With ''Investors Business Daily'' crowning Rosie O'Donnell with the nickname ''Tokyo Rosie'' for bad-mouthing America, critical mass has been reached for the acerbic comedian. She has crossed the entertainment Rubicon into the dark land of bitter performers who have allowed personal demons to become their public messengers.
The list of these individuals includes Morton Downey Jr., Michael Richards, and, way back when, Lenny Bruce. Americans will tolerate a lot from eccentric showbiz types, but hate-filled diatribes are almost always rejected, and careers are put at risk if the entertainers continue to spew bile.
A few weeks ago, the Rosie-Trump show was good theatre, and many Americans enjoyed the uncharitable joust. But it was nasty, personal and crude, not descriptions on which to build a resume. However, both O'Donnell and Trump did receive major publicity, and while egos were bruised, there was no permanent damage.
But make no mistake, Ms. O'Donnell's snarling demeanor made a lasting impression on many people, a harsh impression. Now her image may be damaged beyond repair.
The problem is that Rosie O'Donnell is accusing her own country of heinous things. She has embraced the insane theory that Sept. 11 was an ''inside job.'' She has apparently bought into the notion that elements inside the USA killed Americans on that terrible day. This kind of garbage is peddled on the Internet by America haters, and has been debunked step-by-step by Popular Mechanics magazine, which has actually published a book on the subject.
O'Donnell then took up Iran's cause. After the 15 British service people were kidnapped by the Iranians, Rosie told her audience on ABC that the British government had set up the situation in conjunction with the U.S. The intent, according to the comedian, was to start a war with Iran. This crackpot analysis is anything but funny.
Armed with propaganda and dangerous with passion, O'Donnell has turned a morning coffee klatch TV program into al-Jazeera West. Where once ''The View'' dealt with menopause and shopping tips, the program now routinely assassinates the characters of anyone O'Donnell finds objectionable. The forum is mean-spirited, foolish and demeaning.
But it is the America-bashing that has done Ms. O'Donnell in. She will tell you it is the Bush administration she loathes, but that distinction is often lost on an audience barraged with her hostile, radical-left rhetoric. It is hard to believe, for example, that a Jewish person in the world is comfortable with O'Donnell's sympathy for Iran.
The Disney Corporation, which owns ABC, has an enormous problem on its hands. If it fires O'Donnell, the left will attack the company on free speech grounds. If Disney allows the morning madness to continue, conservative and traditional Americans may well hold the company and its advertisers responsible.
After the Trump brouhaha, ratings for ''The View'' declined drastically, although they are still up year-to-year. But now with the Sept. 11 conspiracy and sympathy for Iran in play, it may be just a matter of time before the bottom drops out of the program.
Launching personal attacks on Donald Trump is one thing. Accusing your country of trumping up Sept. 11 and committing war crimes is quite something else. Rosie O'Donnell has cast her fate to an ill wind. Nothing good will come of this.
Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News. His "Radio Factor" can be heard weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. on NewsTalk 1300 WIMO-AM. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.