The Yikes-o-Meter went all the way up to 10 today when The View's Joy Behar wondered aloud if Louis C.K. should return to television now that Jeffrey Toobin has been welcomed back to CNN with open arms. The liberal co-host said that because C.K. "did the same thing" as Toobin, who returned to the network on Thursday eight months after his Zoom masturbation incident, we should ask whether the disgraced comic deserves a chance at redemption, as well. "Does this mean Louis C.K. should be back on television?" asked Behar. "The question is, who's allowed to do it, who isn't allowed to do it?"
Behar often has blindspot when it comes to the #MeToo movement (in 2019, she defended ousted senator Al Franken and insisted that he was the victim of a "political hit"), so it was no surprise that her remarks about Toobin's appearance on CNN quickly spiraled. At first, Behar took aim at CNN, saying, "With all the men in CNN's payroll, they had to give it to poor Alisyn Camerota? She didn't deserve that. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable, and manipulative, I thought. Very manipulative."
The longtime co-host then turned her attention to Toobin himself, who told Camerota that "he's working at a food bank" and "wants to be a better person" in the wake of the scandal. "I don't see the correlation between needing to engage Mr. Happy and being a bad person," she said. "Maybe it causes blindness, but I don't see how it causes you to be a bad person. Because that would be everybody in the world, practically, for doing what he was doing, alone, at home, in their house."
Behar added that she "forgives" Toobin for the incident because he "didn't know the [video] was running" during the Zoom call. "I'm not judging the guy. It just shows you how boring these Zoom meetings are," she said. "He couldn't even wait between meetings to get involved with himself."
JEFFREY TOOBIN’S SECOND CHANCE? The co-hosts react to the legal analyst’s return to TV after he was fired more than seven months ago from ‘The New Yorker’ and went on leave from CNN for performing a sex act during a Zoom call with former colleagues. https://t.co/dbmLnte3N0 pic.twitter.com/1LHE437vnM— The View (@TheView) June 14, 2021
Behar could have stopped there, but instead, she zoomed out (pun intended) to sound off on the #MeToo movement as a whole. The co-host asked if Louis C.K. should be back on TV, as he "did the same thing" as Toobin, "only live, in front of a few women comedians. Comedians love a live audience. They don't like to do these things on Zoom." This is, of course, not exactly true: In 2017, multiple women accused C.K. of masturbating in front of them without their consent. Shortly after, C.K. admitted that "these stories are true," writing, "The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly."
The co-host admitted that she was "being facetious, to some extent," but said extent was extremely unclear. "Does this mean that Al Franken — get him back into the Senate! Let's get him back," said Behar (in 2017, multiple women accused Franken of sexual harassment and groping, leading to his resignation from the senate, a decision he later said he "absolutely regrets"). "I don't know that what he did that was worse than any of this. I really don't understand the rules and regulations of what's accountable and what's not accountable."
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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.