NEW ORLEANS — There’s a reason why Ellen DeGeneres remains popular. It’s because she’s the real deal.

After she was criticized by some for sitting next to former President George W. Bush, DeGeneres used her monologue to set the record — and her critics — straight. She said, quote, “I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have."

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She got a round of applause when she added, quote, “When I say, 'be kind to one another,' I don't only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”

Amen to that, and to you, Ellen. You do your hometown proud.

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