occurs when you curl up with your child with a good book. Nicolle agreed and said we don’t know what effect all the screen time is going to have on our children and their ability to read. Whoopi thinks the bright light from the tablet is very bad for kids’ eyes. Rosie P said studies have shown the interaction between a parent and child between birth and 5 years old is critical to language development. She said if we keep using digital devices to teach our children language we’re all going to have children that end up talking like Siri!
- Football Hazing Scandal: Seven Sayreville football players have been suspended amid an abuse scandal at a New Jersey High school. The football season has been canceled and some parents are saying it’s wrong to punish an entire team for the actions of a few. Whoopi thinks if you go up as a team you go down as a team. Rosie O and Rosie P noted some of the horrific, specific, allegations and said canceling the season was the right thing to do. Whoopi said not stopping the abuse was as wrong as being a perpetrator of it. Nicolle agreed and said that’s the ultimate message. She said it’s our duty to speak for those who cannot speak out for themselves. Rosie O said the same thing is true for her theater program Rosie’s Theater Kids. She said each student is given an RTK jacket and if they’re caught in the jacket doing anything inappropriate and someone calls the school to report them, they are asked to leave. She said unfortunately, it’s happened before at her school.
- Susan Mellen: The panel discussed the recent story of a woman who was released after spending 17 years in prison for a murder she did not commit. The panel thought the woman was amazing the way she handled herself. All the ladies commented about the grace the woman showed under such a terrible turn of events.
Russell Brand: Stand-up comedian, author, actor, activist and all-around genius, Russell Brand, joined the panel to discuss a myriad of topics. They discussed many different things including his Messiah Complex World Tour, his 11 years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol addiction, homelessness and the stigma that goes along with it, and his award for Shagger of the Year. They discussed Russell’s new book Revolution based on an Albert Einstein quote “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Russell said if we want to change things we have to look into alternative ways of thinking and if we want change to come it will not come from the people in control because they are being served by the crises that keep them in power. One of Russell’s favorite quotes is a Solzhenitsyn quote that states the lines between good and evil do not come between nations, religion, races or creeds but “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” To Russell that means we all have the capacity to be selfish or egotistical but he just tries to tend towards the best part of himself. Nicolle questioned Russell on his insistence that this revolution will not come about through voting. She asked him how he expects change to come without voting or violence, which is how most revolutions of the past have come about. Russell said he feels the political parties in Britain are more interested in representing the needs of big business than those of the people. Rosie O said it’s the same here in the U.S. He said an economic elite is now in power that doesn’t represent the values or the views of the people they claim to represent. They only represent the needs of other rich elites and corporations. Nicolle mentioned an interview with Paxman that has been seen almost 11 million times where she said Russell got a little “cross and testy.” (Though Russell didn’t think he was cross or testy in the interview.) When Nicolle pressed Russell for a solution to overthrowing those in power without voting or violence, he said the people must “organize” in their workplaces and the places they live and if we are going to vote, we must vote for a party that represents the ordinary people not one that just represents the interests of big business. Russell’s frustration with the corporate owned news has also led him to create his own version of the news entitled The Trews, which stands for True News.
#Internet Hero FanSince09: Rosie O welcomed Internet Hero FanSince09 who chose to hide his identity for the interview. When FanSince09 saw surveillance video of a Philadelphia gay couple being attacked by a straight mob outside a Philadelphia restaurant, FanSince09 used his Twitter following to help catch the suspects. He mobilized his then 5,000 Twitter followers to help find the alleged perpetrators. He explained to Rosie how he started with the restaurant where a group shot of the attackers was taken and by using Facebook’s “check-in” feature they matched the Facebook profiles to the people in the photo. That was how they identified three of the suspects who have since been charged with the crime. He said it only took him and his followers about two hours to narrow down and identify the suspects! Rosie thanked him for his desire to do something and said so many of us use the Internet for insignificant things but he chose to do something that changed lives. As it stands now Pennsylvania’s hate-crime law does not include crimes against gays and lesbians and the victims in this attack are hoping to change that law.
Audience Gift:Everyone in the audience received a copy of Russell Brand’s book Revolution.
Rosie O: [about reading books to our children] “I think it’s a vital part of communication and bonding between parents and children.”
Nicolle: [upon meeting Russell Brand] “I’m nervous, I’m the one who doesn’t know any famous people.”
Whoopi: “Ebola doesn’t care where you’re from.”
Rosie P: “A lot of times in America we vote against our own self-interests.”
Russell Brand: “We need to choose our idol or our idols will be chosen for us.”
Russell Brand: “Sometimes other people are stigmatized because of something like homelessness but I know loads of people who are homeless and they’re exactly like me except for a roof.”
Russell Brand: “Everyone, ultimately, is looking for love.”
Russell Brand: “I think it is important to acknowledge that we are ultimately unified by our common humanity.”
And that’s what you missed!