“The View” co-host Joy Behar fashions herself a “big defender of the First Amendment.”
So big, in fact, she previously voiced support for former President Donald Trump’s town hall event hosted by CNN.
But after what Politico’s Playbook labeled a “sh*tshow,” Behar seems to be changing her tune.
During a segment of “The View” Thursday, Behar said, “I have to start this off with: I was wrong. She said they shouldn’t show him. And I said they should because I’m a very big defender of the First Amendment, and I believe that everybody should show who they really are, and let’s vote accordingly.”
She went on:
“But what I didn’t know was that the audience would be filled with his cult. I would like to know if CNN was passing out Kool-Aid before the event started. The guy is trashing E. Jean [Carroll] again, I wonder if she can sue him for defamation again. And when he was trashing her, this annoying audience was clapping. Why would CNN put only Republicans and people who love him in the audience?”
Finally, Behar said of the town hall, “I saw a bad stand-up comedian with a bunch of people in his cult who love him. And that is not American as far as I’m concerned. That is not American.”
Watch the video below:
"That is not American!"
Joy Behar RAGES at CNN for having Republican voters at their Trump town hall, served them Kool-Aid.
"What I didn't know was that the audience would be filled with his cult!"
"Why would CNN put only Republicans and people who love me in the audience?!" pic.twitter.com/uW06fJP0ER
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) May 11, 2023
Just a week ago, Behar argued something different. She told fellow co-host Sunny Hostin, “I can’t stand [Trump] as you know. But he is the front-runner for the Republican party — I would let them do it, it is a free country. This is America.”
“Let him go out there and let him show again to the American people that he is a sociopath,” she added.
So what changed in a week? Well, Trump was not shut down and badgered by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins into admitting the 2020 election was not stolen or showing any kind of contrition about the Jan. 6 riot or a jury finding him liable of sexual abuse and defamation.
Instead, he repeated his claims about the election and mocked author E. Jean Carroll, and the audience laughed along. He also called Collins a “nasty person” after she tried to get him to stop filibustering and answer her question.
And while viewers may have been appalled by what they witnessed, that is the cost of supporting free speech in the country. It means sometimes listening to comments you find repulsive. It means sometimes you see parts of humanity you wish did not exist.
CNN took a big risk by hosting its town hall with Trump — and it deserves credit. Collins did her best to fact-check the former president in real-time and keep the event on track, which is very hard to do with him without coming off as being overly aggressive or hostile. The event could have turned out to be a disaster for Trump, or it could have turned out to be a disaster for the network, which seems to be the case.
Still, the event let voters see Trump deal with hot-button questions, not merely policy or fluff questions but questions that focused on his temperament, character, and investigations into him.
Viewers got a clear reminder of who Trump is, which is allegedly what Behar wanted. Now, in case they forgot or thought he changed, they have an idea of who they would be voting for if they support the former president. And that is the beauty of free speech. Now, it is up to voters to decide if that is who they want to be president, whether or not commentators on TV like it.
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