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CNN Editorial Best Describes Aiken-Ripa "Feud"

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The following is a CNN editorial we came across regarding the much-talked about incident (or non-incident, as we like to call it) between Clay Aiken and Kelly Ripa. While we'd prefer this story go away, we thought this writer's point was both fair and accurate, and thought you might want to check it out.

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In case anyone missed part of the 'drama' during holiday preparations, we thought we'd give a brief summary of the Kelly Ripa "feud" -- can you believe the media covered this for days? This absolutely confirms that anything Clay Aiken does is huge news, regardless of whether it has to do with his music!

Cool Hand Clay?To summarize, Clay was a charming and witty cohost on last week's Live! with Regis show. He and Ripa seemed to get along just fine, trading jokes, but when Kelly Ripa refused to let him get a word in edgewise, he playfully covered her mouth with his hand.

Ripa was upset and said she 'didn't know where that hand had been.' To be fair to Ripa, Clay's action doesn't win Best Observance of Personal Space, but Clay did apologize, and the show moved on in apparent harmony.

But Ripa worked up a head of steam all weekend, and on Monday, complained at bitter length about Clay's "lack of respect." Regis attempted to defuse her rant, saying Clay Aiken was likely nervous, and never imagined "in a million years" she'd have a feud with him.

Now, we know we're biased here at CNN, but we also noticed that Kelly is forgetting the times she has covered Regis' mouth on the show (not that the entertainment shows missed it. Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and Inside Edition all showed clips Wednesday pointing out Ripa's hypocrisy).

There's also the time she licked something belonging to noted germophobe Howie Mandel... and we have to wonder how pushing the photo of a cat in Clay's face qualifies as 'respectful' on her part. It's either all in good fun or... not so much.

The fact that Rosie O'Donnell decided to speak up for Clay on The View is, on the one hand, a nice gesture. However, the charge of homophobia against Ripa seems to have provided Ripa with a perfect way to deflect criticism by playing up her indignation at the charge and inviting the subsequent media storm. We're fans and yet we can't help wondering... this is major news? We're endlessly surprised by the intensity of interest in Clay's every action.

The entire issue seems to have ended on a humorous note at the American Music Awards. When Tori Spelling and Clay appeared together to present an award, Spelling quickly put her hand over Clay's mouth, and as he laughed, told him "I'll tell you where that hand has been, later." That humorous stunt to have gotten the most coverage of any appearance at the AMA's, and coverage has been overwhelmingly positive about Clay's sense of humor.

We here at CNN suggest that Ripa was within her rights to scold Clay for covering her mouth -- that can be a disconcerting violation of personal space -- although to do so privately rather than through a five-minute televised rant might have been more professional on her part.

The adult response to an apology is to accept and move on, not toss stones several days later. We'd also suggest she step out of her glass house on occasion -- if her ground rules include mocking guests' phobias, she can't really complain that her standards of 'respect' aren't properly conveyed.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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