The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck tried to explain Monday why many anti-health reform activists hurled racial and homophobic epithets at lawmakers this weekend, but was repeatedly shouted down when she seemed to justify the anger by suggesting it was caused by the way Democrats pushed the reforms through Congress.
On Monday’s show, co-host Whoopi Goldberg brought up reports that Tea Party protesters called US House Rep. barney Frank (D-MA), an openly gay lawmaker, a “fa**ot,” while Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a civil rights movement leader, was called a “ni**er.”
Hasselbeck condemned the incidents, saying, “never is that justified,” but then pressed a point that angered some of her co-hosts.
“If you look at the numbers,” Hasselbeck said, “it was a 219 to 212 [vote], and then if you take out those that were bribed, bullied and shut out–”
At that point the audience and co-hosts shouted Hasselbeck down.
“We’re talking about two different things,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg told Hasselbeck. “We’re talking about crappy attitudes that people have about yelling and spitting…”
Hasselbeck backed off, saying, “It’s obvious that any use of those two words is igniting hatred for both sides.”
But she persisted in her argument. “This is a very close vote, so you take out those who were bribed, bullied or shut out–” she said, only to be shouted down again.
“You’re saying you would have done that?” Goldberg confronted her.
“My point is that a lot of people are mad,” Hasselbeck said. “Apparently the decisions made, the president thinks he’s smarter than the majority of Americans who–” And she was promptly shouted down again.
“There a lot of Americans that want to have health care,” co-host Sherri Shepherd said, to loud applause.
Goldberg referred to reports that Rep. Bart Stupak, the Democrat who championed the anti-abortion language in the original House health bill, was repeatedly called a “baby killer” by someone on the Republican side of the House aisle Sunday.
“They screamed baby killer at the guy, a guy who voted his conscience,” Goldberg said. “I don’t understand why.”
“They don’t want to lose and they’ve been listening to Glenn Beck,” co-host Joy Behar said.
The last several days have seen an upsurge in vitriolic language and even violence as the House passed health care reform. On Friday, someone threw a brick through the office window of Rep. Louise Slaughter, the New York Democrat who had proposed using “deem and pass” to pass health reform.
The Secret Service is investigating a series of Tweets this weekend from conservative blogger Solomon Forell that appeared to be calling for the assassination of President Obama.
This video is from ABC’s The View, broadcast March 22, 2010.
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