October 25, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

OMG so excited: Someone is finally going to explain to me how it is that Madonna can adopt an “orphan” that still has a dad!  And the person who is going to explain that?  Oprah!  Also helping her explain?  Madonna!  This deserves a liveblog, so strap in, kiddies. It’s time for another episode of “When Celebrity Philanthropy Attacks!”

4:00 Thanks for the time and temperature, Commerce Bank!

4:00:16 Okay literally my first impression of this episode is, Is Oprah wearing pants? It’s kinda fuzzy on the screen and she’s got this bright red top and then… well, it looks like Oprah’s not wearing pants, ok?

4:00:27 “The Adoption Controversy. Madonna’s side of the story.” Well, thank god someone is giving this poor woman a chance to finally, finally open up and speak her mind.

4:00:40 Wait. We’re getting Madonna and the Dixie Chicks today? Dear me! That is quite a lot of Women Conservatives Love To Hate for one tiny little hour of television!

4:01:19 Madonna is calling in via satellite??  Oh, now I see: The Dixie Chicks were supposed to have the whole hour, weren’t they?

4:01:23 Madonna’s answer to Oprah’s “how are you?” is, “Well, uh, um, Thank you for asking me to do the show.”

4:01:31 Ooh, and it’s not getting any less awkward: “I wanted to be clear up front that — I’m very grateful for you — give me this chance to — uh — not defend…” etc. Oh, this is already the most fun I’ve had in days.

4:01:42 FYI: Today’s British Accent Alert level is orange.

4:01:59 What’s really surprised Madonna is how great her children are with young, possibly-illegally-adopted David. Because lemme tell ya, they treat the help like ass.

4:02:14 Picture of David being manhandled by Rocco gets obligatory “aw” from audience, who are still trying to assess if/when they’re getting free stuff today.

4:02:20 Picture of David being manhandled by Guy Richie, however, gets a laugh. Curious.

4:02: 34 “That’s the amazing thing about children,” says Madonna. “They don’t ask questions.” Unlike all those horrible people who are trying to figure out what, exactly, I told the illiterate African man before I took his baby away.

4:02:47 I’m bored, Madonna. Please yell or something.

4:03:09 Oprah wonders whether this baby thing merits being headline news with all the “atrocities” going on in the world. Well, you tell me, Ops: You’re the one who bumped the politically-active country music singers to make room for it.

4:03:32 Ways Madonna Is Like President Bush, Pt. 1: She doesn’t read newspapers or watch television.

4:03:58 Ways Madonna Is Like President Bush, Pt. 2: She understands that telling negative stories sells newspapers.

4:04:07 More than anything, though, Madge is just disappointed because this incident is going to discourage other people from doing the same thing (going to Africa and buying babies).

4:04:27 Yeah, she’s getting indignant now, which is good. For a second I thought she was gonna cry. Which would be a real waste of eyeliner, trust me.

4:04:34 Madonna actually thinks the media is doing a great disservice to ALL the African orphans, not just the Malawi orphans. Which is crazy, because I could have sworn they’ve had more TV time this week than they’ve seen since that “Do They Know It’s Christmas” song hit big.

4:04:38 And that gets applause. Still no free stuff for you, audience!

4:05:06 It is NOT TRUE that Brad and Angelina told Madonna to go to Africa, and in fact, Madonna’s never actually met Angelina Jolie. Dang. I liked that rumor.

4:05:49 Oh my God. This whole thing is Bob Geldof’s fault. I KNEW IT.

4:06:27 I’ll be honest: Oprah looks pained.

4:07 So, what we’re learning now is that Madonna just wanted to go to ANY ol’ third world country and snag herself a kid. Or, as she puts it, “give a life to a child that might not otherwise have one.”

4:07:07 Audience applauds again, starts thinking about what’s for lunch.

4:08:28 Okay, the orphanage where she got David is run by a man named Geppetto? Is there a magical talking cricket there, too?

4:08:50 The best is when Madonna drops the indignant British thing and Detroit slips out: “So, David was at this orphanage. He was wonna the, um, younger babies there.”


4:10:49 Now I’m starting to feel bad for being mean about this. I mean, Madonna clearly knows what she’s talking about, she clearly likes kids, she’s clearly jumped on the celebrity Africa bandwagon, and she’s doing what she can to help. Fine.

4:11:08 I still think she stole that baby, though.

4:14:09 Here’s the big question: Did you get this baby because you’re famous, Madonna?

4:14:24 “Yes,” says Madonna. “That’s exactly true.” Just kidding. Actually, she sort of tut-tuts and then makes a joke about no matter who you are, “nothing goes fast in Africa.”

4:14:25 Except the tigers. They go fast.

4:14:42 “There are no laws in Malawi,” and so Madonna got to make some up? Are we SURE this is a real country?

4:15:29 I would just like to point out, completely straightforwardly, that from what I can tell, Madonna started her “Raising Malawi” foundation… without ever having been to Malawi.

4:15:49 She met David’s father in court. Court, in the possibly-imaginary country with no laws. I’m so confused.

4:17:07 There ya go: Madonna says David was dumped in the orphanage when he was 2 weeks old, and his extended family did not visit at any point. That seems pretty orphany, I gotta admit.

4:17:44 “Obviously, I don’t speak Chichewa,” Madonna snips, when talking about needing an interpreter in court. Seems like a good time for that Berlitz course now, though, don’t it?

4:17:55 Can we stop calling adoption “giving a child a life”? Please?

4:18 So basically, Madonna’s saying that David’s dad looked into her eyes and said it was ok to take his kid, and that the media is terrorizing him now and putting words into his mouth. And now she’s going to make an analogy…

4:19:26 Longest analogy of all time, Madonna.

4:19:54 Okay, that’s not technically an analogy. That’s just recasting David’s dad as a woman who gives her baby up for adoption.

4:20:28 What’s really amazing to me is the way Madonna seems genuinely stunned that the media has any interest in this situation at all. (Insert rant on celebrities who want it both ways here.)

4:23:51 Heads up: Madonna plans to go to Malawi every year. Can’t wait.

4:24:35 Ah! I get it: She’s gonna give David an education and “a life” so he can go back and help the Malawians someday. That reminds me: Has anyone else seen the trailer for Pathfinder?

4:26:01 Madonna’s not sure she has anything to say to the people who accused her of doing this as a publicity stunt. For the record, I just kinda thought it was weird. I mean: Madonna’s a walking publicity stunt, right? Basically always has been?

4:26:33 You know, Madge, at least when Bono tells me depressing things about life in Africa, I usually get a song out of it.

4:27:04 Only truly awesome way for this episode to end? “YOU get an orphan! YOU get an orphan! YOU get an orphan! EV-ry BO-dy GETS an OR-phan!”

4:30 Okay, that’s it. Oprah’s on to the Dixie Chicks. Who, it should be said, have not yet taken the time to adopt any orphans. Because they hate America.

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