MRC’s Scott Whitlock last week called to light Joy Behar’s suggestion on The View that Congressman Anthony Weiner’s social media scandal was part of a conspiracy by political opponents, a view repudiated by fellow panelist Barbara Walters. “Somebody is out to get him, apparently, 'cause they don't like his politics,” Behar said on the ABC daytime talk show on Tuesday.
Despite Monday’s revelations, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, long the sole voice of reason on the program, was the only panelist who openly and repeatedly called for Weiner’s resignation. "He should be resigning right now," Hasselbeck said. The View’s leftist coffee klatch, however, would take no clear stand, and thought it more suitable to play armchair psychologist.
"I don’t think he thought of himself as cheating," said Whoopi Goldberg. They sought to dissect the motivational underpinnings of Weiner’s behavior instead of discussing whether or not his penchant for dishonesty should have any bearing on his suitability for public office. All of the panelists made clear they disapproved of Weiner’s behavior.
The panel also resurrected the Monica Lewinsky scandal. “Let me give you two words: Bill Clinton, from the Oval Office and he survived.” said Joy Behar, insisting that the current scandal was survivable for Weiner. Hasselbeck, however, was again the only panelist who didn’t miss the point. “I think what most Americans are upset about is the fact that there was lying,” Hasselbeck said.
The View’s take on the Weinergate saga demonstrates one of the many things wrong with the way the media operates. When the first evidence became public, Joy Behar rushed to judgment and proclaimed it a trumped up conspiracy against a progressive crusader. Once the full scope of the evidence became known, and Weiner’s guilt had been established, restraint suddenly became the appropriate posture.
Behar has strong words for the right-wing hacks who inhabit only her skewed view of our political landscape, but precious little to say about a proven liar and cheat. One could only speculate on what her thought process would be regarding a similar scandal featuring a Republican were it not already painfully obvious. According to transcripts of her CNN Headline program, The Joy Behar Show, her treatment of Congressman Chris Lee’s resignation received no such rosy nuance. In Behar’s world, the judgment of evidence is far different for conservatives than for liberals.
UPDATE: Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg both called for Weiner's resignation in no uncertain terms on Wednesday's program. "I think he should resign," said Behar. Goldberg made similar assertions, insisting that she had called for Weiner's resignation the day previous.
A transcript of the June 7 segment, which aired at 11:01 am EDT, follows:
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Hey. Hello and welcome to The View, baby. We've got to get right into this because everybody is talking about Weinergate. New York congressman Anthony Weiner's press conference yesterday where he admitted he sent those racy twitter pictures. He apologized profusely but he said he had no intention of resigning. Ha-ha.. What do you think?
ELISABETH HASSELBECKI think it's obnoxious that he's not. I think it's obnoxious that Nancy P.elosi is calling for an ethics investigation, as if there is anything to investigate right now. He should be resigning right now.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Look at this!
HASSELBECK: We are the taxpayer. We're actually his boss. I think everyone should call for his resignation.
BARBARA WALTERS: Why should he resign?
HASSELBECK: This is a matter of trust integrity. How are we to suppose after a week of lying that this man is then telling the truth about anything else?
WALTERS: You are not his constituent. His constituents is Brooklyn and other areas. I'm not defending what he does, I'm just giving his side because that's what I do. His side is I did not do this on company time, that is, U.S. Government time, I did not do this with U.S. government money. I am a dedicated congressman. There are issues that I care about. This was a horrible mistake. More than that. I mean, we have to question why does he do it? But it does not mean that I that cannot be a good and effective congressman. That may not be the answer. But it's not necessarily throw the bum out because there are other issues.
GOLDBERG: We have gone- we have asked other senators and congressmen to step down because of things like this. I believe he was from New Jersey. My point being that we have asked others to step down, and I do think that this does bring up some questions. I mean, my question is, if you saw two months ago that another senator or congressman was kicked out for sending a picture of himself of his chest, you saw what happened to him, that you are so dumb that you don't realize that that means people are watching for this kind of thing? And you turn around and do it? Then I have to question, are you smart enough to still be the guy that represents me? I’m really mad, I’m really mad about it.
SHEPHERD: One of the women that he was tweeting with when he was doing some of the little nasty tweets, he said he was a caped crusader looking for a sidekick he’s dying of boredom plus his tights really itch he needed a distraction. That’s what he said, but she says they allegedly talked dirty on the phone for 30 minutes from the congressional office. So you see it’s one thing when you’re doing stuff on your personal time, but it’s another thing when you’re in the office supposed to be running.
JOY BEHAR: Well, can I just give you- let me give you two words. Bill Clinton from the oval office and he survived, he survived.
GOLDBERG: He survived but he lost the presidency. They shamed him and tried to do all kinds of stuff.
GODLBERG: Listen. They impeached him. And when they impeach you, it is a huge black mark. Now, you know, Bill is a friend of mine. So this is no putdown of him-
WALTERS: But he survived it.
GOLDBERG: -but it really did take a long time. I remember how they talked and how they talked about Hillary and all this. I mean it kept coming up and up, it was terrible.
HASSELBECK: Here’s what people are upset about: yes, whatever they did in their personal lives, whether they have an operation, fidelity with their spouse or not, I think what most Americans are upset about is the fact that there was lying. Same with Cill Clinton. For a month or two, right? Same here that we have the Weiner, for a week, seven days, lying about this. I don't care what you do on your own time. The fact that you lied to the American people for a week when you knew -- you knew that was you, Weiner.
