The View's Joy Behar publicly apologized Tuesday for remarks she made in February when she implied Vice President Mike Pence's faith was a "mental illness". In a quip that reportedly drew thousands of angry phone calls, Behar said, "It's one thing to talk to Jesus".
She had also said anyone who hears the voice of God suffers from "mental illness".
Behar said Tuesday she'd been raised to respect all faiths and that she fell short of that last month.
Behar's call to Pence was undisclosed until Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked about the controversy during last week's meeting with investors. It wasn't until Vice President Pence appeared on Fox News' Hannity and called upon Behar to issue a public apology to tens of millions of Christians who were offended by her remarks. "I'm Christian. I love Jesus".
The next day a somber Pence responded that such an attack on Christian prayer "was just wrong".
During an appearance with Sean Hannity on Monday, Pence said that Behar had called him to offer a personal apology but he wanted a public statement of contrition.
Pence added, "I felt it was important that I defend the faith of tens of millions of Americans against that kind of slander".
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A national campaign led by Media Research Center President Brent Bozell applied pressure on ABC in a call for a public apology, with Bozell saying a private apology is "not almost enough".
During an episode of Big Brother, Omarosa called Pence "extreme" and added that he "thinks Jesus tells him to say things". Behar finally addressed the viewers and offered a twelve-second apology on the Tuesday, March 13 edition of The View. Behar's manager, Bill Stankey, confirmed to The Washington Post that Behar had apologized to Pence during a phone conversation, but a White House source told The Post that the vice president had urged Behar to apologize publicly. "She made a call to him and apologized, which I thought was absolutely appropriate".
Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative group that has led a campaign to hold "The View" accountable for the comments, said ABC needs to go beyond a private apology to make up for the offense.
"When they do that, this whole matter will be put to rest", Bozell concluded. "I sincerely apologize for what I said".
Show moderator Whoopi Goldberg quickly moved on.
In contrast, "Pence didn't back down and that sets a good standard", Showalter opined.