This post originally appeared at WIMN's Voices: A Group Blog on Women and the Media (www.wimnonline.org/WIMNsVoicesBlog) a project of Women In Media & News (www.wimnonline.org), the national women's media analysis, education and advocacy group.
Maybe the fact of Rosie O'Donnell's upcoming departure from ABC's The View has lit a fire under Joy Behar, but there was a relatively radical moment on today's show that saw Joy being more forceful and political than I've heard her before.
It came during an argument with guest co-host Amy Holmes (identified as a GOP strategist and former rep for Bill Frist, though not identified as a former staffer for the virulently anti-feminist Independent Women's Forum) about the various Republican presidential candidates' positions on abortion -- in particular, debating Rudy Giuliani's much-hyped "pro-choice" pov. Here's a partial transcript:
Amy Holmes: Where you get into some of the thickets of the issue, is federal funding for abortion. And that is going to really hurt him because he said he was for it.
Joy Behar: He's for that. The Hyde Amendment
Holmes: You know, you can't ask, necessarily, evangelicals to use their taxpayer dollars to have another woman have an abortion. And even pro-choicers are sort of --
Behar: I don't want to pay taxes to fund the war, but I pay it, so what's the difference? What is the difference?
Holmes: The difference is we're talking about our national security not a private decision --
Behar: National security? You know what? Since this war -- let's not start with the war -- but since this war, since this war is illegal in my view, then I am paying for an illegal war --
Rosie O'Donnell: In the world view --
Behar: if a girl in the middle of nowhere wants an abortion because her brother raped her, I'll pay for that. I'll pay for that with my taxes. Why is that different?
Holmes: Well, you can pay for that. You don't necessarily have to pay for that with your tax dollars and coerce other citizens to pay for that, if you want to pay for that you can give to the Planned Parenthood, you can give to any number of people who would help that young lady.
O' Donnell: Or NARAL, the National Abortion Rights League, NARAL.
Behar: I do do that.
Barbara Walters: Yes, but even if you give, if you change the law it won't matter if you give to Planned Parenthood. I mean, it might help but it's not going to change the law.
O'Donnell: No, we'll have wire hangers again, women dying of hemmhoraging in back alleys.
Holmes: Most states have already protected abortion.
Ah, Amy Holmes, queen of the inaccurate random statement. The states have protected abortion? Check out RH Reality Check for the real story. I shouldn't be surprised at her dismissive yet incorrect notion about abortion being safe in the states, what with the amount of time I've spent over the years debunking Amy Holmes' IWF legacy of using the media to advance anti-woman misrepresentations and inaccuracies. (For example, I remember her telling NBC News that the mass sexual assaults of fifty-some-odd women attacked in Central Park during and after a parade in 2000 were provoked by "consensual sexual play" and women's "exhibitionism.")
I'm just glad to see Joy Behar putting some real feminist punch into her arguments, rather than her usual snarky grumblings that often feel flat.
PS: Just to mention an idiotic aside, apropos of nothing, the next segment was all about how Amy Holmes, a beautiful (if politically backwards) African American woman in her early 30s, is so hard up for a boyfriend that she decided to troll for men on J-Date, the online dating site for Jewish singles who prefer to date Jewish singles. Amy Holmes, just in case there was any doubt, is not Jewish. Her confessional story unfolds like this: Holmes goes on J-Date. Mentions in her profile that she isn't Jewish. Mentions in her profile that she isn't even single, being in a three-week break-up process with her semi-ex-boyfriend of three months. And, posts what she described to View viewers as a terrible photo in which she's trying to hide from the camera. Then -- shocker! -- she's surprised that she didn't find her dream man, but only a horny 26-year-old looking for internet sex. Being single myself, I usually have sympathy for tortured dating stories (seriously, I'm usually the one who wins those cringe-worthy dating anecdote-trades at parties), but in this case, I just had to laugh my ass off. No wonder she worked so long for the IWF: she has no common sense!
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