'The View's' Controversial Misstep Reminds Us How Much We Love Nurses

The View nurses

Image via Twitter @theview

Let’s talk for a minute about the hosts of “The View” and their misstep into the world of trash talking all the nurses of America. In case you missed it, the daytime talk show recently took aim at Kelley Johnson, a registered nurse who competed in the Miss America competition wearing scrubs and a stethoscope. Johnson, who was competing in the pageant as Miss Colorado, was mocked by the show’s co-hosts for her two-minute monologue highlighting the heroic work of nurses.

Behar asked, “Why is she wearing a doctor’s stethoscope?”

“She helps patients with Alzheimer’s, which I know is not funny,” Collins smirked, “but I swear, you had to see it . . . I swear to God it was hilarious.”

In case you haven’t heard enough about this whole morning TV debacle on morning TV, including the backlash from the nurses, I’ve got one more essay to toss into the mix.

There are a few factors in play here that maybe deserve a nod and a voice:

  1. Insecurities among women rise loud and strong when somebody’s about to decide who is the prettiest girl in the room, which is one reason the girls on “The View” wanted to belittle the Miss America contestant in the first place.
  2. We all have a little bit of “Mean Girls” in us, and Michelle Collins’ eye roll wasn’t pretty.
  3. Nothing gets the social media wheels turning like a good dose of schadenfreude.

I’ve got about four minutes of media experience and already received enough backlash to know how all too easily something can come out of your mouth when the cameras are rolling, and you just wish to heaven and back that you could suck it back in and make that little sound bite disappear. I’m pretty sure Joy Behar had that moment of “What on Earth did I just say?!” But it was already too late; bandwagons were launched, hashtags were created and the nurses of the world were mobilized in solidarity.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. There isn’t a single blessed thing Joy Behar could have done to make things right in the hemispheres of social media after she belittled the wearers of scrubs and stethoscopes. Even if they traipsed all the nurses of America and abroad through the studios of “The View,” which yes, they pretty much tried to do with a scrubs parade of appreciation, we would hold out for something bigger, better, more apologetic and self-deprecating.

Even Behar’s apology on Twitter wasn’t enough since it’s too easy to believe that her social media team drafted the note to the hashtag world, that it wasn’t written by her own two thumbs. There’s nothing she could do for us on behalf of all the nurses we love, the ones we’ve raised or married, the ones who’ve saved our vomiting kids from the brink of dehydration, the ones who’ve answered our late night calls, the ones we’ve fallen just a little bit in love with for the ways they’ve saved us and the ones we love.

I would love to suggest that we write a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for Joy Behar, Michelle Collins and their friends. Let’s instead make up for their mistake by thanking every single nurse we know for the rest of our days. It’s the only way to get past this mess, and it’s the best way to embrace the skills of those nurses who find the vein they’re looking for with the very first stick.

Kelley, I applaud you and your smarts, girlfriend. Thank you for skipping the song and dance at the pageant, and for somehow marrying the two all too elusive adjectives: smart and beautiful. Joy, you made a mistake and we can forgive you. Soon, your news will be a few days old and there will be somebody else to take the heat. Michelle, I believe in the kindness you’ll show the next time you’re tempted to roll your eyes at another woman who is just like you, both smart and beautiful.

Let’s all take a deep breath and exhale some kindness.