Now that I’ve had a week to think about the big controversy on ‘‘The View,’’ I’ve come to the conclusion that my comment that ‘‘Muslims killed us on 9/11’’ was really not what caused Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar to walk off the set. No doubt that pithy piece of analysis ticked them off, but there is more to this deal than meets the eye.
Keeping in mind that I could be wrong about my speculation, let’s walk through this. I’ve been on ‘‘The View’’ a number of times, and usually things are lively but under control. We’ve even had some laughs. But when I entered the studio last week, I picked up a different vibe, especially from Goldberg. I even mentioned it when I walked out, telling Whoopi she didn’t look happy to see me. She replied that she had gas. Sometimes I have that effect on people.
The conversation was centered on my book, ‘‘Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama.’’ From the jump, Behar seemed offended that I mentioned the president’s falling poll numbers. In fact, a chill descended that would have made Frosty the Snowman nervous.
The ladies quickly disposed of the economy as a ‘‘Bush problem’’ but became agitated when I put forth that Obama had created a gulf between him and some regular Americans. I backed up my analysis by saying the president’s refusal to comment on the ‘‘wisdom’’ of building a mosque near ground zero was a mistake. Goldberg asked why. I replied that the mosque’s location was inappropriate because ‘‘Muslims killed us on 9/11.’’
That caused Goldberg and Behar to head for the locker room, and it wasn’t even halftime.
Believe me when I tell you that I had no idea the conversation was going to end up like that. I simply went on that program to reach an audience that might not watch me on the Fox News Channel. Plus, ‘‘The View’’ gave away my book to all the people in the audience. And I got a banana and juice in the green room.
When the ladies walked out in a huff, I have to be honest, I was surprised but kind of pleased. I knew that everybody would see the incident on the Internet and that I could milk a number of segments for my TV program. It seemed like a good deal to me at the time, and looking back, I think the display had as much to do with Obama’s declining fortunes as it did with Muslims.
But as it turns out, an important point has emerged from all of this. Political correctness was breached, and millions of folks heard the truth. Muslims did kill us on 9/11, and there is a Muslim problem in the world.
If you want to walk away from that truth, I can’t stop you. But a better strategy would be for all of us to acknowledge the danger coming out of the Muslim world and work together to mitigate it.
Veteran TV news anchor Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show ‘‘The O’Reilly Factor.’’ Visit his website at www.billoreilly.com.