Barbara Walters: The View Isn't a Political Show
Walters is borrowing Jon Stewart's clown nose on/clown nose off technique to dismiss away The View's leftwing and frequently conspiratorial (read: frequently moronic) political rants, during her interview with Howard Kurtz, as Larry O'Connor writes at Big Journalism:
Walters: “But it’s not a political show. It was never meant to be. The fact that you can have a daytime show and do newsworthy subjects—that is what was new. The fact that you can have primarily women discussing, arguing, disagreeing, live, that’s what was new about this show.”
This is Walters having it both ways. In a way, it's a variation on what Jim Treacher calls Jon Stewart's "Clown Nose On/Clown Nose Off" trick."I don't think he necessarily needs to choose between pundit and comedian. He can do both. Just maybe not in the same breath. It was maddening when he lectured those guys and they wanted to talk to him about it, and he kept going, "Wait, I'm just a comedian!" Clown nose off, clown nose on, clown nose off, clown nose on... It's just as much of a defense mechanism as his tie-straightening and that schmendrick voice he goes into (Art Fern?), and it's every bit as annoying."
Here's Walters saying, "We're just an entertainment show with women arguing about topics." Then she opens the door to President Obama and the first lady to use her show and her audience to their political ends. And she hires Rosie O'Donnell to spew hateful truther arguments suggesting the Bush Administration was behind the 9/111 attacks. And she tolerates other co-hosts like Whoopi Goldberg grandstanding and walking off the set when they don't like something their guest, Bill O'Reilly, says.
Besides, one of the key tenants of feminism -- and the left in general today -- is that "the personal is political," and thus everything is political. And the View, which has had three successive versions of truthers on its panel -- Rosie the 9/11 truther, Whoopi the lunar landing truther, and Jenny McCarthy the anti-vaccine truther -- takes that worldview to the extreme.
Our own Roger L. Simon recently described the president embraced by every panelist of the View, save for Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the show's former token conservative, who left in July, as practicing "an American form of taqiyya:"
I suspect that Obama’s core belief — his key religious value, if you will — is an American form of taqiyya — the Muslim dictate that it is permissible to lie to non-believers for the preservation of Islam. He believes in left-wing taqiyya. (Ironically, taqiyya is largely Shiite and Obama wishes to negotiate with Shiite Iran, masters of the lie.)
Now I do not think for a second that Obama is a Muslim any more than I think he is a Christian. He is a typical postmodern agnostic who only goes to church — and then rarely — for political purposes. But he grew up in the Islamic world in the midst of the psychological climate of taqiyya, with preservation of the group taking precedence over even the hint of democracy. And that climate harmonized completely with his other influences — anti-imperialism augmented by Alinksyite methods, themselves anti-democratic.
He never had a moral basis for honesty. Lying, from the Choom Gang through Reverend Wright and beyond, was his lifestyle. And he had the consolation that he was lying for a better good. No one ever told him otherwise. If that goes on for long enough, you lose contact with truth. It becomes almost a non-existent phenomenon, an irrelevancy.
In the media world, it's the equivalent of leftwing journalists claiming their newspaper or TV news program is free from bias -- a decades-old habit left over from the days when there were only three TV networks and one or two papers per city, now merely reflexive and reactionary. (Perhaps the clearest examples of this were Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather, both of whom swore up and down during their days at CBS that they were objective, "that's the way it is," there was no such thing as media bias, etc. And then spent their dotage nattering on about the need for one world government and hosting fundraisers for the left magazine The Nation, respectively.)
Walters knows her show is obsessed with politics -- somebody who had dinner with Lenny and Felecia and the Black Panthers in 1970 wouldn't have it any other way.