Co-host of ABC’s The View talk show, Joy Behar, lobbied for the removal of a Republican senator by repeating misinformation about the US Capitol riot and arguing that Antifa is a “fictitious idea.”
On Monday’s episode, Behar called out recent comments by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), who said he would have been more worried if the people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 had been Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters, rather than supporters of former president Donald Trump. Behar called Johnson a racist and set up her arguments against him by falsely portraying the Capitol rioters and dismissing Antifa completely.
“If I were surrounded by people carrying weapons, people erecting nooses, screaming ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ bludgeoning a police officer to death, I might be a little scared,” Behar said as she read her statement. “But Ron? No, he’s not scared of those people.”
He’s scared of this fictitious idea of Antifa, a thing that doesn’t even exist. He needs to go. He needs to go, and soon.
The first part of Behar’s statement was almost entirely false or misleading. Brian Sicknick, the one police officer who purportedly died as a result of the Capitol riot, wasn’t bludgeoned to death, as falsely reported by CNN and other media outlets. He collapsed in his office hours after the riot ended, and his cause of death is still under investigation. Two men were arrested Sunday for allegedly assaulting Sicknick by spraying him in the face with an unknown substance.
An FBI official told Congress that to her knowledge, no firearms were confiscated from anyone at the Capitol, and the only shot fired was by the officer who killed rioter Ashli Babbitt.
The protesters did indeed used mannequins with nooses as demonstration props, and makeshift gallows were set up with two-by-fours outside the Capitol – although not unlike the fake guillotine that BLM protesters used to behead a Trump effigy outside the White House last August.
But it was Behar’s comments about Antifa that were perhaps most provocative. Just as President Joe Biden did during last year’s presidential campaign, she tried to argue that the anarchist group doesn’t exist.
Even co-host Megan McCain noted that Antifa activists last week set fire to the federal courthouse in Portland, and said that arguing it doesn’t exist is “factually wrong, inaccurate and a lie.” Behar responded by citing a statement by FBI Director Chris Wray that Antifa is “an ideology, not an organization,” but Wray added that it’s “a real thing” with followers who are violent extremists. When McCain reiterated that Antifa exists, Behar said, “I’m done. I said my thing and you said yours.”
Journalist Andy Ngo, who was attacked by a mob of Antifa protesters in 2019, and whose bestselling book about Antifa’s origins and plans was published last month, said Behar should read criminal complaints from around the country showing suspects’ ties to Antifa. One such case involved Darby Howard, who was arrested twice last Thursday in Portland – once for allegedly punching a cop in the head and helping to trash a bank lobby, and later for allegedly throwing a scooter through a window of the federal courthouse. He was still wearing the orange sneakers issued by the city jail when he was arrested for the second time.
Another author, David Harris Jr., pointed out that Behar argued Antifa doesn’t exist despite the fact that the group rioted for 120 consecutive days last year in Portland alone.
“This is outrageous,” conservative commentator Brigitte Gabriel said. “Ideas don’t burn down and loot our cities.”
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