Joy and Whoopi’s Unethical Bully Tactic

To have seen it live, you have to watch The View, which is not good for your brain or digestion, and be willing to watch Bill O’Reilly, which requires a tolerance for arrogant certitude that is only present in certain genetically gifted individuals. But on the video clip, you can see O’Reilly explaining why about 70% of Americans think that the Muslim center being planned for construction near the site of the September 11 terrorist is “inappropriate,”  saying “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” The View’s co-host Whoopi Goldberg took violent offense at the statement, exclaiming, “No! Not, oh, my god. That is such bullshit!” [Note: It is not “bullshit.” Muslims indeed performed the attack, in the name of Muhammad no less. ] O’Reilly, understandably confused, said, “Muslims didn’t kill us on 9/11? Is that what you’re saying?”

Whoopi, in full hysterical “I AM the truth and NO facts can move me!” mode, replied, “Extremists did that!” [ Note: No, extremist Muslims did that.  It is no more valid to leave the “Muslim” off the “extremists” than it is to leave the “extremists” off the “Muslim.” ] Less, really, since there is a legitimate argument that when millions of Muslims hold the same views as the terrorists, their views can’t be properly called “extreme.” Islam is an extreme religion.] She continued: “What religion was Mr. McVeigh?”[Note: Non sequitur, Whoopi. What religion was John Wilkes Booth? Neither the Oklahoma City bombing nor the assassination of President Lincoln had anything to do with religion. The World Trade Center attacks, however, did.] Around this time, co-host Joy Behar, who makes Whoopi Goldberg look like Stephen Hawking, proclaimed, “I don’t want to sit here! I don’t. I’m outraged by that statement!” And she and Whoopi stalked of the show in protest, leaving a puzzled O’Reilly asking, “You’re outraged about Muslims killing us on 9/11?”

No, Bill, they are outraged by anyone holding an opinion that differs from their knee-jerk pronouncements of liberal cant. There was no justification for walking out on a guest, which is appropriate, if ever, only to show contempt and intolerance for statements that extend outside of public discourse: Holocaust denial, denigration of women and minorities, obscene or abusive speech, praise for the New York Yankees. O’Reilly’s opinion is not only a validly debatable one, it is also the majority opinion in the U.S., as he kept trying to tell the View-ers.  Behar and Goldberg offered no coherent rebuttals at all; they just walked out. This was uncivil, disrespectful, unfair and wildly unprofessional, as show founder Barbara Walters quickly suggested in her non-confrontational way after Joy’s and Whoopi’s tantrum. The two women came crawling back in later; my guess is that an assistant producer or someone told then that they had embarrassed themselves and the show.

Behar and Goldberg give lip-service to the ideal of respectful tolerance for opposing views, but they are incapable of following it. The walk-out was a bully move, unfairly aiming to cast O’Reilly as a pariah for stating a fact: Muslims carried out the terrorist attacks. We can argue over whether that makes objections to the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” bigotry or normal emotional response to a violent attack, but elements of both sides want to avoid real debate by demonizing the opposition.  It is a cowardly tactic, and usually, as in this case, proof positive that the particular advocate can’t argue his or her way out of a wet paper bag.


19 thoughts on “Joy and Whoopi’s Unethical Bully Tactic

  1. I agree with you here, but I don’t think they are ‘Bullies’ – I think they fell for his completely predictable tactic, and they both handled it very poorly. It sounded like an old replay of ‘Crossfire’ with everyone yelling – and O’Really? was in his element. And you’re right – he is a classic bully. And a total chickensheet – he has to be the smartest guy in the room.

    It just goes to show how hard it is for those with Progressive and Liberal viewpoints to keep a level head when those with all the Money and Establishment Backing get all the Airtime to trumpet their Divisive Agenda without blowing their tops. Still not an excuse.

    • They do deserve each other. They all have divisive agendas, but it drives me nuts to have to defend O’Reilly. Like Rush, he is an expert at pushing people’s buttons. O’Reilly is to Chris Matthews as Glenn Beck is to Keith Olbermann. I play this game a lot. Same routines, different knee-jerks.

  2. I own a book with a great definition of dogmatism. Dogmatism is defined as “Certainty without knowledge”. All of the personalities above (I hate to call them people, for obvious reasons) are at least acting as dogmatists. In O’Reilly’s case, he may actually know better but is acting his part.

  3. Point taken. About the language–I’ve been struggling with this one. I think “Muslim extremists” is not the same thing as “Muslims” and definitely doesn’t push the same buttons. I had a thought: During the long conflict in Ireland, were both sides referred to regularly by religious denomination only or was there some other verbiage in there? It could be instructive.

