MSNBC.com's Jeannette Walls reports that antigay messages bombarded a message board set up by America Online for users who wanted to post farewell comments to Rosie O'Donnell, whose talk show ended its six-year run Wednesday. "I cannot believe our society would allow gay couples to adopt little children," read one of the less obscene postings. "This is how you people perpetuate your gay lifestyles by bringing up children under your misguidance." Another poster wrote, "I find you to be a hypocrite. What sticks out in my mind the most is one of the times that Britney Spears was on your show and you were all over her for showing her belly button and what kind of message she was sending out to young girls all over the world? What kind of message are you sending out?"
An AOL spokesman says the board was taken down and replaced with a chat-room discussion on the same topic, but not because of the hate-filled, obscenity-laden postings. "The discussion was so robust and so popular that we changed the venue from a message board experience to a chat-room experience for a better member experience," he said. Walls quotes an insider who noted, "And people want to know why more celebrities don't come out of the closet."