There is nothing more TOXIC then someone being the instigator and then trying to make out like they are the victim. That is what happened with the passive aggressive actions of CNN anchor Fredericka Whitfield. Whitfield was the one who instigated the hostile tone of the interview by calling Joan mean when Joan appears on Fashion Police, calling Joan out on making fun of serious situations like Casey Anthony’s dead daughter and critiquing Joan’s book cover of her new book Diary of a Mad Woman where Joan is wearing fur.
Whitfield laughs a phony laugh and mugs for the camera when Joan walks off the set, acting surprised that Joan left yet mugging and phony smiling all the way. Initially Joan tried to explain that Fashion Police was not mean and that Joan didn’t attack the celebrities, she attacked the clothing and fashion.
Whitfield glossed over River’s answer and proceeded in a hostile tone to attack her over the Casey Anthony daughter humor. Joan once again tried to explain that you can take a horrible situation and add humor (albeit dark humor) it gives the person a moments respite from the tragedy. Rivers further went on to describe how Winston Churchill described this type of humor as a moment’s vacation. Once again Whitfield glossed over her answer and began to attack Joan over wearing fur on her book cover. Joan tried to explain and immediately went on the offensive asking Whitfield if she wore leather and told her to shut up and talk to her when she wears a paper belt.
Then Joan pulled out her earpiece and walked out. On one breath Whitfield was complimentary and on the other breath began her series of attacks. This is called passive aggressive behavior and highly toxic in my book. Rivers told Whitfield that all her questions had been “negative,” and added “You are not the one to interview a person who does humor, sorry,” before Rivers walked off. Rivers was right. She came to speak of her book, not the show and not her furs. It was the attacking staccatto and hostile tone of voice Whitfield used that got Joan worked up.
Had Whitfield said ” What would you say to people who comment on you wearing fur” instead of directly attacking Joan that she was wearing fur on the cover of her book, it would have been a different story. Had she worded her questions differently, Rivers would not have walked off the set. So needless to say I believe Joan was absolutely right not to subject herself to this amature, unprofessional, and hostile interview.
While the incident was unfortunate it put Joan high up in the press and now makes more people aware of her new book. It also put Fredericka Whitfield on the map as before this, most people had no idea who she was.
On the show Joan Rivers was defending herself in saying that she has made people laugh for 50 years.Before all of the current political correctness which permeates our society her humor obviously worked very well. She skewered the Royal family and Elizabeth Taylor as well as racial and ethnic groups without a thought. People loved this and her Vegas shows and nightclub acts around the country sold out regularly. It was the Don Rickles put people down type of humor that people seemed to love.
But today it has changed. People are much more tender and sensitive and don’t find any humor in tragedy such as Caylee Anthony’s death (me included). They will also not tolerate Holocaust jokes as Joan has made in the past or Black jokes. They will also not tolerate gay or gender identity jokes like the recent one she made about The President and First Lady.
When a reporter recently questioned Rivers if she thought there would be a gay President in the White House she remarked that we already have one- Obama and that his wife Michelle is a tranny.
In my view it is not Joan’s walking off the CNN set that may be her undoing but this joke about the President and First Lady that in my view that hits well below the belt. It’s not funny and in my view oversteps all boundaries. Whether or not you are a fan of Obama and his wife, we can all agree that this was a pretty shocking thing to say, especially that Michelle is a “tranny.” While there has been tabloid press in the past alluding to Obama’s being gay, there is nothing to even suggest that Michelle is transgender. It seem libelous to me.
While shock value has been what has sustained Rivers throughout the years, this shock value may be what finally does her in.