TV personality and co-host of ABC’s The View, Joy Behar blasted GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for ridiculing President Obama’s advocacy for hiring more public-sector workers, including fireman, teachers, and police officers. And her verbiage was not so subtle, going so far as to say she would “like to see his house burn.”
Behar’s assailment came after critics railed against the President for a speech he made last Friday, wherein he said “the private sector is doing fine” but that state and local governments need to ramp up employment to spur public-sector job growth. Romney was one of Obama’s fiercest critics on the matter. “He wants to hire more government workers,” the presidential contender affirmed. “He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
Sitting down with Mediaite to discuss her new show, which will be featured on Al Gore’s Current TV network, Behar responded to Romney’s “idiotic” comments about public servants. “I’d like to see his house burn, one of his millions of houses burning down,” she exhorted, indicating that without the public-sector there wouldn’t be any firemen. “Who’s he going to call, the Mormon fire patrol?”
“Is that a thing?” Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher responded. Behar continued:
You know what I mean? Come on! What am I supposed to do if my apartment gets caught on fire? Am I gonna call Mitt Romney to come and put it out? See what I mean? Now you hit on why I have to have a show, because these statements are so ridiculous and they sound so stupid to the average American person. I would like the American people to start thinking, we have to start thinking as we go towards November. These ridiculous … Now you have me a headache! [Ms. Behar evidently never heard of volunteer fire departments.]
Asked if she would have Romney on her new show, Behar affirmed that she has a host of questions for the Republican candidate. For example, “Is he planning to endorse the Ryan budget? I think that would be a terrible mistake. I don’t want to see people on the streets begging for food, thank you.”
“And why does he hate Planned Parenthood?” she added. “You know, he didn’t used to hate Planned Parenthood. I want to ask him about all the flip-flopping he’s been doing. That’s why he doesn’t want to come on, because he’s afraid of the questions.”
While Behar’s contentious remark may have been a joke, critics argue that the uber-liberal TV host would be utterly offended if a conservative media type made a similar comment about the President or a top Democrat — considering she often presents herself as a staunch social progressive who opposes all forms of “hate speech.”
For instance, Behar took great offense during an October 2010 program of The View when Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly made a remark about “Muslims kill[ing] us on 9/11.” Behar was so disgusted she stormed off the set in the middle of the show, and later called O’Reilly’s comment “hate speech.”
“Today on The View, Bill O’Reilly had a real pinhead moment,” she said that day on her HLN show. “First he said a mosque should not be built close to Ground Zero here in New York, and then he said this.”
“Well I was really angry,” Behar added, explaining why she walked off the set. “I thought he was saying something that I construe as hate speech, frankly.”
Breitbart.com’s Christian Toto also reminds us that Behar once “described Sarah Palin’s electoral map featuring cross hair imagery as "an al Qaeda Christmas card,” and in 2010, she called Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle a “bitch” who was “going to hell.” The point is, Behar’s record as a “sensitive” liberal is not all that rosy.
“Obviously, this was a joke,” said Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard, referring to Behar’s remark about Romney. “However, imagine for a moment a conservative commentator making such a remark about President Obama or any leading Democrat.” He added that it “seems quite doubtful” that Behar will endure any consequences for her remark.
“You see,” Sheppard asserted, “if you’re a member of today’s media, it’s totally acceptable to say whatever you want about a conservative — especially if he or she is running for president or vice president. Then all decency restrictions are totally off.”
Photo: From left, hosts of ABC's "The View," Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, April 9, 2008 in New York: AP Images