Joy Behar Defends Gloria Steinem's Anti-Military Remarks

Joy Behar defended the indefensible on "The View," Gloria Steinem’s anti-military comments, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck came out strong against them. For those that missed it, the famous feminist implied Hillary Clinton is more qualified than John McCain because Senator Clinton did not serve in the military. Steinem rhetorically asked "killing people is a qualification for ruling people?" She continued to wonder how it may have been different had John McCain been a female prisoner of war.

"suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and been captured, shot and been a POW for eight years. The media would ask ‘what did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’"

These inflammatory comments became the topic of discussion on the March 3 edition of "The View." Elisabeth Hasselbeck, to a very loud applause, called the rhetoric "despicable" and "evil."

"And in reading that I thought, there could not be a more despicable mischaracterization of those serving us in the military, protecting her freedom to run her mouth and speak something so, in my mind, evil."

Joy Behar wondered what was so "evil" about it, and claimed all Steinem said was to not that military service does not necessarily qualify one for the presidency. Behar also felt Steinem’s John McCain versus Joan McCain argument was "very interesting" and compared it to blaming the rape victim on wearing revealing clothes.At that point Whoopi Goldberg jumped in to note that Iraq War prisoner Jessica Lynch did not receive those type of questions.The transcript is below. 

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Where is that coming from? You know, she, she made a comment. Do you have it there?

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: She’s been a long time supporter of Hillary Clinton.

BARBARA WALTERS: Let me go back about this. About two months ago she wrote an op-ed piece, an opinion piece in "The New York Times," in which she said sex, sexism is more rampant in this country than racism. And that, there was a lot of sexism against Hillary, which is unrecognized and unacknowledged. So now in a speech that she just made over the weekend, she was talking about John McCain and the fact that he had been in a prison camp, and what qualification did that make for him to be commander-in-chief. She said "killing people is a qualification for ruling people?"

HASSELBECK: Yeah, and she also said "I’m so grateful that she," meaning Hillary, "hasn’t been trained to kill anybody." And in reading that I thought, there could not be a more despicable mischaracterization of those serving us in the military, protecting her freedom to run her mouth and speak something so, in my mind, evil.

[applause]

JOY BEHAR: She also goes on- she also says, she also-

HASSELBECK: But I think what she said-

BEHAR: Why is that evil what she said? Why do you say that it’s evil?

GOLDBERG: Wait, wait. Go ahead.

BEHAR: Why evil? You can it’s misguided. You can say that she’s wrong.

HASSELBECK: It’s a mischaracterization.

BEHAR: Why is it evil?

HASSELBECK: Because there are men and women right now, right now in uniform fighting for her freedom of speech.

BEHAR: Right.

HASSELBECK: And she is using the description of a military person, "I am so grateful that she hasn’t been trained to kill anybody." Meaning thankfully she wasn’t in the military trained to kill somebody as if that’s all they are trained to do.

BEHAR: But she’s saying that, that doesn’t per se make it a qualification to be president. That’s all she’s saying.

HASSELBECK: No, no. That’s not all she’s saying.

BEHAR: She’s not saying anything against the Army.

SHERRI SHEPHERD: She’s diminishing what she’s been through. I think it’s such a diminishment-

BEHAR: Well, she does diminish it a bit.

SHEPHERD: Of what McCain has been through. Because you’ve been in prison. You’ve been a prisoner of war, you’ve been tortured and you came through. That speaks of a strength of character to me, and I think she’s diminishing what those men and women are over there doing for them.

[applause]

BEHAR: So then you also would have been against the Swift Boating that took place against Kerry then. That was also evil.

HASSELBECK: Of course. I think that it’s a distraction of politics.

BEHAR: Right, okay, I think I’ll go along with that. But I think this is the thing that she said that was very interesting to me though. She said "suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and been captured, shot and been a POW for eight years. The media would ask ‘what did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’" I think it’s almost like when a girl gets raped they say, "well, you were wearing a short skirt, why did you go in the park at ten o’clock at night?" It’s the same argument.

GOLDBERG: I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think that’s true.

WALTERS: You and I were just about to say the same thing, in the Iraq War.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, the young lady, the young lady that was captured. I want to say her name is Jessica and I’m probably wrong. It is Jessica. They didn’t say that about her. I mean, I don’t think, I think Gloria was wrong on this one. I love Gloria she’s been-

BEHAR: But it’s an interesting statement.

GOLDBERG: Wait a minute. It is an interesting statement, but I think it’s wrong. I think it was the wrong way to go about saying what she wanted to say.

HASSELBECK: She loses the argument.

GOLDBERG: Yeah it makes it hard to hear.

HASSELBECK: She loses the intention, saying the sexism is more rampant than racism.

WALTERS: I love Gloria. I have great respect for Gloria, and I do think the reason that this is in the headlines is that people do feel that she went too far. I think she is passionate because this has been Gloria’s life. The whole based on the idea that she’s a feminist and that sexism-

BEHAR: Without apology, she’s a feminist.

WALTERS: And she sees, she sees Hillary-

GOLDBERG: And I don’t mind that. I’m black without apology, you know.

WALTERS: She sees Hillary still being damaged by sexism, that in her opinion it is a bigger cause, even than racism.

HASSELBECK: Well, then don’t bring the men and women in uniform into her-

WALTERS: We all are agreeing with you though.

SHEPHERD: Does this-

WALTERS: But she’s not a mean person.

HASSELBECK: No.

SHEPHERD: Does this help Hillary by, you know, how I feel and you feel, by diminishing what our boys are doing, and what John McCain has done. Does it, is it-

WALTERS: I think that’s a very good question and I think it doesn’t