Friday, April 06, 2007

The View from here

Since the post-Oprah spin got its own post, I think it's only right to give equal time today's episode of The View, which was a rebroadcast of a one-hour show devoted to autism that originally aired in January.

I posted my thoughts following the original broadcast of The View in a conversation with Kristen in the comments section of another post. You can follow the whole conversation here, but I've cut-and-pasted my thoughts into this post for your convenience:

First of all, I have to say that Toni Braxton is amazing for being on the show just four months after her son's diagnosis. She was getting a lot of information all at once, which is overwhelming for anyone, but to get it in front of a national audience must have been that much more difficult.

Overall, I think they made an effort to be balanced and tried to fit a broad range of experience in a very short amount of time. Of course, my preference would be that they highlight things like RDI and SCERTS, since that's where I hang my hat, instead of just ABA. There was some wording that made me cringe, but all in all I think they showed a range of perspectives.

The thing that was most difficult for me personally was that for some of the segments the parents had their children with them, but they talked about them with the hosts as if they weren't sitting there. For me, it felt a little intrusive, and I kept wondering what the kids thought about what they were hearing. There was one set of parents at the end who talked to the hosts while their daughter was backstage, then invited her out at the end to give the hosts presents she had made for them. That felt a lot more comfortable to me.

Then, in a later comment, I added:

Did you get the sense that Rosie has a personal connection to autism in some way? She didn't say so, but she seemed very knowledgeable and very familiar with the "lingo." She made reference to having read some of the books they mentioned, which made me remember that a long time ago she had Paul Collins's book Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism listed as a recommendation on her blog.

I don't know - I just got the sense that it went beyond "celebrity charity" for her. (She also seemed to be the driving force behind the one-hour special, since the other hosts only appeared briefly.)

So, if you saw The View, either today or back in January, what are your thoughts?


Drama Mama said...

I LOVE me some Rosie - nothing like a liberal lesbian to shake up daytime television. I got the distinct impression that she is personally touched by Autism; I remember that a few years back, she was talking about one of her kids being a "late talker" - I also remember one was an early, precocious, and constant talker.

Who knows? All I know, is I am grateful to her for at least getting the awareness out there. I think that the general public needs to digest Autism much like I did when my daughter was first diagnosed - a little information at at time. In a gentle, constant stream. We need to see Autism in the media in the months OTHER than April. (And not "Fear Factor Autism" either!) Perhaps her next show on Autism will cover RDI and other therapies; for now, it's faces and families. And that's enough for me.

I did notice one thing: that Rosie showed more of a spectrum than Oprah did (Oprah's show centered on more impacted kids) -- however, Oprah gets points in my book for even letting the word "vaccine" be uttered. (It may not be everyone's belief, but it matters to so many in our community, and that voice deserves to be heard)

Anonymous said...

Well you know that I was a big fan of The View episode. I think Rosie put Oprah to shame! I love that they replayed The View episode during a holiday week when lots of people are home to watch. Watching it for the second time (ok maybe 3rd or 4th time) today, I am even more impressed with the job done by The View.

Anonymous said...

PS - Thanks for the mention in your post today!

Daisy said...

I'm not home during the daytime (usually) to see The View. I'm glad they did this show; I'm glad to hear they showed a wider portion of the spectrum.

MOM-NOS said...

Drama Mama, I wondered if one of the reasons why Oprah made an effort to allow Katie Wright-Hildrebrand to make mention of her belief about a vaccine conection was the "fallout" from Rosie not including it on The View. Rosie got quite a bit of criticism about it, and in the day's leading up to Oprah's show the Oprah message board seemed to be full of people imploring her to discuss the "vaccine connecton".

I'm not saying that I think Oprah was pandering - but I think she may have made a conscious effort to let it be on the table for a moment, and then to move on. She was careful to have the last word be about research that does not support a vaccine link.

Usethebrains Godgiveyou said...

I was a fan of Rosie when she had her own show. She once said something about being autistic herself...It may be her son, or it may just be empathy.

I had a mother of one of my students call me about the show. Although her daughter is CP, I thought it was very kind.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed both shows for different reasons. There is hardship and hope, health issues and truly is a spectrum. And the truth is that there are so many things, as we are learning, from our environment (immediate and global) that combined are having an affect on our health and on our world, all possiblilities should be considered. Both Rosie and Oprah seem to care...and that, to me, is most important...the intentions are good.

Drama Mama said...

Yes, MOM-NOS, perhaps Oprah did pander a bit. I saw those boards too. However, Oprah is the Almighty, and I have a feeling that she doesn't do anything that she doesn't want to do. She also brought up vaccines in her "cause" portion of the interview with the Doctor.(BTW, can't these shows find another Doctor?? She's been on twice already!)

Oprah still gets props from me for pandering - the vaccine theory is verboten in the mainstream media.
Word on the street is that there were vaccine parents in the audience at The View taping, and Rosie adamantly stated that they would NOT be talking about cause this time around.

It gives me hope that there will be more times around.

Anonymous said...

I read Rosie's blog and if I am remembering correctly she has stated that she has a friend with a child on the spectrum. Like all of the issues that interest her I believe that she does quite a bit of reading on the subject, at least that's the feeling I get from watching her on The View and reading her online.

Anonymous said...

By the way, speaking of Toni Braxton, my husband and I are going to the Concert for Autism Speaks with Bill Cosby and Toni Braxton tomorrow night. I will let you know how it goes.

Anonymous said...

Very intuitive thought re: Rosie. And I absolutley agree with you about Toni Braxton and the courage it took to use her stardom and new life experience to be a face for Autism. Her brief breakdown on the show really showed how real she is as a person, as a mother, but more so, it reminded me of how devestated I was in the first 4 months.