I really don’t have that much of a feeling one way or the other about waging a public relations war with Barbara Walters. I just do not think it’ll make that much of a difference. I am fortunate in that I don’t watch the view and never have, I only hear about it from some of the main-stream media.
Reading about this, though, I am just sad. Joy Behar, while I’m not sure what her real feelings may or may not be, was simply making a hack joke. Ever since the (let’s face it) self-afflicted wound of the priest sex scandals, comics have taken easy shots at priests. I know, I am an amateur comic myself. While I have WAY too much respect for the priesthood to dare make them a target of sex-abuse jokes, I have heard at least 500 priest/sex offender jokes, not only from stand-up comics but also from TV shows and movies. Sadly, stereotypes are a huge part of stand-up comedy (look at all of the ethnic humor, or the disgruntled postal worker stereotype) and by their horrible handling of the sex abuse scandal, the Church has allowed priests to be stereotyped in the mass media.
This is no way intended to downplay Joy Behar’s despicable, but extremely hack, joke. I just think that instead of going after Barbara Walters that the Church needs to acknowledge the we screwed up and start the long slow road of rebuilding the respect for the priesthood by playing up positive views of the vocation and trying to wage a positive P.R. campaign, not a negative one against Barbara Walters. I could care less about Barbara Walters’ s reputation, but I care deeply about our priests’ reputation.