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If Michele Tafoya was expecting a warm welcome in her return to The View, she certainly didn't get it. In yet another disastrous appearance, the ex-Sunday Night Football reporter found herself at odds with the co-hosts as she ranted about school mask mandates, teachers' unions, "defund the police," and any other conservative talking points she could shoehorn into the discussion.
Tafoya's first of two days on The View got off to a fiery start when the co-hosts discussed the GOP's "woke-ism" platform at CPAC, where Tafoya spoke over the weekend. When Sunny Hostin asked her "how y'all" are defining woke, Tafoya insisted that she's "a libertarian," and an "independent," not a Republican. "Why were you at CPAC?" fired back Hostin.
"Because my message is, I'll talk to anyone, and I'll listen to anyone. I'm for more voices, not fewer voices," said Tafoya, adding that cancel culture and "all the evils of politics come from both sides" of the aisle. "I feel like there's a huge group in the middle, of which I am part, that is being ignored. That our voices are being drowned out by this and and this end, and the in between folks are being told to shut up and listen and pay attention, and not follow our own instincts."
Tafoya continued to ignore Hostin's question about "woke-ism" as she argued that independents are "focused on really tangible issues" that "matter to us on a daily basis," like inflation and mask mandates in schools. "I live in Minneapolis, where the Defund the Police movement eventually got overturned," she said. "People want to feel safe and secure, and it's not that social justice isn't important. But if it's the overwhelming — at the expense of everything else, then I think people have an issue with it."
The guest co-host and Joy Behar then proceeded to get into it about Republicans' continued support for Trump, to which Tafoya once again said that there's "a spectrum" of bad behavior on both sides. She continued to play defense as the co-hosts (with the exception of Sara "I'm also an independent" Haines) interrogated her talking points, culminating in a last-minute mic-drop from Hostin, who took issue with Tafoya's point about schools dropping mask mandates. "They're dropping because some of us followed the science, and some of us decided to choose our own personal freedoms over that," she said, her voice dripping with disdain.
DeSANTIS SLAMS LEFT’S “WOKENESS”: Some of the biggest GOP names gave a Republican rallying cry at CPAC about education, COVID-19 mandates and more – #TheView co-hosts and Michele Tafoya discuss the key issues for voters ahead of midterm elections. https://t.co/QZzE7tpYXm pic.twitter.com/sfWwD8rORm— The View (@TheView) March 1, 2022
In the next segment, which was meant to be a softball about removing grades from the classroom, Tafoya made an enemy in Behar. After Tafoya suggested that schools don't need any more funding ("What is enough?" she asked), she lamented that her mother, a schoolteacher, had to pay union dues. "I know what she was paid, and I also know what it was like to her being part of the union, and how much the union bosses got paid in those contracts," she said. "Teachers were paid not commensurate with these union bosses, so that's where I have a problem."
"Thank god for unions!" replied Behar, a former teacher herself. "I was in the teachers' union, my father was a union member, my mother was a union member. I really don't like putting down unions because they help workers!"
When Tafoya said that her issue is with "the union heads," Behar asked her if she feels the same outrage towards CEOs and billionaires. "Alright, then don't complain about CEOs, I guess," replied Tafoya, somewhat confusingly. "It's like one or the other."
Finally, Whoopi got a word in. "Oftentimes there doesn't seem to be enough money to do anything for kids," she said. "It doesn't seem like there's enough money anywhere — kids are struggling all the time. Schools are struggling, and we don't pay the attention we should be paying to the future!"
WILL DUMPING GRADES SET STUDENTS UP FOR FAILURE? Some districts are trying to combat educational disparity by removing letter and numerical grades and giving those having trouble a chance to retake tests to learn the lesson — #TheView co-hosts and #MicheleTafoya discuss. pic.twitter.com/IpQ7XTRr5n— The View (@TheView) March 1, 2022
Michele Tafoya will be back at the table tomorrow for her final day as guest co-host. What fresh hell awaits?
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.