Joy Behar Smears Conservatives As Being Anti-Vaccine

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Morning Joe spent considerable time discussing controversial comments made by Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) regarding vaccine mandates in America. During the 8:00 a.m. hour, Morning Joe hosted liberal comedian Joy Behar to discuss the vaccine controversy and the former View co-host eagerly attached vaccine skepticism to the entire Republican Party. 

Speaking to co-host Mika Brzezinski, Behar attacked the conservative movement as having “Neanderthal thinking on the right that is really, it’s scary and dangerous. Climate change deniers, vaccination deniers, I mean they are going to kill us.” 

Behar began her comments by mentioning how fellow liberal Jenny McCarthy, who herself is anti-vaccine, “is in the middle of this. I notice on Twitter and Facebook and everything. And so she said that it caused autism back then. And now presidential candidates are agreeing with her. So my feeling is why doesn't Jenny run for president?”

The former View co-host then proceeded to falsely claim that vaccine-skepticism dominates conservative thinking. For her part, Mika Brzezinski pushed back and noted that “ I think on this it's far right, but it's also far left and it's a little bit...There are people on the left who have this issue...They dance around this issue.”   

As the segment progressed, Joe Scarborough continued to refute Behar’s claim that the GOP is anti-vaccine:

Steve Rattner and I had this discussion earlier and he was trying to make this just a right wing thing. Steve actually said at the end of the 7:00 hour, he said I checked out the polls and it's pretty much split.

People on the far right, people on the far left. Of course Joy, we were talking about Barack Obama in 2008 said it was inconclusive. It seems to be guys on the campaign trail are afraid to just cite science. This is straight science.

Not only does Behar have a close friendship with notorious anti-vaccine advocate Jenny McCarthy, but the former View co-host is known for pushing her own bizarre medical conspiracy theories. Speaking on December 14, 2006, Behar suggested that there was some kind of conspiracy involved with Senator Tim Johnson’s (D-S.D.) recent stroke. Behar wondered “is there such a thing as a man made stroke? In other words, did someone do this to him?”

Behar is not the only lefty to appear on MSNBC’s airwaves to falsely align conservatives with the anti-vaccine movement. On Monday’s The Cycle, fill-in host Blake Zeff wondered if the “anti-vaccination fervor” could be “popular among the part of the right that sort of has this anti-government, don’t tell me what to do kind of fervor?”


See relevant transcript below. 

MSNBC’s Morning Joe

February 3, 2015

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Joining us now is Joy Behar. 

JOY BEHAR: Hi Mika. 

BRZEZINSKI: Want to start there? 

BEHAR: Well, I have been thinking about this because we all get vaccinated eventually. You know, first off, my friend Jenny McCarthy is in the middle of this. I notice on Twitter and Facebook and everything. And so she said that it caused autism back then. And now presidential candidates are agreeing with her. So my feeling is why doesn't Jenny run for president? 

BRZEZINSKI: There you go. Louis you'd like to see that. 

BEHAR: Carly Fiorina said something about how we all got measles and mumps in the old days. Well we also got polio. Would she like people to not get inoculated for polio? This is this, again, Neanderthal thinking on the right that is really, it’s scary and dangerous. Climate change deniers, vaccination deniers, I mean they are going to kill us. 

BRZEZINSKI: I think on this it's far right, but it's also far left and it's a little bit -- in fact we'll bring Joe in. 

BEHAR: Yeah but the Democrats are not saying that. 

BRZEZINSKI: There are people on the left who have this issue. 

BEHAR: Are they running for president? 

BRZEZINSKI: They dance around this issue. Joe isn’t that the case? 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah it is. You know, Steve Rattner and I had this discussion earlier and he was trying to make this just a right wing thing. Steve actually said at the end of the 7:00 hour, he said I checked out the polls and it's pretty much split. People on the far right, people on the far left. Of course Joy, we were talking about Barack Obama in 2008 said it was inconclusive. It seems to be guys on the campaign trail are afraid to just cite science. This is straight science. 

BEHAR: Why? 

SCARBOROUGH: You tell me. But it's not a right wing thing because Barack Obama did this in 2008. 

BEHAR: I get that but he changed that when he realized that he was wrong. These people are now in 2015. 

SCARBOROUGH: No he changed it when he got elected. 

BEHAR: Okay fine but here’s my question who is running for president on the Democratic side that is also saying you shouldn't get vaccinated it should be a choice? 

SCARBOROUGH: You only get one person running on the Democratic side. You’ve got like 8,000 on the Republican side. 

BEHAR: Well, you have Elizabeth Warren, she's speaking out. Bernie Sanders, those people are not saying to not get vaccinated.  

SCARBOROUGH: This is an ongoing theme though this morning. Everybody wants to paint this as a right wing thing. It’s not just a right wing thing. As Willie Geist said earlier today, you have two people, Rand Paul who was irresponsible and reckless in what he said and Chris Christie who walked his back. You have Mike Huckabee and a lot of other people considering right wingers that are coming out saying vaccinate your children. I just don’t think this is a right/left thing. I think this is a stupid/smart thing. 

BRZEZINSKI: Why is it a thing?

BEHAR: It shouldn’t be. 

BRZEZINSKI: Why is it a thing at this point?

BEHAR: I mean it's been absolutely discredited across the board that this is not true that you can get autism from vaccinations. The guy was a liar and a cheat who said that, the doctor. 

SCARBOROUGH: One final thing, Mika. You ask why is this a thing. This is a thing because it is a small, very active, very aggressive group of people who believe vaccines cause damage. You know I have a son that has asperger's. It's something I looked into as well. But there is absolutely no science that is credible suggesting that this causes autism. 

BEHAR: Let me ask you something. I understand, maybe I’m incorrect, but that if you're an infant under 12 months, you cannot be vaccinated, correct? Yes. An infant cannot be vaccinated. You have to be a certain age and they could die, these infants could die if they get measles. So now, if a politician is saying it's optional and an infant gets measles and dies, are they indirectly responsible for that infant’s death? 

BRZEZINSKI: That's the ethical debate. We had Zeke Emanuel on earlier. Absolutely.

BEHAR: What does Zeke say? He wants to die when he's 75, I know. 

BRZEZINSKI: That was an incredible piece he did on the cover of The Atlantic.  

BEHAR: Please. Not everybody has to be the big shot like Ezekiel Emanuel. Some people just want to drive a car when they’re 75.  

Health Care MSNBC Morning Joe Joe Scarborough Mika Brzezinski Joy Behar

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