Behar Calls for Limbaugh's Firing Over 'Massa' Play on Words

Has Joy Behar run out of things to talk about? Is the HLN host and “The View” co-host allowing producers to select her topics?

On HLN's March 10 “The Joy Behar Show,” Behar suggested it might be time for conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh to go after making certain remarks involving embattled New York Gov. David Paterson and former Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y.

“This whole Massa controversy gave him an excuse to make a racial slur against New York Governor David Paterson,” Behar said. “Not that Rush needs an excuse to make a racial slur.”

The comments that offended Behar involved Limbaugh saying Paterson was going to be a “Massa,” a double entendre Behar asserted was racist.

”So David Paterson will become the Massa, whoever gets to appoint, whoever gets to take Massa's place,” Limbaugh said. “So for the first time in his life, Paterson's going to be a Massa.”

Behar, who also thought there was possibly racism in the name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving, “Black Friday,” questioned the so-called satire defense in this ginned up controversy.

“So does the satire defense work here?” Behar asked. “Because you know when Sarah Palin went after him – when he used, said retarded, she gave him a pass at first because she said well, he's a satirist. Is this satire?”

But even Behar's guest, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who was promoting his book, “American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us,” wasn't buying her far-fetched conclusion:

VENTURA: Well it's definitely entertainment. It's not news.
BEHAR: No it's not news.
VENTURA: None of these shows -
BEHAR: But he's not taken seriously as a news person, in many quarters of the country.
VENTURA: Not my me.
BEHAR: Not by me either but a lot of people do.
VENTURA: Sure. Is it satire? I don't know. But he certainly has the ability, and I don't subject him to anything bad because he does satire. Now what was racial about that?

She persisted with her charge and even referenced the song often played on Limbaugh's program created by “white comedian” Paul Shanklin, “Barack the Magic Negro,” which was originally inspired by a column that appeared in the Los Angeles Times in  March 2007 written by David Ehrenstein. But Ventura still didn't catch on.

BEHAR: Well, I guess to call David Paterson, Massa, because he's a black guy.
BEHAR: Well because he referred to Barack once as Barack the magic Negro. It's like at least the most insensitive and thoughtless --
VENTURA: Yes but what does Massa mean? It means that guy.
BEHAR: No but yes, but he's doing a play on words on like Massa - master from "Gone With The Wind."
VENTURA: Okay it must be flying over my head there. You're getting it and I'm not.

Behar even compared Limbaugh's use of “Massa” to Don Imus' 2007 indiscretion of calling the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team “nappy-headed hoes,” and suggested there was a double standard at play.

BEHAR: Okay, all right. I mean Imus, you know Imus -
BEHAR: He made a comment, called these girls nappy headed hoes -
VENTURA: Yes. Yes.
BEHAR: And he got thrown off the air. But Rush Limbaugh gets a pass, he's still on the radio, no matter what he says.
VENTURA: Oh sure.

Ventura suggested Limbaugh gets a little more freedom since he brings in a lot of money, and probably because he works for himself.

BEHAR: So, I'm for free speech.
VENTURA: Hey, it all comes down to money.
BEHAR: Uh huh, that's true, he makes a lot of money.
VENTURA: Absolutely, he brings in ratings. So he's going to get a pass when it comes down to money.

Considering Ventura's paranoid ideas about subjects including the the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, his rejection of her premise should have given Behar pause.

Later in the show, Ventura and Behar dabbled in 9/11 Truther-ism. Ventura told Behar he had a lot of questions, but didn't go as far to say the Bush administration was behind 9/11.

BEHAR: But, okay, but Jesse, you're not saying that the – what I understood this morning, that the Bush Administration was behind the attack?
VENTURA: I don't know that.
BEHAR: But what do you say about that?
VENTURA: I say that they certainly knew it was going to come. They did nothing to protect us. And they may have enjoyed it because they had an agenda.

BEHAR: Enjoyed killing 3,000 people?
VENTURA: Because they wanted to go to Iraq. No, they enjoyed the fact that they would be able to carry forth their agenda.

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