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Joy Behar States Facts on The View, Says Antifa “Doesn’t Even Exist”

Joy Behar used her platform on The View this week to state a fact: that antifa “doesn’t even exist.”

Behar was referencing Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican who said recently that he “never felt threatened” during the Capitol riots on January 6th that left multiple people dead–including one police officer, plus two more officers who died by suicide following the riot–and at least 140 injured. He says he only would have been “concerned” if the rioters had been “Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters,” rather than the overwhelmingly white group of Trump supporters that stormed the Capitol building.

Behar called Johnson out for the extreme, overt racism he was displaying with those comments. “There’s no dog-whistle for him,” she said. “It’s like ‘I’m a racist, have a nice day.'”

“It’s so aggravating to listen to this idiot,” she continued. “I mean, he and I are very different. If I were surrounded by people carrying weapons, people carrying nooses, screaming ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ bludgeoning a police officer to death, I might be a little scared. But Ron? No, he’s not scared of those people. He’s scared of this fictitious idea of antifa, a thing that doesn’t even exist. He needs to go.”

Behar is right, from Johnson needing to go to antifa not being anything more than idea. Antifa is not an organization, but rather an ideology. It is simply the opposition to fascism. The right has an obsession with depicting it as a broad-reaching, hierarchical, vilent organization and they’ve been frustratingly successful in convincing a lot of people that that’s the case.

It’s a pretty big deal, then, to hear Behar say the truth on The View–a show whose audience is largely over the age of 55 and has repeatedly heard and likely believes the Fox News talking points about the big antifa boogeyman coming to break their windows and cancel them for not supporting the Green New Deal or whatever it is Fox is pushing now.

As expected, Behar’s co-host Meghan McCain was outraged.

“Antifa does exist,” she said. “What separates antifa is their willingness to use violence. I have very good friends who have been reporting on antifa for months and months and months,” adding that she had a friend who was injured while reporting on them. “We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can say Ron Johnson’s an absolute moron, we can say that not all activism is violent, but the idea that antifa doesn’t exist is just factually inaccurate and wrong and a lie.”

Given that McCain’s husband is the co-founder of the ultra-rightwing propaganda machine The Federalist, I don’t think we have to give to much credence to her “very good friends'” journalistic endeavors.

“I just want to clarify that Christopher Wray, who is the FBI director, says that antifa is an ideology, not an organization,” Behar said a bit later. “There is no sign that they were involved in the Capitol siege, let’s be clear.”

“I’m not saying they were involved in the Capitol siege, I’m saying they exist,” McCain chimed in.

“I’m done,” Behar said. “I said my thing and you said yours. I’m done.”

“You said it was a fantasy, you said antifa doesn’t exist and it’s a fantasy,” McCain said over her.

“It’s an idea, not a real thing,” Behar shouted.

“No it’s not!” McCain snapped as the show went to commercial.

Behar is absolutely right that the FBI director said antifa is more of an ideology than an organization. If there is any organizing around that ideology, it is at the hyper-local level. The idea that “tens of thousands” of people identifying as antifa and Black Lives Matter (which is also an ideology and slogan) could storm the Capitol or do anything else, as Johnson suggested, is ludicrous.

(via Mediaite, image: screencap)
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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.