“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg offered an apology on Thursday to attendees of Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit after associating them with neo-Nazis.
The event took place in Tampa, Florida, over the weekend.
“In Monday’s conversation about Turning Point USA, I put the young people at the conference in the same category as the protesters outside, and I don’t like it when people make assumptions about me and it’s not any better when I make assumptions about other people, which I did. So my bad, I’m sorry,” Goldberg said on Thursday.
— Turning Point USA (@TPUSA) July 28, 2022
On Monday’s program, “The View” co-host Joy Behar said, “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.”
Later in the program, co-host Sara Haines read a legal disclaimer to inform viewers that TPUSA condemned the neo-Nazi protesters who had “nothing to do” with the summit.
“But you let them in,” Goldberg inaccurately retorted. “You let them in and you knew what they were, so you are complicit.”
“The View” had to issue another clarification on Monday, saying TPUSA did not let them in.
“My point was metaphorical,” Goldberg responded.
On Tuesday, TPUSA’s in-house counsel Veronica Peterson sent a cease-and-desist letter to ABC executives.
“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,” the letter said. “Such action will not be tolerated.”
“Specifically, The View hosts insidiously and cavalierly stated that TPUSA ‘let [neo-Nazis] in’ to its SAS event, metaphorically ‘[embraced] them’ and that neo-Nazis were ‘in the mix of people,’” Peterson wrote, according to Fox News.
The attorney demanded an on-air apology by the next day or ABC would face legal action.
The 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.
UPDATE: The View has issued yet another formal correction to TPUSA and its students LIVE on air. The apology was issued by Sara Haines. Whoopi remained silent and has not retracted her comments that TPUSA “metaphorically” embraced “Nazis.” https://t.co/rcTawUTbpX pic.twitter.com/rANUlmXZwO
— Turning Point USA (@TPUSA) July 27, 2022
“A Turning Point USA spokesman said the group ‘100 percent condemns those ideologies’ and said Turning Point USA security tried to remove the neo-Nazis from the area but could not because they were on public property,” Haines said, quoting a TPUSA statement.
“So we apologize for anything we said that may have been unclear on these points,” she concluded.
TPUSA was not entirely satisfied with the 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.’”
TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night further explaining where the group stood.
“[‘The View’] went after our 5,000 students at our event there of high school and college kids. And look, I get attacked all the time, people say false things, I’m a public figure,” he said.
“But when you go after 16- and 17-year-olds that travel from across the country that then have to live for the rest of their life with a shadow over them because someone at ABC says that they might be linked to neo-Nazis,” Kirk continued.
“But look, what did it take for us to get to the point of an apology? We had to threaten a lawsuit. … And by the way, we’re still entertaining it. We’re talking to some of the best lawyers out there that are experts in this.”
Fox News host Jesse Watters offered the example of former Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann, who sued CNN and The Washington Post, among other media outlets, for false and misleading reporting about him concerning an incident that took place during a protest in 2019, when he was 16.
CNN and the Post reportedly both settled the defamation suits for several million dollars.
Kirk said, “We’re not going to let this go, because you should not be able to smear 5,000 high school and college kids and then just be able to walk away with it.”
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