Free speech can come with a literal cost, if you’re not careful.
And it seems that no one has delivered that message to the blowhards on ABC’s “The View,” despite more than 30 instances of what a watchdog group calls “reckless, hate-fueled, and dubious comments.”
The leftist “cackling coven,” as the conservative Media Research Center referred to the hosts, were forced to issue three dozen statements or retractions during 2022 to fend off potential lawsuits from their targets.
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And as might be expected, according to the MRC, which analyzed the show’s public backtracking from its hosts’ verbal gaffes and defamatory insults, “the obvious theme of these legal notes is that they’re mostly for the comments they make against conservatives and folks on the right.”
While the comments expressing the regrets from the panel carried a serious purpose — the hosts openly called them “legal notes” — the MRC noted very few of the “series of apologies and clarifying statements” from the hosts “conveyed any genuine sincerity, and were instead openly mocked by the cast afterward.”
The statements from “The View” that caused the network’s legal team the most headaches appeared to be statements that miscast the most obvious facts.
For example, three weeks into the year, the show apologized for claiming Ivanka Trump appeared and spoke at her father’s Jan. 6, 2021, rally before the ensuing riot at the U.S. Capitol.
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In its most egregious example, the panelists, led by Whoopi Goldberg, asserted that the conservative group Turning Point USA had invited neo-Nazis to its youth conference in Tampa.
To buttress its point about the insincerity of the replies, the MRC noted Goldberg simply stated, “My bad.”
In another example, the show retreated from comments that New York GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik was responsible for the “racist theories” of the alleged white supremacist who shot up a Buffalo grocery store, killing 10 black people.
As the statement apologizing to Stefanik was read, host Joy Behar exclaimed, “Oh, please!”
In yet another instance, when it was revealed there was no evidence to support the show’s accusations that Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz was involved in a sex-trafficking scandal, Goldberg “took to beatboxing” while co-host Sunny Hostin delivered the alleged apology to the Fort Walton Beach Republican.
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The MRC noted that Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was the favorite target of “The View.” Five of the 36 statements issued by the show’s hosts were made to retract “the same false accusation that she was at the head of the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6.”
As the MRC reported, “These legal notes have become such a joke to the cast that they openly mock how ABC’s Standards and Practices expects them to be read.”
Perhaps a real defamation lawsuit would force an end to the clown show.