Reaction against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ remarks to the United Nations, in which he referred to President George W. Bush as "the devil," has been strong. Liberal Democrat Charlie Rangel forcefully argued that the attack on the President was an attack on all Americans, while House minority leader Nancy Pelosi denounced Chavez as "an everyday thug." It’s interesting, though not surprising, that Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar of ABC’s "The View," were not able to do the same.
Rather than criticize Chavez for his outrageous comments, Behar and O’Donnell did what they do best: blame President Bush:
Behar: "Well, don't you think Bush threw in the gauntlet when he called people the 'axis of evil'?...What else did they -- they called -- there was another name, I can’t think of it, that they–"
O’Donnell: "Well, he, he would, he, President Bush is very fond of calling people who have different opinions than he 'evildoers.'"
ABC reporter Deborah Roberts, guest hosting on the September 21st edition of The View, made the only critical statement against Chavez:
Deborah Roberts: "He said, oh, I can smell the sulfur here. I mean, he was really insulting to the President...Kind of, I think, it was kind of over the top."
That led Joy Behar to make Chavez’ remarks equivalent to President Bush’s 2002 "axis of evil" statement [which, it should be pointed out, did not include Venezuela or Chavez.]
Behar: "Well, don't you think Bush threw in the gauntlet when he called people the 'axis of evil'? Once you start name calling, then it's like nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah..."
Then Rosie O’Donnell chimed in:
Rosie O'Donnell: "President Bush is very fond of calling people who have different opinions than he 'evildoers'."
O’Donnell makes it seem as if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Chavez are merely world leaders who have simple differences with President Bush, and not dictatorial leaders of dangerous regimes.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck defended the President:
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: "And sometimes that's not wrong when they behead individuals that happened to have lived on our soil and theirs as well, so I think there are evildoers out there."
O’Donnell: "Correct. There are many wrongs done in the name of extremism and religion every day, and its really not the right way to go as human beings."
After Hasselbeck brought up the controversy surrounding Pat Robertson's call to assassinate Chavez, which Robertson later apologized for, Behar wound up the segment by doing a little name-calling herself:
Hasselbeck: "...Didn't, didn't Pat Robertson call for his -- didn't he have that quote calling for his assassination? Chavez, a little while ago."
O'Donnell: "Yes, but luckily Pat Robertson is not an elected leader..."
Behar: "Some people think he's el diablo."