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Star Jones Exits 'The View' and the Media Feeding Frenzy Begins

The following is a transcription of the July 1, 2006 edition of "FOX News Watch" that has been edited for clarity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON SCOTT, GUEST CO-HOST: Time now for our "Quick Takes" on the media.

Headline No. 1: "The 'View' From Here"

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STAR JONES, FORMER CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": After much prayer and counsel, I feel like this is the right time to tell you that the show's moving in another direction for its 10th season, and I will not be returning as co-host next year.

AUDIENCE: Awwww...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Awwww!

Star Jones has left, or is leaving "The View." And it has been very well publicized.

I — you know, this was sort of a... I mean, they should have the people at "The View" keeping secrets for the NSA because...

(LAUGHTER)

SCOTT: This has been rumored for awhile, Jane. But even Barbara Walters was shocked when she jumped the gun and revealed it a couple of days early.

JANE HALL, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: OK. Well, I have a lot of respect for Barbara Walters. I stipulate that.

But for Barbara Walters, who is the co-executive producer, to say she was shocked, shocked, when in fact what I've read was, ABC wanted to get rid of her because she lost too much weight, she did, you know, a buyout of her wedding with product endorsements.

SCOTT: Yes. Well.

HALL: And, I mean, there are a lot of interesting, funny things about this. Because she now goes on "Larry King Live" and says she felt betrayed, Barbara Walters felt betrayed. I'm sure that a lot of people who don't watch this are wondering what this is about.

JUAN WILLIAMS, GUEST PANELIST: Count me in. I have no idea.

THOMAS: It's a girl thing. I don't get it.

HALL: It's a chick thing. It's a chick thing.

WILLIAMS: Yes, but it sounds to me like a great — one of these kind of self-involved deals that the media gets into.

HALL: Yes.

WILLIAMS: Where they're promoting Star — I don't...

SCOTT: But the interesting thing, Cal, is that viewers are eating this up, too. Because, you know, they've been watching this show for nine or 10 years, Jim.

JIM PINKERTON, NEWSDAY COLUMNIST: Well, I mean, it's — you called Cal, and then you said to me — pointed to me. So...

CAL THOMAS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, we look alike. Let me help you out here.

Look, I think they've got something that we ought to consider doing on "News Watch": the hand holding. It's a moment of bonding. It connects with the audience.

I mean, look, this is a bunch of mostly post-menopausal liberal women.

HALL: Wait.

THOMAS: They're bringing Rosie O'Donnell in..

(CROSSTALK)

THOMAS: Are you ready now? Will you take over for me?

PINKERTON: Let me save Cal from hideous political correctness and being written up once again on Media Matters.

The Star Jones personality was "I am Star, hear me roar." She was loud; she was out there. And...

SCOTT: She was heavy...

PINKERTON: She was big. And she was a big presence. And then for them to think that she wouldn't do something like this was crazy. It's like having a pet tiger and then having it eat you, and you think, gee, I thought it was vegetarian.

SCOTT: Well, they apparently did have sort of a schedule ironed out. She was going to announce on Thursday, I think it was, that she was going to leave the show. And...

HALL: They were going to announce it.

SCOTT: ...she jumped the gun.

HALL: She — I mean, you know, let me take a page from my friend Jim Pinkerton and say, also what's fun about this is an unscripted, real — seemingly, semi-real moment — blasted through your screen, you know? And the people who had arranged her demise, you know, where shocked that she organized her own funeral, basically, on the air. And took advantage of them.

So it's a very interesting piece of theater.

WILLIAMS: It just strikes me as self-promotion gone.

HALL: Oh yeah.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: You had to have "Girls Gone Wild." This is "self-promotion gone wild" in media. It has no meaning, no significance other than promotion for Star Jones.

PINKERTON: Well, it is television.

WILLIAMS: I guess so.

I'm just struck by how, you know, self-serving the media can be at times.

SCOTT: I can see Juan closing the door to his office and watching "The View" everyday from here on...

WILLIAMS: Yes. Yes.

SCOTT: Here's "Quick Take" headline No. 2: "The Daily Dose"

Maybe "The Daily Show" isn't so funny after all. Researchers at East Carolina University look at students' views of President Bush and presidential contender Senator John Kerry after watching coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign from either CBS News or "The Daily Show." Both Kerry and Bush were seen more negatively by kids who looked at clips from "The Daily Show." They were also more cynical about government and the media in general.

So what's the bottom line for the researchers? They say: "Ultimately, negative perception of candidates could have participation implications by keeping more youth from the polls."

Cal, is that something we should worry about?

THOMAS: Gee, I was interested that they compared "The Daily Show" to CBS News. When I watch CBS News, I get negative perceptions of the Bush administration!

I mean, this is one of these jot-and-tittle things examining the lint in your navel that the media love to do to ourselves. You know, we are so important, we're going to find out why more people aren't voting. How about better politicians?! That might help.

SCOTT: This...

PINKERTON: I would also say that a lot of professors with a lot of money with a lot of interns and graduate students make them do all this work for them and come up with these studies to get — including to get on television.

But look, I think that if there's anything wrong with democracy, the cure is more democracy. The cure is more media; the cure is more debate, discussion, contrast. That will encourage people to get interested in the long run. So I'm all for Jon Stewart.

SCOTT: So you're not...

HALL: Like some phalanx of researchers have yet to arrive in my office in American University. But and therefore, I haven't read the entire survey.

But I read a piece by Marty Kaplan from USC who said that if you read further into this, actually these young people want to get more involved in politics. I mean, it's a chicken and egg. I find a lot of students cynical about politics, but I don't think you can blame that on "The Daily Show."

SCOTT: All right.

"Quick Take" Headline No. 3: "He's Not Taking It With Him."

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and the world's second-richest man, made a big announcement this week: He's giving the bulk of his considerable fortune, more than $31 billion, to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Juan, we didn't give you a chance in the last block. He's going to do it; he's going to give all this money away. But there's been an awful lot of media coverage of it.

Is that...

WILLIAMS: Well, this gets covered like celebrity news. It's not covered as if it has real implications for what you do with this money. And, you know, the idea that the Gates Foundation - and I — you know, is Gates now — you know, I think he's the lead philanthropist in all the world. But is he doing good things with it? Does it have real consequence? Why doesn't Buffett just give his money back to the people who invested the money? Why isn't it a business story?

I think, again, it's covered as celebrity news rather than anything of substance.

SCOTT: So you think the media are glorifying this guy too much?

WILLIAMS: Well, they glorify him because he's a rich man in America! And that pretty much puts you right at the top of the hill.

PINKERTON: The media don't really like private fortunes that much. But if the private fortunes act like the government, then they like them.

THOMAS: That's a good point.

But look, I give good motives to these guys. I think Bill and Melinda Gates are doing a good thing. They were Time magazine's co- persons of the year this year, or last year. And they study immunology; they study virology. And they look for doctors and scientists who are actually trying to cure diseases. They've got a Top 20 list of diseases they believe are curable. If they can do this, they will be in the realm of Jonas Salk, who found the cure to polio.

I think it's a good thing, and we ought to encourage it.

For more information about "FOX News Watch" go to www.foxnews.com/foxnewswatch

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