It’s been nearly a month since “The View” host Joy Behar proclaimed on the air that it’s essentially “mental illness” to believe that “Jesus talks to you,” but the fallout over her remarks has continued to reverberate.
After weeks of drama — and Behar’s attempts to laugh off her comments as a mere comedic miss — she reportedly called Pence to apologize, The Washington Post reported.
Reports of a phone conversation between Behar and Pence first emerged when Justin Danhof, a Disney shareholder, asked Disney head Bob Iger this week about claims that ABC, the network “The View” airs on, and other Disney properties seem to have a pattern of going after conservatives and religious Americans.
“What do you say to the tens of millions of Christians, and President Trump supporters, that your networks have so blatantly offended and ascribed hateful labels?” Danhof, who is also an attorney for the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, asked. “Specifically, do you think, like Mrs. Hostin and Mrs. Behar, that the Christian faith is akin to a dangerous mental illness?”
Iger noted that Behar had apologized to Pence and Behar’s manager, Bill Stankey, later confirmed that the two talked.
“Yes, she did speak to Vice President Pence, they had a great, very nice conversation,” Stankey told The Washington Post. “The vice president was very gracious and very understanding. He understood that Joy wasn’t attacking anybody and that there was some miscommunication.”
A White House source said, though, that Behar didn’t seem to frame her comments as any sort of miscommunication, and that she apologized to Pence. The vice-president reportedly encouraged the host to apologize to the public as well. As of late last month, Behar was framing her remarks as a mere joke.
As Faithwire previously reported, her initial comments came during a conversation on “The View” about Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former “Apprentice” star who briefly became a White House staffer before reportedly being terminated.
Newman recently made waves when she uttered some shocking comments about Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith.
“As bad as y’all think Trump is, you should be worried about Pence,” she said on CBS’ “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition,” a reality TV show she appeared on after her White House stint. “Everybody that’s wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their life. We would be begging for days of Trump if Pence became president, that’s all I’m saying. He’s extreme.”
To explain that purported extremity, Newman pointed to Pence’s faith.
“I’m Christian, I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things,” she said. “I’m like, ‘Jesus didn’t say that.’”
“The View” host Sunny Hostin said that she found Newman’s comments interesting, and launched into her own views on the matter.
“I’m Catholic. I’m a faithful person,” she said. “But I don’t know that I want my vice-president … speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him.”
And Behar took things to another level, invoking mental illness in the discussion about Pence’s purported conversations with Jesus.
“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you,” she said. “That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”
Sherri Shepard jumped in at that point to correct Behar and to explain how — through a Christian lens — conversations and prayers to Jesus actually work.
“As a Christian, that’s just par for the course. You talk to Jesus, Jesus talks back,” she said, before adding: “What concerns me is, how long is the conversation with Jesus?”
It should be noted, once again, that these comments were all based on Newman’s proclamation on a reality show, not on a specific Pence quote that the hosts are hammering. Prior to Behar’s apology, Pence had lashed out against her claims.
“It’s just wrong, and it’s an insult not to me, but to the vast majority of the American people who, like me, cherish their faith,” he said. “My Christianity is the most important thing in my life.”