My ‘View’: please just grow up ladies

By Ariel Crawford
October 25, 2010

If “The View” ladies can’t grow up and handle serious discussions about current events and politics without storming off like third graders then they really need to stick to talking about topics like helping viewers find jeans for their body shape and who got kicked off “Dancing with the Stars” because they are out of control.

On Thursday, Oct. 14  pundit Bill O’Reilly was the guest on the popular daytime ABC talk show. Things went smoothly until the topic of building a mosque at ground zero came up. O’Reilly launched into a rant straight from the desk of a Fox News writer.

Hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg didn’t  handle his opinions well. The women went on their own tangents and were especially upset over the fact that O’Reilly did not separate Muslim extremists from the majority of Muslims who live peacefully in America.

What began as a heated debate quickly spiraled into a screaming match. Behar and Goldberg stormed off stage. They both eventually came back but refused to sit near O’Reilly. But the damage had already been done and Barbara Walters was already angry with the women for their completely immature and unprofessional behavior.

“We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking off stage,” she said to cameras just moments after her co-hosts left the stage.

Within minutes, news of the feud was everywhere. A video clip of the show on Youtube has 976,448 hits and “The View” devoted a good chunk of it’s show the following Monday to addressing the incident.

O’Reilly feels he was in the right and stands by what he said on “The View.” He was quoted by “Entertainment Weekly” on Oct. 18 as saying “I condemn the far-left fanatics who label the people with whom they don’t agree as bigots. That’s what Joy Behar did again today.

Feminists need to get “The View” cancelled. If not feminists then someone—anyone really. Because it has done nothing for women but to further the stereotypes that they are catty, incapable of working with other women in a group or team, over-emotional drama queens who can’t seriously solve problems.

Almost anyone can rattle off at least a few of the infamous “View” feuds. It’s not like there’s a shortage. Rosie vs. Donald Trump, Elizabeth Hasselback vs. Kathy Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg vs. John McCain, Star Jones vs. all the other co-hosts, the list goes on.

This is all very ironic considering a very serious woman and journalist Barbara Walters created “The View.” The show premiered in 1997 as a talk show that would showcase women from all walks of life talking candidly but also intellectually and fairly about many issues.

One wonders how has a woman famous for her interviews with people like Fidel Castro, Boris Yelstein, Indira Ghandi, Sir Lawrence Oliver and Katherine Hepburn continues to let her co-hosts act this way with little to no repercussions for their actions. Certainly her superiors at “20/20” or her old bosses at “ABC Evening News” would never stand for such behavior.

The most professional, mature thing for Behar and Goldberg to do would have been to let O’Reilly simply say his peace. He was a guest on their show and should have been treated with respect. Excusing Behar and Goldberg’s behavior by saying that O’Reilly wasn’t being respectful to them personally doesn’t hold up either.

Because O’Reilly wasn’t being disrespectful to either of them but he was very disrespectful to Muslims, and particularly Muslim-Americans, whom he apparently cannot tell apart from Middle-Eastern Muslim extremists.

I don’t agree with Bill O’Reilly on almost anything. I also recognize that O’Reilly isn’t going to change. He has a job to do and a reputation to uphold in order to do that job. People are not going to tune in to the “O’Reilly Factor” if they think he’s gone soft. Just like people won’t watch “Jersey Shore” if the cast is sober for more than 15 minutes an episode.

This whole ‘I’m mad as hell at the liberal establishment and not going to take it anymore’ bit O’Reilly does could be a complete act cleverly crafted by Fox News to gain viewership. Stephen Colbert does it every night on his show The Colbert Report when he plays an ultra-conservative character who refers to O’Reilly as Papa Bear Bill O’Reilly.

He also did it when he appeared on “The View” just five days after the O’Reilly incident. While there, he  told Goldberg “You were being rude to Bill” and after debating with the two women for a few minutes stormed off the stage mockingly.

O’Reilly also isn’t going to change because it’s very profitable to be him. According to Forbes his total earnings last year came in at $9 million. Although we may say differently many of us would take $9 million over being liked by everyone.

Just because he’s controverstial doesn’t mean O’Reilly should have to change. He’s not hurting anyone and has a huge following. O’Reilly and his Fox News buddies are also responsible for stirring up a lot of important debate.

There were alternatives for dealing with O’Reilly. The easiest would have been to tell O’Reilly that they respectfully disagreed with them and stated why. Then, they could have continued on to discuss other topics and finished the interview.

Behar and Goldberg could have popped O’Reilly’s proverbial bubble by pointing out that Americans killed thousands of Japanese by dropping the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only time the atomic bomb has ever been used in history, but there are still friendly U.S.-Japanese relations or that Americans fire bombed the city of Dresden and killed at least 22,700 people, all of them being German civilians. Yet, Germany has not cut all ties with America.

If you think O’Reilly is laughable and that the things, which come out of his mouth are absurd then show us. Make your viewer see how silly and irrational it all is. It’s not that difficult to poke fun at ultra-conservatives. Writers at The Daily Show and The Onion do it for a living.

There will always be something that we don’t like or maybe hate about our work. Sometimes, this might be a person. But part of being a reasonable and productive adult is learning how to deal with those things and people we don’t like in a mature and professional way.

An apology to O’Reilly is not necessary, he wouldn’t accept it anyway. The ladies should admit that they acted inappropriately though and ABC needs to think about administering more than just a slap on the wrist to these ladies.

If African-Americans can deal with the fact that Don Imus is on the radio everyday and Jewish people can live with the fact that there are holocaust deniers then I’m fully confident that Joy Behar and Whoppi Goldberg can sit on a couch with Bill O’Reilly  without having a tempter tantrum.

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Ariel Crawford

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