After avoiding politics the previous day, the ladies on Thursday's The View seemingly compensated for their lost time. Joy Behar led the way first calling for more political speeches at the Oscars, then cheered for Gore’s nomination, apologized for Joe Biden, Rosie said she’d never run for office, and took the solemnity of a political columnist’s death to attack President Bush.
Barbara Walters returned from Los Angeles where she interviewed some Oscar nominees for her upcoming Academy Awards special. Joy Behar wants more nominees to shove their opinions on all Americans.
Joy Behar: "I pray that somebody is controversial and assertive. I pray it. Because, it’s so tedious otherwise, you know. Thank you, thank you, my piano teacher. Who cares? Say something political and interesting."
After briefly giving a shout out to Al Gore’s Oscar nominee and calling for him to run for president, Behar as well as Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters defended Senator Joe Biden’s recent controversial remarks about Barack Obama. Barbara Walters said "he meant no harm," and "Biden meant it as a great compliment." Behar mentioned that "he fights for civil rights," and Rosie O’Donnell does not "believe he has hatred in his heart." Finally, token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked the key question with Rosie O’Donnell’s non-response speaking volumes.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: "If George Bush had said it, would the response have been different?"
Rosie O’Donnell: "He wouldn’t have conjugated the verbs correctly."
During this segment, Rosie O’Donnell asserted that she will never run for office.
If that’s not enough, when discussing the unfortunate death of columnist Molly Ivins, the ladies used it as an opportunity to take some jabs at President Bush. Joy Behar’s favorite comment from the late Molly Ivins is when she claimed "shallow is like calling a dwarf short, if you call Bush shallow." O’Donnell used it to promote Ivins’s anti-Bush book Shrub.
The transcript from the two segments is below. First about Senator Biden.
Rosie O’Donnell: "Hi, we're back. And we’re on the air live. Ok, so politics. Joy."
Behar: "A lot of politics."
O’Donnell: "A lot of politics. Take it. What do you got for me Behar?"
Behar: "Well, Al Gore is nominated for a Nobel peace prize."
O’Donnell: "Fantastic, I think."
Behar: "And he could be getting an Oscar. That would be two statutes and to set another-what?"
Barbara Walters: "For An Inconvenient Truth."
Behar: "So that’s wonderful news for him, I think. I think he should throw his hat in soon, my opinion, because Joe Biden has just stuck his foot in his mouth."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: "Just in a small way. That guy just is in trouble-"
O’Donnell: "Well read what, read what Joe Biden said and then we can talk about it."
Behar: "What did he say?"
Walters: "Ok, and I like Joe Biden."
Behar: "We all do but-"
Walters: "And he meant no harm. However, this is what he said. He's talking about Barack Obama. And that’s fine. He says, ‘I mean, you've got the first main stream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean’ -- boom -- ‘and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.’ Clean? So then -- and Barack Obama said, ‘look it. I'm not upset. I knew what he meant.’ And then Biden says, ‘no I didn't know that he's clean. I mean that he's fresh. I meant clean as a whistle, fresh.’"
Behar: "It’s his phrase, yeah."
Walters: "I mean, the more he tried to get into it, the more he got out of it. Then also the fact that he’s saying that this is the first mainstream African American. Carol Moseley Braun, was a Senator from, dropped some notes, 1993 to 1999, she was going to run. Shirley Chisholm. Remember her in Congress?"
O’Donnell: "These are not men. He said men."
Walters: "Men? Al Sharpton."
Behar: "Al Sharpton is, is a very articulate."
Walters: "I think the word ‘clean’ was the problem."
O’Donnell: "But do you honestly think that Joe Biden was trying to imply that black people are not clean?"
O’Donnell: "Neither do I. I think that to parcel out words, that everything is about spin nowadays. You can take anything, take out one or two words [singing Entertainment Tonight theme] and it becomes a fact for everyone in the world. You know, Joe Biden has been in public service for a long time."
Behar: "And he fights for civil rights."
