Mike Pence and conservative activists want Joy Behar to apologize on behalf of "offended" Christians everywhere, but it turns out that outrage is manufactured purely to score political points.

It all began back in February when "The View" co-host took part in a segment on whether the vice president's religious views are good for the country.

After two of her co-hosts mocked the VP for reportedly claiming to speak directly with Jesus Christ, Behar quipped, "It's one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct — hearing voices."


Pence said that Behar and ABC should apologize to all Christians for using "The View" as "a forum for invective against religion like that." Behar apologized to Pence in a private phone call after poking fun at him.

Behar's manager claims Pence told her he wasn't personally offended. "The vice president was very gracious and very understanding. He understood that Joy wasn’t attacking anybody and that there was some miscommunication."

Photos by Nick Step/Flickr and Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

The apology demand appears to have been a manufactured campaign from a right-wing interest group.

Why did Pence allegedly strike such a different tone in private versus his harsher public comments?

It might have something to do with the Media Research Center, a conservative advocacy group whose function seems to be to attack people and institutions in the media it feels reflect a bias against conservative views. Since Behar's comments last month, the group has been organizing a petition campaign among its members and has reportedly made 30,000 complaint calls to ABC.

All of which seems a little odd, given that Pence accepted Behar's apology weeks ago.

Nonetheless, it's possible Behar still owes an apology — but it's not to the conservative media activists now trying to create a controversy around a perceived persecution.

If Behar owes anyone an apology, it's to those affected by mental illness.

Behar's joke did lack good taste, but not because she supposedly offended Christians. After all, no faith leaders or organizations have publicly complained about her comments. Behar's joke did lack good taste, but not because she supposedly offended Christians. After all, no faith leaders or organizations have publicly complained about her comments. Instead, Behar was insensitive to those with mental illness. These sorts of jokes and offhand comments create stigma and prop up an culture that inflicts suffering and even death upon people with mental illnesses.

Whether she was right or wrong, it was a decent move on Behar's behalf to offer Pence a public apology. And if the reports are accurate, it sounds like Pence also was gracious during their call.

But let's not lose sight of the fact that her joke was absolutely not an attack of Christians or any of faith for that matter. Generating false outrage to score political points doesn't seem like the good samaritan thing to do.

Instead, the next positive step could be for Behar and Pence to agree that jokes referencing mental illness should remain off-limits, and they can take their political disagreements elsewhere.

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less

Roland Pollard and his 4-year-old daughter Jayden have been doing cheer and tumbling stunts together since Jayden could walk. When you see videos of their skills, the level of commitment is apparent—as is the supportive relationship this daddy has with his daughter.

Pollard, a former competitive cheerleader and cheer coach, told In The Know that he didn't expect Jayden to catch on to her flying skills at age 3, but she did. He said he never pressures her to perform stunts and that she enjoys it. And as a viral video of Jayden almost falling during a stunt shows, excelling at a skill requires good teaching—something Pollard appears to have mastered.

Keep Reading Show less