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Has The View found its new frontrunner for the fifth seat? On Tuesday, Amanda Carpenter earned both the co-hosts' and the audience's respect when she blasted Fox News hosts for urging Mark Meadows to end the January 6 riot in private texts, while downplaying the insurrection on-air. Carpenter, a Republican commentator, insisted Fox News hosts' about-face is "despicable," and she accused them of willfully misleading the public about what transpired that day. "Becuase of what these people on Fox News are doing, it makes it much more likely it will happen again, much worse," she said. "I dare Sean Hannity to answer me tonight!"
The View opened Tuesday's show with a Hot Topic about the incriminating text messages, which were read aloud by Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the bipartisan January 6 commission, on Monday night. "The thing that kills me is this is all on tape! Y'all said all of this on video tape," said Whoopi, after playing a clip of Fox News hosts dismissing serious concerns about the insurrection just hours after texting Meadows. "Is this a smoking gun that the network and a lot of Republicans are spinning a lie about?"
"The most despicable thing that Fox News did, a lot of folks, was somehow blame law enforcement," said Carpenter, the first to chime in (typically, Joy Behar gets the first honor, but Carpenter beat her to the punch). "On that night of January 6, Sean Hannity went there and said, 'How were officials not prepared? How did they allow the Capitol to be breached in what seemed like a few minutes?'"
"We know why! Donald Trump did nothing!" she continued. "Sean Hannity knows why. Those Fox News hosts know why because Donald Trump did nothing to stop this. The National Guard was ready to go. The most important question that I hope everyone keeps in their mind when it comes to January 6 is: why did it take more than three hours for the Capitol to be secured?"
FOX NEWS HOSTS TEXTED MEADOWS AMID RIOT: The co-hosts and @amandacarpenter react after Rep. Liz Cheney quoted extensively from text messages sent to former Pres. Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack from Fox News hosts. https://t.co/eNizaPpT6m pic.twitter.com/OeIHVGAxei— The View (@TheView) December 14, 2021
The View's audience erupted in applause, but Carpenter wasn't done quite yet. "That was a decision. That wasn't something that just happened. That was something that Donald Trump let happen, and all the reporting around it shows that he loved what happened on January 6," she said, before challenging Hannity to address her questions on his show tonight. "I know I'm right! I know he was right that night, but won't admit it!"
"That is from a Republican, by the way," said Behar, as she pointed across the table. The remark earned Carpenter a third (!) round of applause from the audience, and she basked in it for the rest of the segment as the other co-hosts chimed in with similar takes.
Despite yesterday's rocky outing, Carpenter's screed is all but guaranteed to earn her a callback when The View returns from its holiday hiatus in early January. If she can figure out how to chime in without stepping on the other ladies' toes, she just might win the months-long battle to fill Meghan McCain's seat.
Elsewhere on The View... Joy Behar once again gaffed it up when she insisted "400 people" died from COVID-19 under Trump's watch. When the co-hosts reminded her that it was 400,000 people, not 400, who died, Behar dug in her heels and insisted upon the lower figure.
"Are you saying only 400 people died?" asked Whoopi. "That's what I got," replied Behar, as she dug through her notecards. After a few moments of confusion, Behar admitted she's "not reading it right," as she doesn't have her glasses on. With an assist from Whoopi, who passed her glasses down the table to her co-host, Behar realized her mistake and apologized. Oof.
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.