Conservate group Turning Point USA has issued a ‘scathing cease and desist’ letter to ABC News in relation to alleged ‘defamatory statements’ made on the show this week.
The letter said: “The false statements of fact intentionally made during The View’s July 25th segment were unquestionably harmful to TPUSA’s reputation and brought the organisation and its student affiliates into disrepute with the public, potential donors, and current and future business partners, posing a significant financial loss to the organisation.”
ABC News, which aired the programme, has reportedly been set a deadline of 27 July for an apology and retraction to be made.
The comments are believed to be in relation to the recent Student Action Summit, in which The View discussed the events from the weekend in Tampa, Florida. The co-hosts discussed the event on air and inaccurately portrayed the group as being officially tied to the GOP – the nickname for the Republican Party – and host Joy Behar criticised the group for having ‘neo-Nazi’ protesters outside the venue.
She said: “Neo-Nazis were out there in the front of the conference with anti-Semitic slurs and, you know, the Nazi swastika and a picture of a so-called Jewish person with exaggerated features, just like Goebbels did during the Third Reich. It’s the same thing, right out of that same playbook.”
She then added that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ‘did nothing’, but didn’t mention the politician had attended the event the day before.
Later during the daytime TV show, The View read an on-air legal disclaimer to viewers. The show informed viewers that Turning Point USA condemned the neo-Nazis protesters who had ‘nothing to do’ with the organisation.
However, Whoopi Goldberg was quick to chime in: “But you let them in, and you knew what they were.”
The show was then forced to read an additional disclaimer and explain the neo-Nazis were ‘outside protesters’ and not let in. “My point was metaphorical,” Goldberg replied.
However, the on-air disclaimers didn’t satisfy Turning Point USA, who has now issued a cease and desist letter warning of further legal action if not rectified.
The letter stated: “The View hosts intentionally and falsely associated TPUSA with neo-Nazi protesters outside the event placing TPUSA in denigrating and false light and negatively impacting its public perception. Such action will not be tolerated.
“Specifically, The View hosts insidiously and cavalierly stated that TPUSA ‘let [neo-Nazis] in’ to its SAS event, metaphorically ’embrase[d] them’ and that neo-Nazis were ‘in the mix of people.’ The assertion that TPUSA is complicit or affiliated in any way with the neo-Nazi protesters outside the event is outlandish, false, defamatory, and disgraceful.”
It added: “Even after Ms. Haines reluctantly read the TPUSA statement that it condemns the group of neo-Nazis and that the group had nothing to do with TPUSA, its event, or its student attendees, Ms. Goldberg continues the false tirade against TPUSA, asserting that somehow the organisation and its attendees were ‘complicit’ and/or associated with the outside protest.”
The letter also explained that TPUSA is a ‘tax-exempt public charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)’ that is not affiliated with the GOP.
The letter continued, adding that ‘special damages are presumed’.
“Therefore, TPUSA demands that ABC immediately cease and desist from further unlawfully defaming TPUSA, retract the defamatory statements identified above, and issue a public statement apologising for and correcting the above defamatory and false statements.”
If the news station does not comply by the deadline set out, Turning Point USA has stated it will ‘take all steps necessary’ to recover legal costs and damages.
“Should ABC decide not to comply with the demands above, TPUSA is prepared to promptly take all steps necessary to protect its rights, including pursuing all available legal remedies, seeking monetary and non-monetary damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs,” it said.