Media Research Center President Brent Bozell issued the following open letter today in response to ongoing hateful comments made by ABC hosts, including The View’s Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin. Hostin referred to Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith as “dangerous.” Behar equated it to a “mental illness.”
Bozell’s complete February 15 letter is below. A PDF can be found here.
February 15, 2018
Mr. James Goldston
President, ABC News
47 West 66th St.
New York, NY 10023
Dear Mr. Goldston,
I am writing to bring a serious problem to your attention. Yesterday, I issued a statement on Twitter, addressing offensive comments made by Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin of The View regarding Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith. I referred to comments they made after playing a clip from Celebrity Big Brother. Omarosa Manigault-Newman trashed Pence as an “extreme Christian” who has conversations with Jesus. The panel then took turns taking shots at the Vice President’s faith.
Ms. Hostin, who identifies as Catholic, called Pence’s Christianity “dangerous”: “When you have a Mike Pence who now puts this religious veneer on things and who calls people values voters, I think we're in a dangerous situation. Look I'm Catholic. I'm a faithful person, but I don’t know that I want my vice president, um -- speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him.”
Ms. Behar mocked the Vice President directly, equating his faith to “mental illness”: “Like I said before, it's one thing to talk to Jesus. It's another thing when Jesus talks to you,” she warned. Hostin agreed: “Exactly. That's different!” Behar responded: “That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct. Hearing voices.”
These characterizations of the Vice President’s faith are insulting not just to him, but to all Christians. Yet as of the writing of this letter, neither Ms. Hostin, nor Ms. Behar, nor ABC have apologized.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time ABC and The View have insulted Christians. This is a disturbing trend. Here are some examples:
- On a June 1, 2017 episode of the The View, the entire lineup “blamed” Christians for taking away free contraception, likening Christianity to the Taliban: “You can’t hide behind religion to restrict other people’s rights!” host Jedediah Bila slammed. “You’re almost punishing us for having ovaries,” fellow host Sara Haines added. Joy Behar asked, “How is it different from the Taliban?” adding, “Let’s not forget they are trying to keep women in their place, barefoot and pregnant.”
- On July 12, 2017, ABCNews.com reported on a Jeff Sessions speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom with the following headline: “Jeff Sessions addresses ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ but DOJ won’t release his remarks.” The “hate-group” designation for the ADF comes from the highly partisan Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The shocking thing is that ABC News took that incredible charge from the SPLC for granted, and used it to trash both ADF and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
- The ABC show Good Christian Bitches, which aired in 2012, portrayed Christians as superficial, carnal, shallow hypocrites. Unfortunately, while the show changed its name to GCB, it never stopped its lewd and offensive caricatures of Christianity.
And there are many more such examples. Ms. Behar and Ms. Hostin are just the latest.
But now you, Mr. Goldston, have the opportunity to right this wrong. Apologize on behalf of ABC. Require Ms. Hostin and Ms. Behar as individuals to apologize. Bigotry against any group is hateful and ugly. Unfortunately, anti-Christian bigotry seems to be the last acceptable bigotry. A simple unqualified apology will go so far. Our country is so divided right now, why make things worse? By apologizing you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Make no mistake, the slurs against the Vice President’s faith insult millions of Christians and are unacceptable. If there are no on-air apologies after this deplorable episode, Christians will tune out ABC programming across the board. And we will do our best to encourage it.
If there is no apology, we will contact the advertisers of The View, and ask MRC’s millions of grassroots activists to do the same. I am sure the advertisers of The View will be just as appalled as I am about the anti-Christian remarks made on the show. I hope you are able to take the appropriate action before we begin.
I look forward to your reply. Please do not hesitate to call me by COB Friday if you want to discuss.