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The View Tackles Bill Maher Giving Platform to Steve Bannon: ‘Would We Let Him Sit at the Table?’

On The View on Monday, the topic of (sort of) former Breitbart chief and once and future Trump whisperer Steve Bannon appearing on Real Time with Bill Maher prompted a discussion about whether or there is sometimes too much free speech.

“Apparently a lot of people are taking issue with Bill Maher for inviting former White House Chief of Staff, strategist, and former — in my mind — president Steve Bannon on his show on Friday,” said Whoopi Goldberg introducing a clip from the show.

“Should he have given Bannon a platform for his show? I mean, would we let him sit at the table?” Whoopi asked.

“We let a lot of people sit at the table,” said Joy Behar. “Louis Brandeis famously said ‘sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectant’, so that, you let people who are fascist and racist, let them hang themselves, let them expose themselves for what they are.”

Freshman co-host Abby Huntsman said she is all for “more conversations” and “taking time to listen to each other” but said it’s not happening. “You have someone saying something crazy on one end, someone says something crazy on the other end, and it’s just, you don’t get anywhere,” she said.

Huntsman said it’s different with someone like Alex Jones, who shouldn’t get a platform anywhere, but that it’s “tougher” with Bannon.

Sunny Hostin didn’t think it was as tough a call. “I worry about normalizing someone like Steve Bannon,” she said. “He has been pretty hateful in his speech.”

Hostin then listed off a plethora of awful or offensive statements from Bannon and said, “I don’t know that I want to sit down with someone like that, who’s clearly firmly entrenched in their views, and give them a platform so that three million people can drink their, you know, Kool-aid. I don’t know.”

“Even if you can push on it and have them explain it and then teach them something along the way?” asked Huntsman.

“I don’t know,” said Hostin. “I don’t know that I would.”

“I worry about where this country ends if we decide to just stop having conversations with people who might say crazy things,” said Huntsman.”

“Conversation is different from giving someone publicity and a platform,” replied Hostin.

Behar then cut into the exchange saying, “Yeah but then if you stop them, then they have to stop me, and I don’t like that.”

Goldberg said they have to face people on The View who they don’t like or with whom they disagree all the time.

“You have to know that they’re out there. I’d rather know where they are. One of the things that this is — this administration has done, is it has highlighted where all these folks are and how they think. I want to know where they are and how they think because that will help me know how I need to go through the world,” she said. “Because before, I thought we had reached a place where it’s like, listen, you know not to say that to me. I know. You know not to say that to me. Now it seems people feel like they can come up and say anything. But when you get, if you get punched, you’re going to be mad, see? So you can’t come at people and expect that they’re going to accept it. So maybe we should go back to the thing of keep that to yourself.”

Watch the clip above, courtesy of ABC.

[Featured image via screengrab]

Follow Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) on Twitter

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