If Laura Ingraham and Elisabeth Hasselbeck weren’t friends before Monday, they should be now. Hasselbeck, the conservative on ABC’s The View, called during the Veterans Day show to announce the birth of her second child. Over the phone, Hasselbeck offered Ingraham the only encouraging words she received during the hour-long program. “Don’t let them get to you!” said Hasselbeck. “I’ve got your back,” laughed Ingraham.
Boy, did she ever. With endurance, chutzpah, and a persuasive case for her conservative views, Ingraham firmly stood her ground, and outsmarted The View, during her guest-hosting gig — though her co-hosts were too biased to take notice. It was blatantly obvious, especially during the first half-hour of the show, that The View is just that: many women with one liberal viewpoint.
Ironically, when Barbara Walters started the show eleven years ago, the purpose was to highlight different views of diverse hosts. Unfortunately, as the show evolved, its unusual premise almost entirely disappeared. While most already know The View is biased (even men who work hard to ignore The View couldn’t help but catch the occasional Rosie rants on YouTube last season), it’s rarely been more apparent than on Monday’s show, a full day of “Hot Topics,” with Laura Ingraham sitting in for Hasselbeck.
Whoopi Goldberg welcomed Ingraham onto the show as a radio-talk-show host, and author of Power to the People. Except, when Goldberg mentioned her book, she did so with a peculiar, almost abrasive, laugh and referred to the book as, “Power to the Damn People.” This seemed hysterical to most of the other co-hosts who chuckled along with Goldberg and the audience. Ingraham didn’t seem to find it as funny as she did perplexing, but she remained unmoved by the asinine attempt to intimidate her.
Before Ingraham could describe, much less tout, her new book, co-host Joy Behar interrupted Goldberg and said, “By the way Laura, wasn’t ‘Power to the People’ the Black Panther theme in the 60’s?” Ingraham nodded, “Yes, I stole it back from them, I actually think it’s returning power to the people of this country, not just an elite few protesters.” Ever the voice of reason, Goldberg replied, “Let me to stop you for second.” Amid several exchanges, Ingraham held her ground. Power to the People is for “a lot of people in this country, people who watch The View, who feel disenfranchised from culture and politics.”
“You do recognize,” Goldberg responded before Ingraham could take another breath, “that power to the people was not taken by an elite group.” When Laura tried to further clarify, Goldberg took the View: “No, I stopped for you, now you must stop for me.”
The show was filled with several other similar exchanges. Unperturbed by the first debate, Ingraham tried valiantly to get a logical word in edgewise as the co-hosts decided whether to interrupt or try to keep up with Ingraham.
In her book, Ingraham argues that parents must engage in this culture by standing up to it. “You’re watching your favorite show and an anti-semitic comment slips in…or the f-bomb slips in…isn’t it up to us to say to these sponsors who are sponsoring these shows…What are you doing to our kids?’” Immediately, Behar interrupted Ingraham, “But isn’t that what happened to Imus? Imus was taken off the air because of that and you’ve been on his show many times…not that I want to attack you, but you were a regular on that show, and you agree with that?”
Undeterred, Ingraham pressed her point that parents should refuse to tolerate raunchy culture. Instead of debate, Behar opted to dismiss — she announced that Ingraham’s a hypocrite because she was a guest on Don Imus’s radio show, albeit, four years ago (as Ingraham reminds her).
Changing the subject, since Behar made clear there was no room for a worthwhile cultural debate on the show, Ingraham turned to Veterans Day and the War on Terror.
We have right now, really good news coming out of Baghdad…We have violence down…Al-Qaeda is being pushed out…You can sit here and stay with your narrative and say that…we’re going to lose in Iraq, but the truth of the matter is things are turning for the better. We should recognize it right now.
The audience reluctantly applauded, but Barbara Walters, not to be outsmarted, or optimistic, remained unconvinced. Consistent with the earlier parts of the show, she and the other hosts of The View refused to acknowledge most, if any, of the articulate and credible facts Ingraham presented . Whether it was a need to speak out against vulgar television programs (a view you’d think women could generally get behind), or the recognition of gradual success in Iraq, The View refused to acknowledge any other view but its own.
– Nicole Russell is a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and blogs at www.gopconventionreport.com.