Turning Point USA Forces 'View' to Issue On-Air Apology After Claiming Student Group Associated with Neo-Nazis


Wow, Turning Point USA just provided a case study in how to respond to a false media story aimed at conservatives.

The conservative group’s efforts resulted in an on-air apology from ABC’s “The View” to the student organization on Wednesday.

On Monday’s program, “The View” co-hosts mocked Turning Point’s annual Student Action Summit, which took place in Tampa, Florida, over the weekend, with speakers that included former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

That in-and-of itself was not the problem, but when co-host Joy Behar associated the summit with neo-Nazi protesters assembled outside it, that was too far.

“Neo-Nazis were out there in the front of the conference with anti-Semitic slurs and, you know, the Nazi swastika and a picture of a so-called Jewish person with exaggerated features, just like Goebbels did during the Third Reich. It’s the same thing, right out of that same playbook,” Behar said, according to Fox News.

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Later on in the program, “The View” co-host Sara Haines read an on-air legal disclaimer to inform viewers that Turning Point condemned the neo-Nazis protesters who had “nothing to do” with the summit.

“But you let them in,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg inaccurately retorted. “You let them in and you knew what they were, so you are complicit.”

Then “The View” had to issue another clarification Monday, saying Turning Point did not let them in.

“My point was metaphorical,” Goldberg said.

Behar also asked during Monday’s show, “Where was DeSantis?” The governor had spoken at the summit but not the day the neo-Nazi protesters were there, so Behar had her facts wrong, too.

The clarifications “The View” made Monday did not cut it for Turning Point.

The group’s founder Charlie Kirk tweeted Tuesday, “Talking to lawyers. Many think we have a strong case. You cannot smear minors as Nazis and get away with it. It impacts them for the rest of their life. #SueTheView.”

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Recall how false and misleading media reporting regarding Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann at the Lincoln Memorial in 2019 resulted in CNN and The Washington Post settling multi-million defamation suits with him.

Turning Point’s in-house counsel Veronica Peterson sent a scathing cease and desist letter to ABC executives Tuesday demanding an on-air apology by Wednesday or legal action would follow.

“The View hosts intentionally and falsely associated TPUSA with neo-Nazi protestors outside the event placing TPUSA in denigrating and false light and negatively impacting its public perception. Such action will not be tolerated,” the letter said, according to Fox News.

“Specifically, The View hosts insidiously and cavalierly stated that TPUSA ‘let [neo-Nazis] in’ to its SAS event, metaphorically ‘embrase[d] them’ and that neo-Nazis were ‘in the mix of people.’ The assertion that TPUSA is complicit or affiliated in any way with the neo-Nazi protesters outside the event is outlandish, false, defamatory, and disgraceful,” the letter continued.

“To be abundantly clear, TPUSA aggressively and completely condemns the ideologies of neo-Nazism and has zero connection to the protestors outside the event. Since these individuals were located on public property, TPUSA security attempted to, but was not permitted to remove them,” wrote Peterson.

Peterson then warned ABC how things were likely to go for the network in court, including an order to pay monetary damages and all legal fees accrued during the litigation.

“In cases where the communication is of such a nature that the court can presume as a matter of law that the communication will tend to degrade or disgrace the party defamed, special damages are presumed,” the letter stated.

“Therefore, TPUSA demands that ABC immediately cease and desist from further unlawfully defaming TPUSA, retract the defamatory statements identified above, and issue a public statement apologizing for and correcting the above defamatory and false statements,” wrote Peterson.

The on-air apology came Wednesday.

“On Monday we talked about the fact that there were openly neo-Nazi demonstrators outside the Florida Student Action Summit of the Turning Point USA group,” Haines began.

“We want to make clear that these demonstrators were gathered outside the event and that they were not invited or endorsed by Turning Point USA,” she continued.

“A Turning Point USA spokesman said the qroup, quote ‘100 percent condemns those ideologies’ and said Turning Point USA security tried to remove the demonstrators, but could not because they were on public property,” Haines said, quoting a TPUSA statement.

“Also,” Haines continued, “Turning Point USA wanted to clarify, wanted us to clarify, that this was a Turning Point USA summit and not a Republican Party event.

So, we apologize for anything we said that may have been unclear on these points.”

Do you think Turning Point USA handled this matter effectively?

Turning Point was not entirely satisfied with “The View’s apology, tweeting Wednesday that, “The apology was issued by Sara Haines. Whoopi remained silent and has not retracted her comments that TPUSA ‘metaphorically’ embraced ‘Nazis.'”

Still, the apology did come and it came in rapid fashion. Even if it’s not a completely satisfying win, it was a solid reminder for conservatives around the country that fighting back matters.

And it demonstrated how it can be done.

Turning Point leaders quickly responded to the false reporting about their event, mounted an aggressive online campaign to counter it, and brought in the legal guns to show they meant business.

Congratulations to Charlie Kirk and the Turning Point team for showing the way!

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith