Joan Rivers Explains Storming Out of CNN Interview
In case you missed it: Joan Rivers became a trending topic across social media Saturday — this time for storming out of a ill-fated interview with CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield.
The funny lady (depending on who you ask) was booked for an evening appearance on CNN Newsroom to plug her new book, but when host Whitfield began questioning Joan about her biting sense of humor (which, most recently, included referring to First Lady Michelle Obama as a “tranny”), well, things got ugly.
“You know, you have some shock value to you. The cover of your book, you’re wearing a fur and you knew that there would probably be animal rights activists…”
Joan countered that Whitfield’s line of question was loaded and designed to put her “on the defensive.” She replied:
“This whole interview is turning into a defensive interview. Are you wearing leather shoes? Then shut up.”
Barely three minutes into the chat, Rivers ripped off her microphone and stormed off screen in a huff.
“I’m going. I really am going because all you have done is negative. I’ve made people laugh for 50 years. I am put on Earth to make people laugh. My book is funny. I wear fur that was killed fifteen years ago. I work for animal rights. Stop it with ‘and you do this’ and ‘you’re mean.’ You are not the one to interview a person who does humor, sorry.”
Gives new meaning to the phrase: Diary of a Mad Diva, eh?
Joan was equally incensed by the suspicions of eagle-eyed conspiracy theorists, who surmised that the CNN fiasco was merely a ploy to drum up publicity for Rivers’ latest tome.
“I do not do, and never have done, PR ‘stunts.’ The CNN interviewer was a news reporter and not an entertainment reporter. She did not seem to understand we were talking about a comedy book and not the transcripts from the Nuremburg Trial. Every question was an accusatory one designed to put me on the defensive. She seemed to miss the point that Diary of a Mad Diva is simply a very funny book and as Winston Churchill said, ‘If you can make one person laugh, even for a minute, it’s like giving them a little vacation.'”
Whitfield isn’t the first to point out Joan’s history of pushing (more like shoving) the envelope. Fellow comedy legend Jerry Lewis once threatened to kill the brash Brooklynite after she cracked a few barbs about his family. Earlier this year, Rivers was widely criticized for poking fun at the survivors of the Cleveland kidnapping case.