SHEPHERD: Yeah, because it says what are you going to do when you’re in office? Are you going to be lying then?
WALTERS: There is another question that is more personal. I'm sorry. Go ahead.
GOLDBERG: I was going to ask you, what you think, why you think this is happening? Because you have an interesting take on it, I thought.
WALTERS: Let me say what I was going to say first and then I'll get to that, okay? Do you know his wife, Huma?
WALTERS: I do. She is really a lovely person and they have just been married a year. And, you know, we've had this discussion upstairs and I'm sure you all have. A, why do men do it? And, B, if they do this and there’s no sexual -- you know, they haven't met them personally, is it cheating? Is it cheating? One of the things- you talked about Bill Clinton. Huma has been with Hillary Clinton since 1996. She's deputy chief of staff. She started as an intern. The Monica Lewinsky scandal was 1998, which means Huma went through this with Hillary. I would be fascinated to know what advice Hillary is now going Huma.
BEHAR Hillary stuck by her man. My feeling is -- and I love both Hillary and Bill very much. I think they're great, but I think she stuck by her man because she was politically motivated, politically ambitious.
WALTERS: She also loved him.
BEHAR: Well, maybe she loved him, but maybe Huma loves Anthony.
BEHAR: Mrs. Sanford didn't love her husband? I think you make a choice whether you love them or you don’t whether you’re going to stick with them. Hillary got a lot of criticism for sticking with her husband.
WALTERS: But she did, and it turned out okay. To get back to what you asked me earlier, so I was with some doctors last night and one of them said, you know, we keep saying why did he do it? He has a lovely wife. Why is he doing it? And this- This is not my theory. That it is a result of Viagra and what is the other one?
WALTERS: You're laughing, and Cialis! It has changed people's lives.
SHEPHERD: Because it makes you stay on a sex trip the whole time?
WALTERS: It makes you need it more. People are saying why did he do it?
BEHAR: It's ironic because we read the other day that sales of viagra are being to droop. We did read that, Barbara. We read that the other day.
WALTERS: We're talking about why would he? He has a lovely wife. There is no doubt that he loves her.
GOLDBERG: I don't think he thought of himself as cheating. See, we have this old-fashioned idea --
WALTERS: Why does he need it at all?
HASSELBECK: Validation, validation.
WHOOPI: Go ahead, Sherri.
GOLDBERG: We both know it.
SHEPHERD: My question is, Whoopi and Barbara, a lot of men always complain about -this man, these tweets that were going back and forth they were really kind of nasty in nature. Do men- do men get married and they want their wives to be buck wild? And we get trained as women- let me just get my theory- a lot of us have been trained, we do stuff if it’s, that’s what those women do, we do stuff that is respectable. The stuff he was asking from these women, but what I’m saying is we go, yeah, that's what those people do. The stuff he was doing with those women was really out there. So I'm going do men want that from their women?
BEHAR: Well, It's also remote.
GOLDBERG: That's the point.
BEHAR: It's the fantasy of it that's turning the guy on.
GOLDBERG: And because they don't think of it as being physical. And, you know, it's not the same as sitting by yourself and watching a movie. You have the idea of of you know having a little flirtation, and we have been raised to believe that cheating is something that physically happens and happens emotionally. Now, these guys, when they're looking at the tweets, they're saying, no, this is just me fooling around. They have no clue that it is the same issue.
WALTERS: It also, it also is, for reasons we don't know, a need to be loved, a need to be thought you're sexy.
BEHAR: Look how gorgeous he is, he's been working out and wants to show everybody what he looks like.
HASSELBECK: To your point, men want the validation. But I do also think --
WALTERS: Take that off, please. I don't want to keep seeing it.
SHEPHERD: You see, barbara, you don't want to see it. But he knew somebody wanted to see it. That's why he sent it, they were making him feel like he was good.
GOLDBERG: He hoped somebody wanted to see it.
HASSELBECK: How close to cheating can I get without cheating is really what's going on. How close to that line can I come and then all of the sudden you’re over it.
GOLDBERG: Do we come to the idea that sexting is another form of cheating?
SHEPHERD: You’re giving a part of yourself to somebody else that you vowed to give only to me.
BEHAR: I think it's a valid thing to say. If you read the things, there a little bit obnoxious, they're very obnoxious. But it's valid to say that it's a fantasy thing that's going on. Now last night I had a dream that i was in bed with Robert De Niro. That’s enough for me. That was enough to me. It holds me all day today.
SHEPHERD: No, but men need more than that.
HASSELBECK: Wait a minute, I didn’t ask you that, is thinking about it today.
WALTERS: There was a poll that Joy and I saw this morning on "Good Morning America," when we talk about cheating, which is, which would you, which would you mind, your man, your husband, having a prostitute -
BEHAR:Once a week.
WALTERS: - or having lunch, a platonic lunch with his secretary every day? And the answer was I'd rather he was with the prostitute.
GOLDBERG: And I have, I’ve always said, if he's with a prostitute and she's clean and he's paying for it and you don't want to give it up, leave him alone. Because the minute he goes out and finds somebody that he wants to talk to, oh, you're done! We’ll be right back with more Hot Topic.