Holding ABC’s “The View” to its own Standards

July 7, 2010
ABC and “The View” seem to believe that they have a responsibility to the truth only when they face untruth. Case in point: On a May, 2009 episode of ABC’s  “The View,” the show’s co-executive producer, Barbara Walters, welcomed Fox News commentator Glenn Beck on the program as a guest host. During the “Hot Topics” segment that day  Walters and co-host Whoopi Goldberg confronted Beck about a mischaracterization he had asserted about Walters and Goldberg on his radio show just a few days prior. Beck had made false comments about what transpired when he met Walters and Goldberg on an Amtrak train. Binary Data W2FK2vchoEo After a rather long exchange about the incident Walters pointed out that Beck, as a journalist with an extensive audience, had a responsibility to fact check. Beck dismissed fact checking and responded that he is only a “commentator” but Walters reiterated the importance of the practice. Sadly ABC and “The View” are not living up to their own standards regarding fact checking. Just over a week ago GLAAD issued a Call to Action after “The View’s” Sherri Shepherd and guest host D.L. Hughley perpetuated dangerous myths about African American gay and bisexual men, blaming them for increased HIV rates among African American women, despite evidence to the contrary from the Centers for Disease Control. After the show aired, thousands of people stood with GLAAD and demanded an apology and a correction. ABC and “The View” now have vital information from the CDC which debunks the harmful misinformation elevated on the show.  They have heard from thousands of concerned viewers asking them to apologize and correct their mistake.  But the network still refuses to take responsibility for its actions-- allowing the false and defamatory remarks about African American gay and bisexual men to go unchecked. So it appears that while Walters appropriately urged Beck to fact check on his show, she allows for a double standard on her own show. “The View” has a huge platform, reaching nearly four-million people every day.  It has a responsibility to take its own advice and fact check information espoused on the program. Please contact ABC, question this double standard, and urge the network to take responsibility for spreading false information about African American gay and bi men. Their actions put our community in harm's way and we will not stop challenging them to remedy this situation. Thank you for standing with us in our efforts. You can take action here. Please also note: Three of “The View’s” regular hosts,Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar were all honored with past GLAAD Awards for their fair, accurate and inclusive coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  Each have stellar track records in covering our issues and we’re asking them to do the right thing in this case and live up to that standard of excellence.