    • Good thought. The Northern Irish terrorism was generally attributed to one organization, the Irish Republican Army, and I firmly believe that if it was only Al Qaeda that was out to kill Westerners, we could accept that extremists who happen to be Muslims construct. But there are many Islamic radicals who are not Al Qaeda, and if there were many terrorist groups in Northern Ireland, being “Northern Irish” would have taken on some negative implications.

      • OK, but on The View they were talking about the 19 highjackers, right? Just because they don’t fall under the umbrella of one organization, does that mean that “Muslims” as opposed to “Muslim extremists” was a more accurate (or justifiable) term? I don’t think so.

        I know in Ireland the conflict was also couched in political terms (unionism, nationalism) that were part of the region’s history. So could we say that there isn’t much else about the 9/11 attack except religion? If you stop and think about it, of course there is, even if there aren’t clearly defined “groups” we can assign people to.

        I’m not arguing, Jack. Just mulling.

        • No, it’s worth mulling; keep it up. I was considering if a Center built by The National Association of Extremists would offend as much as a Muslim center. I think extremist is too general to stand alone, which is what Whoopi and Joy (who really is appallingly dumb) were trying to make the category do.

          • Here’s where I disagree with you on a few fronts. Not all Germans were Nazis. Not all Irish were IRA. Not all Americans are NeoCons. Not all Christians are C Street, the Family, members of Freedomworks, etc.

            Therefore, not all Muslims are the Taliban, Al Qaeda ( which is the CIA name for their assets, which translates to ‘The Database’ – Osama ‘Tim Osman’ Bin Laden was a CIA asset at one point. This guilt by association is a Wedge that is very much strategically played up by the ownership class to divide and conquer the public, who they know they have to keep at each other’s throats because they don’t have the numbers to keep power legitimately. Yes, there are bad Muslims – their are bad facets of any group. But the Nazis are allowed to march in Skokie, and West Baptist Church is allowed to protest Funerals with hateful signs. Again, Voltaire: ‘I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’

            This is America. Faux Noise and their 3 headed Hydra imps O’Really, inSanity and Curly Beck have every right to ‘Catapult their Propaganda’ and Gobbels up the airwaves with their blatant lies and deceit – it’s too bad that the hypnotized masses have such a hard time separating the truth from their revisionist history.

            Case in point, in looking for the Maher clip I reference below, here’s a ‘mistake’ by Faux rocket scientist Brian Kilmeade sighting that ‘..Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslims’ –


            Jack, these are Propaganda Tactics and Tricks, pure and simple. This is a planned, ramped up diatribe being implemented by a well-funded, organized, very sophisticated Media company with very nefarious intent.

            And in regards to Joy, she may not be book smart, but she’s very cleaver, quick on her feet and savvy, and her success isn’t based on how ‘Stepford Wives’ hot she looks on camera, a la any Faux commentator. I’ll take Joy in any debate against any Tea Party candidate. Any day.

            To reinforce my point, watch Bill Maher’s ‘New Rules’ from Friday 10.15.10… Maher is a pompous ass, but I respect his comedy and his point of view – he sees thru the Sh*tstorm of deception that the Reichwing media constantly throws in our face.

            I can’t find the link, but Maher nails it with his comparison of the Favre Sexting scandal with the Tea Party candidates… it’s a great analogy he uses.

            Too bad Whoopi and Joy fell for yet another planned I.E.D. planted by Faux.

            • But nobody (nobody serious, anyway), is denying that there is a right to build the Center. But it was undoubtedly in poor taste and disrespectful for the Nazis to march in Skokie. And that’s a fair analogy. “How dare you compare Muslims to Nazis?” Oh, I don’t think its so unfair. By the time they are done, the extreme Muslims may cause a much damage as the Nazis. We shall see. My Dad, a World War Two war hero, had no use for the people who claimed to be “good Germans” after the war. Most of them, he said, just stuck with whatever side they thought would win. Would the non-violent, peaceful Muslims side with America if push comes to shove? All of them? Half? 10% I have no idea. I do know that recent interviews with long time American citizen Muslims who have stated they would like to see the U.S. under Islamic rule should give everyone pause.

              If there is a group of 5 million people who look, act and believe the same, but two million of them want to kill me, I will not readily trust the other 3 million. That’s not bias; that’s common sense and self-defense. I am frankly tired of media types arguing otherwise, and then showing that they are afraid too.

              Joy is too ignorant to have a platform for her opinion, much like Rosy O’Donnell. Maher is slightly more informed, but he is, ironically, very much like the Tea Party candidates he derides. He has no depth of knowledge, really on any topic, and is interested only in what supports his views. He’s certainly capable of astute observations, but once a comic decides that only one side of the ideological spectrum is ridiculous, he’s dead to me. Then he’s no longer a comedian; he’s a satirist with an agenda.

