I remember in the 1996 film “The Birdcage,” Gene Hackman’s character — a Republican senator — watches an exaggerated political talk show in which two talking heads scream over each other with enthusiasm and satisfaction.
Chat shows, as a rule, weren’t that aggressive at that point. However, I can kind of picture one of the producers of the mid-morning network TV shout-fest “The View” watching that film and looking at that scene as kind of a model of how “civilized” debate ought to be conducted.
That’s doubly true when the guest involved is a Republican. The hosts of “The View” include some nominal conservatives, although they tend to share the same sort of 1970s yacht club conservatism that looks a lot like liberalism if you squint hard enough.
Instead of arguing with each other, therefore, the panel gets to gang up on the guest — in this case, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who was on the show Monday.
And as usual, the freshman GOPer held his own.
Check out the first segment here. Things got a little more heated later on.
When the conversation turned to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and the series of blatantly anti-Semitic comments she made earlier this year, it wasn’t so nice — and led up to Crenshaw being cut off.
Co-host Meghan McCain asked why there was a reluctance from Democrats to call Omar out for her remarks.
“I think, unfortunately, we’re playing a team sport these days,” Crenshaw said.
“We just had a long discussion about how Republicans feel about Trump, and I think you’re seeing the same issues play out on the Democrat side with somebody on their own team, and they’re not sure how to handle it, even though they might behind closed doors disagree with what she’s saying.”
“I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the fact that she’s a new congresswoman,” co-host Joy Behar responded.
“And on the right, what we have is the president of the United States in Charlottesville, saying there are good people on both sides and people are yelling ‘Jews will not replace us.’ There are not good people on both sides.”
Well, apparently someone’s been watching the Biden campaign announcement video. However, Crenshaw pointed out the obvious: “In that same sentence, [Trump] also said I’m definitely not referring to white nationalists.”
“Why do you apologize for him?” Behar responded, apparently believing telling the truth is apologizing for the president.
“I’m not apologizing. You have to read what he actually said,” Crenshaw said.
“It wasn’t in the same sentence, it was actually in a statement two days later,” co-host Sunny Hostin said, to which Crenshaw responded (correctly) that it wasn’t.
“But I will say, I don’t think it matters,” McCain said. “I think bigotry and any-”
“I agree with you,” Behar said, to which McCain responded, “You and I are on the same page today.”
Yes, of course they were.
The back-and-forth over Omar continued, touching on her comments about 9/11 (“some people did something”).
Hostin argued, “Bush also [said] these people that took these buildings down.” (He did this with a bullhorn, standing on top of the rubble of the World Trade Center, promising to hold the attackers responsible; there’s a marked difference.)
Omar’s comment “was dismissive in tone, in gesture, and in words,” Crenshaw responded. “It was dismissive.”
But then, to top it all off, co-host Whoopi Goldberg decided to filibuster Crenshaw into the commercial break.
“I want to point something out,” she said, “because this is a conversation I’ve been a part of with you all. One of the things that we’ve never had before is a Muslim congresswoman. And so her feelings about Israel may not be the same as ours. So we have to listen so we understand why people feel the way they feel. This is a new — this is the United States as we said …
“This is the United States as we say we want it. I can’t finish–“
“Yes, everybody has the right to say how they feel about Israeli foreign policy–” Crenshaw said as the show went to break.
I’ve always found “The View” to be endlessly entertaining, if probably for the wrong reasons, and this kind of conversation is one of them. Liberals have a tendency to show off their ignorance when they have enough time.
Thankfully, Crenshaw managed to acquit himself reasonably well even with the filibuster, but it was yet more proof of just what we’re dealing with when we’re getting “The View” from the left.
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