O’Reilly appeared on Thursday’s episode of The View to promote the release of his newest book, Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama. During his appearance, O’Reilly discussed some of the issues addressed in his book related to Obama’s approval ratings, including what O’Reilly perceives to be a cultural disconnect between the President and the American people.
According to O’Reilly, one of the areas in which Obama is disconnected from the American people is in regard to the Ground Zero mosque. As he attempted to explain his stance, however, the conversation quickly became heated:
O'REILLY: The mosque — the mosque down here on 9/11, that's inappropriate. It's — sure, they have a right to do it and in the Constitution, but it's inappropriate because a lot of the 9/11 families, who I know, say, "Look, we don't want that. It shouldn't be there."
BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: What about the discussion?
O'REILLY: No, no, no. No, no, no. But there is the president -- there is the president going, "Well, they have a right to do it." And, then the guy said…
JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: Yes! This is America. This is America.
O'REILLY: Hold it! Hold it! Listen to me because you'll learn.
BEHAR: Pinhead. Pinhead.
O'REILLY: Thank you! So he says to the press, "Yes, they have a right to do it" and that's true.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: Yes?
O'REILLY: And then the question is, "But what about the wisdom of it, Mr. President? And, he goes "I'm not going to comment," whereupon everybody in the country goes, "What?"
BEHAR: We're Americans. We agree with him.
O'REILLY: You agree with him. Most Americans…
BEHAR: No, we're Americans. I'm an American.
O'REILLY: Let me break this to you: 70 percent of Americans don't want that mosque down there.
BEHAR: Where is that poll?
O'REILLY: So don't give me the "we" business.
BEHAR: Where is that poll? I want to see that poll.
O'REILLY: Do you want to bet on that? Do you want to bet? I will show you that poll in a minute.
BEHAR: All I'm saying is I'm American, too.
GOLDBERG: Seventy percent of Americans don't want…
O'REILLY: Yes! Seventy percent.
GOLDBERG: …don't want it there.
BEHAR: Why is that?
GOLDBERG: But why are we saying…
O'REILLY: Because it is inappropriate.
GOLDBERG: Why is it inappropriate if 70 percent…
O'REILLY: Muslims killed us on 9/11.
GOLDBERG: No! Oh my God! That is (EXPLETIVE DELETED.)
O'REILLY: Muslims didn't kill us on 9/11, is that what you're saying?
GOLDBERG: Extremists. Excuse me, extremists…
BEHAR: What religion was Mr. McVeigh?
O'REILLY: I'm telling you, 70 percent of the…
BEHAR: I don't want to sit here now. I don't sit here.
O'REILLY: Go. Go.
BEHAR: I'm outraged by that statement.
O'REILLY: You are outraged about Muslims killed us on 9/11?
(GOLDBERG AND BEHAR WALK OFF SET)
Immediately upon Behar’s and Goldberg’s exit, Barbara Walters, clearly angered by the walk-off, remarked, “I want to say something. I want to say something to all of you. You have just seen what should not happen. We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking off stage. I love my colleagues. That should not have happened.”
Videos of the incident on The View went viral, and O’Reilly’s appearance is now famous. For days following the incident, both O’Reilly as well as the hosts of The View have discussed the incident on their own shows.
On Thursday evening’s episode of The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly revisited the intense debate with the ladies on The View and invited conservative radio commentator Laura Ingraham to weigh in on the incident. Ingraham called the walk-out “mind-blowing” and said that the stunt appeared to be “contrived.”
Ingraham remarked, “We’re at a point in our country that you cannot actually say something that is true without getting jumped, without people getting up, saying inane things, walking off the stage, and then demanding an apology.”
Pointing to Behar’s hypocrisy over demanding O’Reilly to clarify between Muslim extremists and Muslims in general, Ingraham cited the following: “She called Christian home-schooling parents ‘demented.’ She has made fun of the Catholic saints as people who needed psychotropic drugs. She has ridiculed people who stand for traditional marriage as ‘Bible-thumpers.’ She mocked Christian women’s sexual habits. She said prayer is ‘anti-intellectual.’”
Ingraham concludes, “Can you imagine if you said those things about Muslims? She is guilty of what she accuses you of doing. She is actually truly guilty of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian speech on her show.”
Surprisingly, Leftist television host Bill Maher grudgingly admitted that the ladies of The View inflated a relatively harmless statement into a hanging offense. “I don’t know what the outrage is. He said Muslims killed us on 9/11. Was it Mormons?”
He later added, “Why is it an outrage to say a factually true statement? Muslims did kill us on 9/11.”
On Monday’s episode of The View, the hosts took the opportunity to discuss the incident. Barbara Walters scolded her co-hosts for walking off the show: “We must be able to have conversations; that means all of us, without fury, without rage, without screaming, without obscenities, without walking off. It’s very dramatic, people love train wrecks, people want us to do more of it because it’s good for the ratings. You don’t walk out of your own home. You can walk out of somebody else’s home, you don’t walk out of your own home. [O’Reilly] was someone we invited.”
However, Behar continued to defend her actions. “On this show, we always speak about standing up to bigotry, so I stood up.”
Goldberg contends that walking out was better than the alternative — an all-out cursing tirade. “As soon as I said the ‘b’ word I knew to get up and leave because I knew what was coming next. I was going to cuss him out. So I was done.”
Of the walk-off, one LA Times online subscriber notes, “So much for the myth of intellectual engagement on the extreme left.”
On yesterday’s episode of The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly continued to defend his appearance on The View. The Blaze writes, “He said that, while his comments may have been insensitive, they were true, and that there is a ‘Muslim problem’ in the world.”
O’Reilly explained, “If The View ladies will not acknowledge that, that’s their problem because most Americans well understand the danger in the Muslim world. The vast majority of American Muslims are good citizens and deplore the extreme actions in the Muslim world. But they know that there is a clash of civilizations in play.”
He also indicated that after his appearance on The View “people were high-fiving me. It was amazing. People were yelling out windows, ‘O’Reilly, keep going,’ that kind of stuff. Are all these people bigots?”
Conservative pundit Glenn Beck joked, "No. [The Left] believe Fox News convinced 70 percent of Americans who are all dummies that the mosque doesn't belong at Ground Zero."
Photo of women on The View (Whoopi Goldberg, second from left; Barbara Walters, center; Joy Behar, fourth from left): AP Images