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THE VIEW IN REVIEW

The View Gets Heated Over Joe Rogan's Anti-Vax Stance: 'I'm Not Interested in Understanding Crazy'

It was Sherri Shepherd vs. Sunny Hostin this morning.
  • Sherri Shepherd and Sunny Hostin took opposite positions on the Joe Rogan issue today on The View. (Photos: ABC)
    Sherri Shepherd and Sunny Hostin took opposite positions on the Joe Rogan issue today on The View. (Photos: ABC)

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    Don't expect Sunny Hostin to make an appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast any time soon. Thursday morning on The View, the co-hosts got into it about Dr. Sanjay Gupta's interview with Rogan, who has encouraged his 200 million listeners not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. While Sherri Shepherd praised Gupta for listening to Rogan's anti-vax perspective and combatting his misinformation with science, Hostin accused the podcast host of engaging in "the trifecta of bigotry:" transphobia, islamophobia, and racism. "I'm not so interested in understanding the anti-vax mind," said the left-leaning co-host. "Because I'm not interested in understanding crazy."

    The View's contentious discussion began with a simple question from fill-in moderator Joy Behar (Whoopi Goldberg is still in Atlanta shooting a movie): "Do you think an interview like that, where [Dr. Sanjay Gupta] goes on his turf and speaks to Rogan's constituency, do you think that would work?" Ana Navarro insisted that it was an effective move given Rogan's massive audience, because "even if it's .001 that Sanjay was able to change the mind of, it's a significant number" of people. "It's important to get insight onto what some of these people we disagree with on the vaccines are thinking, and why they are concerned."

    Sherri Shepherd then chimed in to say she knows Joe Rogan from the stand-up comedy world and "he's a very smart man." Added the guest co-host, "I love that Sanjay Gupta went on there, because if you don't go on there and just talk to somebody you disagree with, then we would never have any kind of discourse."

    Hostin took issue with that argument, as she feels no need to understand "crazy" conspiracy theories. "I don't think you can make sense of crazy!" she said, earning a round of applause from the audience. "I have zero interest!"

    After the commercial break, the co-hosts returned to the topic. When Behar brought up Howard Stern's scathing rebuke of Rogan — "We have no time for idiots in this country anymore," said the radio host — Sara Haines and Shepherd teamed up to take Stern down. "I don't think by saying, 'You're an idiot,' it's going to change a person's mind," said Shepherd. "He respected Joe enough to actually go on there."

    "We need to have more conversations, not less. We, right now, run to our own echo chambers. We would rather have applause from preaching to our own choirs than actually moving the needle at all," added Haines. "Provide the facts, answer with science, let people make up their own minds. That's the problem in this day and age: we're telling people how to feel. They will feel how they want. Give them enough information that they make that decision, and win on merit."

    After some more back and forth, Hostin brought up some of Rogan's other problematic remarks, which she described as "the trifecta of bigotry," and slammed his viewers for sticking by him despite (or perhaps because of) them. "If you are still listening to him knowing his history, I'm not interested in reaching out to you!" she said.

    With time winding down, Behar opted to bring things back to Shepherd's earlier point, asking, "What would you like [Stern] to say? You say don't call people idiots."

    "Because I don't want anyone calling me an idiot for what I believe in!" replied Shepherd. "You are going to change my mind when you have a respectful discourse. Because I want to make my own decisions. There are people that still listen to Joe that are wavering ... If I can change one heart, another heart can change another heart."

    Elsewhere on The View... Whoopi Goldberg checked in from Atlanta, where she's filming Till, a new drama about Mamie Till-Mobley's fight for justice for her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till. Goldberg and producer Keith Beauchamp explained that they've been working to get this film financed for over a decade, and they're ecstatic that it's finally happening, especially given the current political and racial climate. "It's about a mother and son, but it's also about the courage of one woman seeking justice for her son, who was murdered by a system in America that, in a funny way, still prevails today," said Goldberg. "It is the start of the Civil Rights Movement. It all starts with Emmett Till."

    "I believe that when this story is told, it can awaken the sleeping giant, once again — the sleeping giant for change," added Beauchamp. "This movie is not only a movie, but a movement."

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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.

    TOPICS: The View, ABC, Ana Navarro, Joe Rogan, Joy Behar, Sanjay Gupta, Sara Haines, Sherri Shepherd, Sunny Hostin, Coronavirus