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Whoopi Goldberg didn't mince words Wednesday morning when she railed against the Austin American-Statesman newspaper for releasing footage of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting.
Rather than focus on the content of the nearly 90-minute video — which shows police officers' delayed response to the shooter inside Robb Elementary School — Whoopi accused the paper of "leaking" the footage before the victims' parents were able to see it. The Texas House committee investigating the shooting planned to release the video on Sunday to the families of victims, but the Austin American-Statesman was first to publish it, on Tuesday afternoon.
"I find it indefensible," said Whoopi. "I'm sorry, you forgot that attached to all those sounds are people's children. And you didn't have to do this — they were going to see this video on Sunday. You did not have to release this and leak it!"
"I think it's appalling, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for doing that — for being thoughtless about the parents who have to relive this every day because it's on television!" she continued, her voice rising. "I don't know if you guys over at that newspaper have kids but shame on you! Shame on you."
Whoopi added that it may "not mean anything coming from" her, before spitting on the ground to show her disdain for the paper.
Given Whoopi's passionate monologue, the co-hosts were careful to tread lightly, but Sunny Hostin did note that the footage is essential to "combat" the police's narrative "that they rushed in" to the school, which has been repeatedly disproven. "Now we know what really happened," she said. "That they were actually cowards in that moment, when we needed them."
"Sunny, we knew that when we saw them standing there, fighting the parents trying to get to their kids!" fired back Whoopi.
Hostin attempted to reiterate her point about the need for video footage, but Whoopi wasn't satisfied. "Then take the sound out!" she said. "They didn't need to leave the gunshots in. What the hell?!"
After some more back and forth, during which guest co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin stood by Hostin's argument, Whoopi put the kibosh on the debate. "I've watched police officers take lives on video, over and over and over. I've seen it," she said. "This is children. We know how many kids. We know they were in there."
"And to say that — we knew they didn't do anything!" continued Whoopi. "We knew they didn't run in there. We knew that they were bullsh*tting — that they were not telling the truth from the giddyup. We saw it. We knew it. All of that I appreciate."
"But to leak this without telling the parents, without giving them the opportunity to re-steel themselves — because we see the video everywhere, all day, every day. For them not to have given them a heads up — these are kids! These are real people! These are real children that died!"
Though the Austin American-Statesman removed audio of children screaming, Whoopi feels it wasn't sufficient. "The bullet, you can still hear the shooting!" she said. "They left the gunshots in."
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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.