ABC's Vieira: Attacking Bush No Big Deal, Attacking 'The View' is Going 'Too Far'

May 24th, 2006 5:32 PM

The women of The View are angry with the Dixie Chicks. Because of the group’s exploitative liberal politics? Because of their hollow claims of being censored? No. Apparently, it’s because the Dixie Chicks don’t think the ABC talk show is very hip. According to a Fox News report, band member Emily Robison said the following in the current issue of Time magazine:

"Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines' new motto is, 'What would Bruce Springsteen do?' says Robison. ‘Not that we're of that caliber, but would Bruce Springsteen do The View?’"

Unsurprisingly, this angered the stars of the show in question. On the May 23 edition, co-host and future anchor of the Today show, Meredith Vieira described the situation this way:

Vieira: "First, you know, they alienate their fan base by going after President Bush. Now they have gone too far in Time magazine. We are furious! Furious!"

In fairness, it should be noted that the tone of this segment, which aired at 11:01AM EDT, was jovial and full of mock anger. But Joy Behar seemed genuinely wounded by an attack from a fellow liberal:

Behar: "These girls, it’s like, I really liked them, ‘cause I agree with their politics, as many people know. But this is obnoxious."

Behar went on to state that women shouldn’t criticize women:

Behar: "Because it's against the sisterhood. This is a woman's show. That's a woman's group. You don't put the knock on another women's show. It’s one thing when the boys do it, but when the girls do it, it’s wrong. It’s even more wrong."

Apparently when Behar referred to the Vice President as "Dr. Stupid" or called Rush Limbaugh a "radical," that was okay. After all, those two aren’t women. Meredith Vieira agreed with her co-host’s sage wisdom, saying, "That’s a very good point." It looks as though NBC won’t lose the strident feminist perspective when Katie Couric leaves.

Co-host Behar also reiterated Vieira’s earlier point. She stated,

Behar: "But it's one thing to dis the Bush administration. It's treason to dis The View. That’s what I have to say."

There were two surprisingly straight forward critiques that didn’t relate to whining about a "sisterhood." Vieira noted that this type of behavior, ingratiating comments made to friendly audiences, is the M.O. of the Dixie Chicks. Star Jones, however, put it best when she nailed the country music group on their base pandering:

Jones: "But a lot of people say it was pandering. Because if you're in an audience that is an anti-Bush audience, to say, you know, ‘just to let you all know, we're ashamed that he comes from our state,’ you know you're going to get a big wooo!...So the argument was that was pandering. And so, now, because the President's numbers are in le toilet, to say I really don't care about him and, no, I don't apologize, then you're again pandering."

The outrage displayed by the women of The View shows the insular attitude that many in the media possess. It’s okay to make blistering attacks on conservatives and Republicans, but don’t you dare attack members of the mainstream media, especially liberal and female members. (Update: On the May 24 edition of the talk show, Meredith Vieira read an apology that they received from the Dixie Chicks.)