The View's Hasselbeck Unloads on Kathy Griffin, But Joy Behar Waters Down Smear of Scott Brown's Daughters; 'It Was Just a Joke'

On her Bravo show last Tuesday night, Kathy Griffin trashed Sen. Scott Brown's two daughters as "prostitutes." CNN reporter Dana Bash, who was present with her husband John King, erupted into laughter.

Yesterday on ABC's "The View," co-host Joy Behar tried to throw a wet blanket on the ensuing outrage over the "joke," which included condemnations of Griffin's comments by Scott Brown himself and by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

"It's just a joke," Behar repeatedly affirmed during a heated exchange with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who vehemently disagreed.

"No, no, no, no, no!" Hasselbeck exclaimed. "We've always said politicians' kids are off limits! If someone went around calling Barack Obama's two girls prostitutes, people would be up in arms. Laybacks! Kathy Griffin's got to back up on that one right now!"

Hasselbeck ripped Griffin as "scum" for her remarks. "You defend your daughters against scum who comes after them and calls them someone like a prostitute," Hasselbeck asserted about Scott Brown's condemnation of Griffin's "joke."

On a recent episode of "The View," Hasselbeck had a chance to go after Griffin live after Griffin previously called her an "f—ing Survivor reject." The conservative co-host, however, backed down even after being taunted by Griffin. Newsbusters asked last week if Hasselbeck had been muzzled, especially after liberal Joy Behar went after conservative guest Laura Ingraham a month later about the role of women in religion.

After Hasselbeck's initial defense of Scott Brown's daughters, Behar tried to twist the topic, pointing out that Brown said his daughters "were available" and "trotted" them out in public on the night of the election – so they were fair game. "Every politician has their family around them," on election night, Hasselbeck retorted.

"Are you justifying what Kathy Griffin said about these two young girls?" Hasselbeck asked, astonished. "It's just a joke," Behar insisted.

"Don't do it, it's not just a joke," Hasselbeck immediately retorted. "We said off-limits. Everyone said off-limits. Get in line and cut it out. It's not okay."

When pressed what her reaction would be if her own daughters were called prostitutes, Behar said she would casually brush it off. "I know my daughter is not a prostitute, so it's funny to me," the show's liberal co-host answered.

Behar also defended CNN correspondent Dana Bash, who laughed at Griffin's comment. Behar said Bash simply has "a sense of humor," and only "chuckled" at the comment. Co-host Sherri Shepherd said that a laugh was expected since Griffin is, after all, a comic.

Neither Behar nor Shepherd discussed whether Bash, as a reporter, should have been on the show in the first place, given that Griffin is notorious for her dirty and outrageous remarks, often at the expense of Republicans or conservatives..

As Newsbusters reported on the incident last week, you may watch the video of the incident yourself to see whether Dana Bash erupted in laughter or simply "chuckled" at the comment.

Hasselbeck was not without any support from her co-hosts. For her part, generally liberal 'View' moderator Whoopi Goldberg defended Scott Brown on speaking out for his daughters. "If somebody talked about my daughter as a joke like that, I'd beat their a**," she said.

A partial transcript of the segment, which aired on July 19 at 11:09 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

(Video Clip)

KATHY GRIFFIN: Scott Brown - who is a senator from Massachusetts, and has two daughters that are prostitutes.

(End Video Clip)

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: It's actually not really funny, and I know his daughters actually, and they're anything but that, and they –
 
JOY BEHAR: It's a joke, Elisabeth. It's just a joke.

HASSELBECK: Well no, no, no, no, no! We've always said politicians' kids are off limits. If someone went around calling Barack Obama's two girls prostitutes, people would be up in arms. Laybacks! Kathy Griffin's gotta back up on that one right now! Back it up, KG!

JOY BEHAR: But wait a second, isn't he the one who trotted his daughter out there when he accepted the speech, and said, you know that she's available.

HASSELBECK: Trot – every politician has their family around them.

BEHAR: Once you trot the kids out, the Obamas do not trot the kids out, if you'll notice. Bristol and the boyfriend there, Levi – Levi who drops his Johnst – who dropped his Levis to show his Johnston – they're pushing a reality show now –

(Crosstalk)

HASSELBECK: Wait a minute, are you justifying what Kathy Griffin said about these two young girls? That's –

BEHAR: It's just a joke.

HASSELBECK: Don't do it, it's not just a joke. We said off limits." Everyone said off limits. Get in line, and cut it out. It's not okay.

(...)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Yeah, listen. If someone's – no, no, no – if somebody talked about my daughter as a joke like that, I would beat their ass.

SHERRI SHEPHERD: But you're their mother.

GOLDBERG: That's my – that's our point. So you can't be surprised that Scott Brown took offense at it. Those are his kids!

(...)

HASSELBECK: You defend your daughters against scum who comes after them, and calls them someone like a prostitute.

BEHAR: Are you calling Kathy scum now? Are you calling her scum?

(Crosstalk)

BEHAR: I'm wondering, is that okay?

HASSELBECK: If someone called your daughter a prostitute, would you think they'd be scum? I'd call someone scum if they called my daughter a prostitute.

BEHAR: I know my daughter is not a prostitute, so it's funny to me.

HASSELBECK: (Sarcastically) Hysterical. It's so funny.

(...)

BEHAR: I know, it's true. The discussion in the makeup room what whether Dana Bash should have laughed. That was the discussion. Because she's a news person.

GOLDBERG: She could have been nervous –

(Crosstalk)

BEHAR: I say Dana Bash has a sense of humor, knows that the girls are not prostitutes, and then chuckled at it. That's all.

SHEPHERD: And as a matter of fact, Kathy is a comic. So you say outrageous things, we expect to get a laugh.
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014