O’Donnell: "He certainly does. And I don’t believe he had hatred in his heart when he said this but, he misspoke, in a way, but I think also-"
Hasselbeck: "He did misspeak."
Walters: "He meant it as a great compliment."
O’Donnell: "And he was saying he’s the first viable black candidate. That’s what he was saying."
Hasselbeck: "I think the interesting thing will be how the African-American community would respond to that and how they feel. Because you don't know, you just don’t know how the person that he's talking about feels. I mean, Barack Obama responded, but he has to be very careful, too."
Walters: "But Biden meant it, Biden meant it as a great compliment. Biden is not a bigoted man he’s not a prejudice man."
Behar: "But this is a Democratic-foot-in-mouth disease."
Walters: "Right, yes it is."
Behar: "He's making John Kerry look like he’s electable now. I mean, all they do is stick their foot in their mouth, these guys."
Hasselbeck: "Maybe they just shouldn't talk."
Behar: "And, you know, I once read, the number one fear in the Guinness book or whatever one of those books, the book of lists, the number one fear is the fear of public speaking. Take it as a note, a word to the wise."
Walters: "Then they never can talk about anything."
Behar: "You have to note when you're a politician, just like she says, they'll spin it out of control. You have to really watch what you say. What was he thinking?
Hasselbeck: "It didn't leave much room for interpretation in his words."
Behar: "He’s really a very nice guy and he didn’t really mean it."
Hasselbeck: "I’m sure he is. He should know to be very cautious."
Hasselbeck: "So let me ask you this, with Al Franken, then, you know, coming into a Senate race, he has comedy on his side. What is he going to do?"
Behar: "Al Franken better watch it."
Hasselbeck: "That would be like if you were running, ok, say you entered politics or you entered politics-"
O’Donnell: "Which I will never do."
Hasselbeck: "How do you, how do you ever walk that line if you’re a comedian and you have to enter the politically correct world of politics?"
Behar: "Well, wait a second. See there's a difference. If you are a professional comedian, you might know how to say it. These guys are trying to be funny. It’s like don’t try this at home." Walters: "But Biden wasn't trying to be funny."
Behar: "Leave this to the professionals."
O’Donnell: "But I don't think he was trying to be funny, either."
Behar: "But Kerry was."
Hasselbeck: "Kerry’s not funny."
O’Donnell: "Listen, here’s the difference."
Hasselbeck: "Not at all."
O’Donnell: "You know, 50 years ago, there were three channels of television, that's all. There were three, now it's 24 hours a day. If you're running for anything or if you’re even moderately famous, a camera follows you everywhere, they edit these pieces, they pick one sentence out, and all of a sudden the world is against you."
Walters: "And we know this, they run it again and again and again, and they make a big deal out of it."
O’Donnell: "Right, absolutely. It runs sort of factual via the internet and people’s consensus."
Hasselbeck: "But you know it. You know that that's the case now. You know anything can end up on You Tube or in this paper or that paper."
O’Donnell: "But do we want even more robotic politicians? Do we want politicians who are even more fear-based to speak from their heart and worry everything- I mean, when you read what he said it’s not in- he didn't have racist overtones. I don’t believe it."
Hasselbeck: "If George Bush had said it, would the response have been different?"
O’Donnell: "Well, he wouldn't have conjugated the verbs correctly."
O’Donnell: "It’s a different thing."
Hasselbeck: "Here’s the key to the door I just opened. There you go."
O’Donnell: "You know, you can't throw me a log like that, Elisabeth."
Then about Molly Ivins.
Behar: "Molly Ivins, do you people know who she was?"
O’Donnell: "Yes. Fantastic writer."
Behar: She died. She was only 62 years old. She was a political columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for nine years and she died. She was such a funny, funny writer."
Walters: "Irreverent and..."
Behar: "Irreverent. My favorite, when she said Bush, about George Bush, she said ‘shallow was like calling a dwarf short, if you called Bush shallow.’"
O’Donnell: "She wrote a great book about him called Shrub. Which you should buy, about George Bush, the one who’s in office now."