              Frankly, I don’t care what Bill Maher’s agenda is.

              If there is a group that look

  4. Pingback: Hypocrisy of the Year: The Islamophobic New York Times Company, Washington Post, Et Al. « Ethics Alarms

  5. “If there is a group of 5 million people who look, act and believe the same . . . That’s not bias . . . .”
    Haven’t any trouble with your view of the unView-able but, Jack, think back to Black: the only one of the three parts of the description you don’t literally SEE (view?) is the last one. Which is just the kind of generality that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in which all people who “look and act” thus and so — assuming you were referring to using prayer rugs and headscarves rather than hijacking planes — will be forced to believe in the way of the look/act-ers or find themselves ostracized and perhaps endangered by both sides. The polarization and discrimination is, in fact, well begun. … in both the Black (double-down!) and the Arab-American communities.
    Or do you think the WWII soldiers of the most decorated US Army’s 100th Battalion and 442nd Infantry Regiment (about 4,000 men of the >20,000 who volunteered) — men who looked and acted like those of Japanese ancestry as they were — were secretly swearing by the godhead of the Emperor as they left their heroic deeds and their bodies scattered all over the European front?
    And if that’s not what you meant, what do you see as an ethical solution to distrusting 5 million people? I know “fairness” is not a necessary concommitant of ethics and may even run counter to it, but I do see a baby/bathwater bias here.
    Tell me I’m wrong.

    • You’re wrong. If you are right, then groups have no responsibility to police themselves. People distrust politicians. Why? Because so many of them are corrupt. Is that an unreasonable conclusion? People distrust lawyers. Why? You know why, and it is reasonable given the facts. I know most lawyers are in fact trustworthy; I know some politicians are, but because the groups they belong to contain too many untrustworthy people, it is up to the trustworthy ones to show the public why they should be trusted. Of course. I know the reasons why we maintain the comfy fiction that it is otherwise, but it makes no sense in real life. Bigotry is bias without cause. Bias with cause is called “wisdom.”

      Japanese-Americans were American citizens, and there was absolutely no justification for assuming they had loyalty to any nation but the U.S. We have already seen more examples of American citizens who were Muslims turning against their country than the number—zero, I believe—of Japanese Americans who took traitorous action against their countrymen in the WWII era. In Islam, we have a religion that specifically endorses subterfuge and lies to ensure the primacy of Islam. Do you really believe that this distinction isn’t crucial or worth considering?

  6. First, while O’Reily is technically correct in saying that Muslims attacked the US, his statement is loaded. He is trying to push buttons and create a bias by putting it that way. His is wrong for it and should be admonished for it.

    However, Whoopi and Joy, are in the wrong for the way they reacted to that statement. Rather than try and correct him in an intelligent manner, they got offended, muttered some things that were just as wrong or irrelevant, then stormed off. They need to approach the situation as an educational one. If they are unable to show Bill the error in his speech at least they could show the viewers how to respectfully disagree with someone.

    Additionally, I find your comment, “If there is a group of 5 million people who look, act and believe the same, but two million of them want to kill me, I will not readily trust the other 3 million. That’s not bias; that’s common sense and self-defense.” To in fact be bias. On what bases are you judging that these people think the same? Your statement seems to suggest there is something distinguishing the 2 million from the 3 million. If it is mere ignorance of the 3 million, then one should be wary of them, but one should also keep an open mind. Even if it is a large percentage of Muslims who hate the United States and want to see it fall, doesn’t mean they all do, and they should not all be treated as such. Ignorance is an enemy of peace and stereotypes are a tool of ignorance. Don’t let your mind hide behind either. To do so, I believe, would be unethical.

    • O’Reilly wasn’t just technically correct, he was correct…as in “Japanese bombed us at Pearl Harbor”; “National Guardsmen shot students at Kent State”; “white people lynched my father”, and “TV executives rigged quiz shows.” There is nothing in the statement that suggests “all,” and te reaction of Whoopi and Joy suggest that the incident should be described as if the fact that all the terrorists were Muslim was a big coincidence. Stating an inconvenient fact is no offense.

      “On what bases are you judging that these people think the same?” Based on what I do know. If I learn about individuals and distinctions that I can rely upon, the calculation no longer applies. But if among 5 million undistinguished members of a group, I know that 2 million want to kill me, then that means that there is a 40% chance that any member of the group that I have no other information about wants to kill me. The fact that I think those odds are not good enough for trust is a valid conclusion. Or do you like those odds?

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