Joy Behar apologized to Mike Pence for mocking his faith, but the vice president didn't get what he really wanted: A bigger mea culpa to "millions of Christians" who watch "The View."
Pence was willing to turn the other cheek when Behar reached out privately, according to a White House source. But Behar, whose apology only made news when ABC boss Bob Iger acknowledged it at a shareholders' meeting Thursday, found sorry was the hardest word to utter to her TV show's audience.
“She apologized to the vice president, he accepted and said he wasn’t offended by her comment for his own sake but on behalf of the millions of Christians who watch ABC and her show," the source told Fox News. "He encouraged her to make the same apology publicly on the show that she did privately to him.”
Back on Feb. 13, Behar criticized Pence's faith by saying that hearing from Jesus is actually called “mental illness.” The Media Research Center launched a campaign to hold “View” co-hosts accountable for spewing “anti-Christian bigotry,” and ABC received more than 30,000 phone calls from angry viewers.
“What do you say to the tens of millions of Christians, and President Trump supporters, that your networks have so blatantly offended and ascribed hateful labels?” shareholder Justin Danhof asked Iger directly at Thursday's meeting. “Specifically, do you think, like Mrs. Hostin and Mrs. Behar, that the Christian faith is akin to a dangerous mental illness?”
Iger responded by saying, “I don’t know where I start. First of all, Joy Behar apologized to Vice President Pence directly. She made a call to him and apologized, which I thought was absolutely appropriate.”
Iger told the crowd he was “glad to hear” Behar apologized because he “takes exception” to what she said.
“I don’t think it was right,” Iger said.
A White House source was critical of a statement that Behar’s manager, Bill Stankey, provided to the Washington Post that claimed Pence “understood that Joy wasn’t attacking anybody and that there was some miscommunication.”
“Joy in no way suggested her comment was ‘a miscommunication,’” the source told Fox News, saying Stankey "lied."
The Media Research Center doesn’t feel that Behar’s apology is adequate and mirrored Pence by calling for her to do it publicly.
“The bigoted statements made about the Vice President's Christian faith offended hundreds of millions of Christians across the country, the largest faith group in the United States,” MRC president Brent Bozell told Fox news. “Their apology should therefore be as public as their insult. When they do that, this whole matter will be put to rest. Until they do, we will not let up our campaign to let the world -- including their advertisers -- know of their anti-Christian bigotry."
ABC News has not responded to multiple requests for comment.