Joy Behar, co-host of ABC’s The View, has been given her own show on CNN’s HeadLine News (HLN). Though Behar’s background is in comedy, she has cultivated a reputation for making outrageous, offensive comments that have drawn negative attention from many quarters, including Jewish and Catholic organizations. She recently parlayed her craziness to become an oft-used fill-in for Larry King on his program. The CNN folks liked her performance so much, they rewarded her with her own time slot.
Behar’s incendiary rhetoric is commonly unrestrained by any semblance of good sense. Back in December of 2006, for instance, she even made View co-host Rosie O’Donnell cringe by likening Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Hitler.
That bit of television — saying Rumsfeld was “Hitler-like” — prompted the Anti-Defamation League to send Behar an open letter condemning her statement as “inappropriate and offensive.”
Rumsfeld and others in the Bush administration were a common target of hate for Behar. Consider this blunt exchange she had on The View with Rosie O’Donnell:
O’Donnell: “It is a disgrace. This [Bush] administration is a disgrace. It’s not democracy.”
Behar: “That’s right. I agree with that. I don’t want add fuel to the fire, but I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to really wake up and understand that they are liars and they are murderers. I’m sorry…. In addition to all of this, I don’t understand how [anyone] can still support this administration. After the Katrina incident, after the incompetence that took place there, after the incompetence and the lying about this war — I don’t understand it.”
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights also condemned Behar for the “anti-Catholic” statements she often made on The View. Behar, who was raised Catholic, once joked that “the priests were all drunk” when giving communion. She even opined that the saints of Catholic history were nothing more than crazy people who were “hearing voices” and could have benefited from psychotropic medication. You can see that bit of fine news journalism here:
And just this past week on The View, Behar expressed her support for a socialist form of government when lavishing praise on Denmark:
“In Denmark – my favorite country – they are the happiest people in the world…The reason that they’re so happy is because they don’t worry about health care. They don’t worry about sending their kids to college because everything’s paid for.”
Such is the worldview that won Behar her own show on HLN, which undoubtedly will bring her some level of added attention. She already has used an interview about the upcoming program as an opportunity to slam Glenn Beck for his past alcohol and drug use, instead of taking issue with any of Beck’s views in a substantive manner.
Behar has gone so far as to claim that Beck now uses his Fox News show as a psychological substitute for his former addictions:
“He was an alcoholic and a drug addict at one time. It sort of follows that he would be crazy now… He’s addicted to all the publicity I think. It took the place of drinking.”
Addicted to publicity? You’ve got to marvel at this blatant example of the pot calling the kettle black. Behar is the lady who, during one of the more highly publicized arguments in recent television history (between Rosie O’Donnell and conservative co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck), tried to interrupt with: “How did I get out of this conversation? I was in the middle of this conversation!”
I won’t stoop to Ms. Behar’s level and speculate about what personal problems she’s had in the past, problems that may explain her need to be on TWO talk shows where she acts crazy. I’ll leave such psychological musings to the viewers of HLN.
Meanwhile, Keith Olbermann must be worried. He may lose his standing as the craziest and cruelest left-winger on cable news.