Joy Behar defending President Trump?
No, hell hasn’t frozen over, pigs haven’t started flying, and Bill Clinton hasn’t yet apologized to his female victims – but yes, the liberal “The View” co-host did indeed defend the president’s right to free speech during a conversation about CNN host Don Lemon’s take on a 19-year-old who used the term “fake news” when he threatened to “gun down” people at the network.
That’s right. Lemon and others are essentially trying to blame threats of actual violence on, among other things, a goofy video the president posted in July.
“This is what happens when the president of the United States, Donald Trump, repeatedly attacks members of the press simply for reporting facts he does not like,” Lemon said in the segment that was played on The View. “He [the 19-year-old] made his threats using these words ‘fake news, I’m coming to gun you all down.'”
But once in a while at least, an issue like free speech can indeed united conservatives and liberals. Although Behar asserted that Trump was “certainly responsible” for some of the rhetoric, “equating words with actions” is a “slippery slope.”
“He’s certainly partly responsible for some of it, but I think it’s a slippery slope when you start equating words with actions,” Behar said. “Because we have the First Amendment, [Trump’s] entitled to say whatever he wants, and you can’t say, ‘Ipso facto, what he says will now lead to violence.’ I don’t believe in that. Otherwise they would have to silence me, or you.”
“But partly he is responsible because he stirs the pot and he throws down the gauntlet and he lets people know – he winks, he winks,” Behar added.
Although the other panelists took the Don Lemon approach, Meghan McCain agreed with Behar’s “slippery slope” comment later in the segment, comparing it to when many blamed Marilyn Manson lyrics for the Columbine shooting “because the killers were a fan” of the singer and the “violent images coming across on his music videos.”
“I do think we have to be very careful with what we blame and what context. The fight between CNN and Donald Trump is never going to end. They are adversaries, against each other,” said McCain. “I’m with Joy on this one, when you start saying you can’t say this, you can’t say that.”
When McCain said she agreed with her, Behar quipped, “Can you believe it?” to audience applause.
Watch the segment below:
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