The World Wants to Know Your Host’s Take on Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan
Apr 26, 2016
RUSH: I’m getting emails from people that want to know my thoughts on this whole situation with Kelly Ripa and that show that she’s on with Strahan, and I say, “Are you kidding? You want to know what I think about this?” I am… This is a very, very important learning moment for me, that this has people up in arms. I do have thoughts on it, folks, because this is broadcasting. It’s inside baseball broadcast stuff, and I have definite opinions on it. I just didn’t think anybody would give a rat’s rear end, but apparently it’s the opposite. So I’ll get into it as the program unfolds. BREAK TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: Yeah, let’s run with it. We have a Kelly Ripa sound bite here from this morning Live with Kelly and Michael. She got her feelings hurt that Strahan was going to Good Morning America and didn’t tell her. So she goes AWOL, just leaves, just walks off the set. (crying) Sorry. I know that’s insensitive. Anyway, she’s back. This is what she said.
RIPA: What transpired, though, over the course of a few days has been extraordinary in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration. And, most importantly, respect in the workplace.
RUSH: Hey, yeah, that’s worth a standing O, yes, sir, give her a standing O, respect in the workplace. It’s gonna feel so odd weighing in on this. I mean, it feels like it’s way down there in the level of importance, based on what we talk about here, but people want to hear about it, so hang in there, we’ll get to all of it.
RUSH: This Kelly Ripa situation. When I first heard about this, I… All of this comes to me as inside baseball. I mean, I’m a broadcaster, and the program she’s on is a program on the air, so it’s an inside baseball story. And I have always struggled to — not struggled. I’ve always worked very hard to make sure that, as I grew older here, that I did not become the old fuddy-duddy, that I did not become a guy like my parents, who didn’t like the Beatles ’cause of the length of their hair and thought they were subversive.
I wasn’t gonna become that. I wasn’t gonna become the old guy yelling at kids to get off the front yard. And I wasn’t gonna be stuck in the ways of my world when I was young and how they were the best and everything that’s happened since is equivalent of everything going to the dogs. I wasn’t gonna do that. But I do have my own reality in this business. (interruption) What? (interruption) No, no, no, no. I’m too famous to go on that show. I’ve never… I think I was on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee once, but was a strange circumstance. (interruption)
Yeah, I was on her Christmas special one year, too. But, as I understand it, one day she shows up to work and finds out that her co-host, Michael Strahan, has been appointed or named to be full-time host at Good Morning America starting in September, and that she was upset she wasn’t told in advance of this happening and therefore considered it an act of profound disrespect not to have been told this before she found out about it on the air. Now, folks, I got… My initial reaction, again, based on my numerous years in this business…
Is she the producer of the show? Does she own the show? What right does anybody have…? What demand does she have to be told what they’re gonna do with that show? She’s an employee. She works there. So where is this expectation that this be cleared with her? And, if not cleared, where is this expectation? It would… In my day — which it is still my day, of course. Even here. I show up some days and find out the engineer’s not gonna be here; he’s off antiquing. We got a guest engineer.
Some days the call screener’s not here. You deal with it. You just deal with these things. I can’t imagine coming here and go (crying), “The engineer’s not here today and nobody’s told me and nobody asked me, and I’m… Oh, damn,” and then start talking about lack of communication in the workplace. And then going home. And then staying home. I would have been fired. You get fired for that. You used to. You used to get fired for that. And I… (interruption) No, see, this is running the risk here. I’m not suggesting that she be fired; don’t misunderstand.
This is how I heard it all, and then I couldn’t believe it was a deal. I couldn’t believe it was a story. So the guy’s gonna go to Good Morning America. Is she upset she didn’t get the gig? It is not her show. It is not her show. It is ABC’s show, and there was a guy in there working with her before Strahan came along. She’s been anchoring that show with Mr. Strahan. Strahan is gonna move over to Good Morning America. On the other hand, you do develop a chemistry. There’s a continuity.
And, as a matter of respect, if half the show’s gonna leave and get a promotion and they’re not telling you about it beforehand, I can understand where she would be upset. But I don’t get walking off. But, frankly, there’s no win talking about this, folks. But yet it’s a big deal. Now it’s become a workplace respect issue, and she apparently feels like she’d had this major victory now as a result of having behaved as she did. It’s all gonna end up fine. Everything’s gonna be cool.
They’ll find somebody to come in there and replace Strahan. Strahan’s gonna go to Good Morning America, do whatever happens at Good Morning America, and it will be Live with Kelly and Bradley, Live with Kelly and whoever, and the show will go on. Regis Philbin thought it was his show at one point, demanded a raise, and he’s not there anymore, is he? I mean, it’s ABC’s show. It’s ABC’s show. ABC owns the show. Strahan doesn’t own it.
Ted Cruz doesn’t own the show. You know, before this is all over, Cruz is gonna have had some hand in this. You watch. Cruz will be behind this before this is all done, and Trump is gonna be… I’m surprised Trump has not ridden to the rescue on this show yet. This was made to order for Trump to go swooping in there and solve this and soothe everybody’s hurt feelings and come up with a solution and so forth. Maybe a bit of a missed opportunity.
(interruption) Snerdley just said, “You do know that you’ve gotten yourself in major trouble.” Tell me how. (interruption) Yes, I know. You know how I know I’ve got myself in major trouble? Just saying anything about it, I’m gonna be in major trouble. It doesn’t matter what I would have done. The very fact I’m weighing in on it, means I’m gonna be in major trouble. Yeah. (interruption) Oh, yeah. I will. I will. Not the proper sensitivity; that I’m not taking the time to understand the deep feelings and hurt that has occurred here. And that I could have shown a lot more understanding and compassion. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know it’s gonna happen.
That’s why I say, “It’s a no-win weighing in on this.”
RUSH: So I got a note from my old buddy Seton Motley. Is that not a great name, Seton Motley? Not to be confused with Muttley, the wonder dog. Seton Motley. “The solution here is Live with Kelly and Peyton,” as in Manning. Live with Kelly and Peyton Manning. Look, I was insensitive. I was rash. I was brusque. I was attaching my own broadcast standards as a patriarchal, domineering male to the sad exploitation of Kelly Ripa and the very idea that her co-host, Strahan, would be promoted above her over to Good Morning America, and they wouldn’t even tell her.
I feel really bad for Kelly Ripa. It’s an indignity that no one should be forced to endure, and ABC should apologize and let her have that show all by herself, if that’s what she wants, or if she wants Peyton Manning or whoever. (interruption) No, I don’t, that’s the point. I’m fully aware that people’s lives are fraught with immense pressure and suffering, and far be it for me to cast judgment and opinion on it. Clearly she was upset, and nobody should have to be that upset who works on television. It’s just not fair. So I apologize if anybody thought I was being brusque, insensitive, mean-spirited or whatever to Kelly Ripa.
RUSH: Yeah, I just wasn’t thinking. Nobody on television should have to suffer that kind of suffering and indignity. You know, Regis pulled the same stunt when he retired. He didn’t tell her very much in advance, didn’t give her much lead time. So she’s suffering this indignity twice. I forgot about Regis doing it, too. I’m really, really sorry.
RUSH: The conclusion of today’s program, which is right now, is dedicated to Kelly Ripa. We’re sorry. It will get better.