Barbara Walters Goes After Sarah Palin on 'The View'

Barbara Walters took to her own soapbox Monday on ABC’s "The View" to deride Sarah Palin. But if viewers were only getting their news from Barbara, they’d be getting a very slanted version of what Palin said. Walters said she urged Obama to declare war on Iran, but "I don’t have the exact quote."

Walters also lined up with many liberals by suggesting Palin should have lashed out at Rush Limbaugh like she did for Rahm Emanuel for his use of the word "retard," but she skipped over the profanity of Emanuel’s tirade.

The panel was unanimously liberal again, with both Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselback out, and Meghan McCain was in. Walters gushed over Meghan, who quoted Maya Angelou and is clearly the kind of liberal that Barbara wants running the Republican Party. Walters admitted Palin was "very popular," but she clearly wants to put a stop to that.

Whoopi Goldberg helpfully set the boss up for an editorial: "Something else is bugging you about this." This exchange followed.

WALTERS: Now two things that troubled me a little bit. One, she was asked, Sarah Palin was asked what President Obama could do if he wanted to be reelected, and she suggested in serious [sic] that maybe what he could do to be tougher is declare a war on Iran. That gave me some pause. But the other think that I think about –

SHERRI SHEPHERD: So we’ve got Afghanistan, we’ve got the third war?

WALTERS: He’d be tougher if he declared war on Iran.

MEGHAN McCAIN: We should never go to war unless it’s the absolute last circumstance.

WALTERS: She thought that would make him look tougher. I don’t have the exact quote.

If Walters had acted like a journalist should, and actually looked at the transcript of Fox News Sunday – she didn’t mention Fox News – she would have seen that Palin wasn’t saying Obama should declare war on Iran (like Bush declared war on Iraq). She was saying a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is one way Obama could revive his sagging political fortunes:

CHRIS WALLACE: How hard do you think President Obama would be to defeat in 2012?

SARAH PALIN: It depends on a few things, say he played — I got this from Buchanan — say he played the war card. Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decide to really come out and do whatever he could to support Israel–which I would like him to do. That changes the dynamics of what we can assume will happen between now and three years. Because I think if the election were today, Obama would not be elected.

WALLACE: You’re not suggesting that Obama would cynically play the war card?

PALIN: I’m not suggesting that, I’m saying if he did, things would dramatically change if he decided to toughen up and do all that he can to secure our nation and secure our allies. I think people would shift their thinking a bit.

Shouldn’t it be obvious to Walters, if she wanted to be a political analyst, that military action might help Obama in the polls? Walters was too busy trying to telegraph to viewers "Palin’s just like Bush."

Then Walters shifted to the controversy over the R-word:

WALTERS: Now here I have the exact quote. Because we’ve talked about this earlier, Rahm Emanuel, the president’s Chief of Staff, in a very private meeting used the word ‘retarded.’

She’s already sugar-coating it. Emanuel said "f—ing retards."

And he has apologized, and ARC, which used to be the association for the retarded children, now they’re called ARC. They had a meeting with him. They accepted his apology, that he didn’t mean to say it, it was insensitive. But Sarah Palin thought he should be fired.

Now, then in this [ahem, Fox] interview, they talked about Rush Limbaugh, who said ‘our politically correct society is actling like some great insult has taken place by calling of bunch of people who are retards, "retards." Sarah Palin said, talking about the politically correct, said ‘They are kooks. I agree with Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh was using satire. Rahm Emanuel should be fired, Rush Limbaugh was using satire?

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: When he appears at Caroline’s the comedy club, I’ll believe it was satirical. [Applause]

Goldberg’s comment was simply bizarre. Does she think that left-wingers like Stephanie Miller can’t do satire from a talk-radio studio? Here’s how Limbaugh responded on his show.

When The View ladies discussed Palin’s notes on the palm of her hand, Walters reflexively defended Obama’s use of a TelePrompter. She wrapped up her Palin comments by defending Obama against the frightening division that happens in our country when you call Obama a socialist:

WALTERS: But one of the big labels is that he’s a socialist or a communist, and that’s a pretty broad label. Because you may or may not like his health plan. What you’re talking about, what we’re all talking about is the division we feel in this country right now, and the rage that we feel in this country now, and whatever party it is, it is very frightening, that we feel this way. And we can only hope that maybe that this meeting with the Democrats and the Republicans will make some little difference. It just seems to have gone too far, don’t you think?

MEGHAN McCAIN: I completely agree. Maya Angelou says we have more in common that we do apart. We need to use this message in politics more., and make speeches about it all the time. I have on tomorrow at George Washington University. This rhetoric will continue to turn off young voters, and anybody who says something different is smoking something.

Did Meghan understand the conflict in what she’d just said? "This divisive rhetoric turns off young people, and anyone who disagrees with me is a pothead."

I don't recall Barbara Walters being upset or frightened by the "division" when Cindy Sheehan and other leftists were suggesting George W. Bush was a Nazi and a war criminal.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis