"The View" co-host Joy Behar apologized Tuesday morning on her show for negative remarks she made last month about people who believe Jesus speaks to them. Her comments come a day after Vice President Mike Pence urged Behar to apoligize publicly for "slander" of Christian faith.
Behar had already apologized to Pence privately for comments she made in February, but added, "I think Vice President Pence is right. I was raised to respect everyone’s religious faith, and I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said.”
Late last week Behar stoked further controversy during a conversation with former adviser to former U.S. President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett when they attempted to defend Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory, who is under fire for ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
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Behar tried to defend Mallory, who recently attended a rally with the Nation of Islam leader and took a photo with him, praising him as “GOAT,” an acronym for “greatest of all time.” Behar claimed Mallory “has a personal relationship” with Farrakhan as he supported her after the death of her son’s father 17 years ago.
Behar ended her argument by saying: “almost everyone has baggage."
Meghan McCain, Beher’s co-host on “The View,” shot back, “Louis Farrakhan has said, ‘Hitler was a very great man,’ this is black and white. It’s very simple: You think Hitler is a great man, don’t associate with that person. There should be no normalizing of this one way or the other.”
Former adviser to President Obama Valerie Jarrett joined Behar in attempting to defend Mallory, arguing that effective leaders sometimes must work with people they disagree with, “I met with the Koch brothers when we were working on criminal justice,” she noted as an example for the compromise people in her position must make at times. McCain did not accept the claim, shooting back that the Koch brothers are “nowhere near” anyone who has said Hitler was a great man - to loud applause from the audience.
Behar’s comments about Mallory come days after she reportedly appologized to Vice President Mike Pence for saying that talking to Jesus is a sign of “mental illness.” The apology was reported by Disney CEO Bob Iger, who owns ABC - the network "The View" is on - at a shareholders meeting when he was confronted by an angry stockholder.
Behar said on the Februrary 13th episode of the show, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.” Behar continued, saying: “That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct. Hearing voices.”
Pence, a practicing evangelist, criticized Behar’s comments the next day on C-SPAN. “To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong,” the vice president said. “It is simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”