Friday on ABC’s “The View,” senior editor-at-large for Breitbart News Joel Pollak took on co-host Joy Behar over claims Breitbart News is a white supremacist and anti-Semitic site.
Partial transcript as follows:
BEHAR: Breitbart—the website has been described as a platform for the alt-right or some say white supremacists. How would you describe it?
POLLAK: Breitbart News is a conservative website and we have a very diverse group of editors and writers. I’m the orthodox Jewish former editor-in-chief, senior editor-at-large. So not exactly an accurate description. We call that fake news, a fake news description. But we are —
BEHAR: What’s fake news, what I said?
BILA: That it is white supremacists.
BEHAR: No no no. That is not fake news.
POLLAK: It’s absolutely—
BEHAR: How do you explain this headline, ‘Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew,’ You’re Jewish.
POLLAK: It was written by David Horowitz, who is one of the most prominent Jewish conservatives. He was criticizing Bill Kristol for not being Jewish enough, so it was the opposite of what people described. And we have more than a dozen Jewish people working at Breitbart including the CEO, COO. We have Black writers, Hispanic, Asian, whatever, gay, whatever you can imagine.
BEHAR: What do you think is the rise of anti-Semitism about in this country?
POLLAK: I’m really glad the media finally woke up to this phenomena. It started quite a long time ago, long before Donald Trump ran for president, particularly in California where I live, on college campuses, there’s been a rising tide of anti-Semitism linked to far left-wing criticism of Israel. It’s very tough to be a Jewish student on some of these campuses nowadays.
BEHAR: Mostly, it seems to me that there’s a flurry of them since Trump is in.
POLLAK: I think the media just woke up and noticed that this is a problem.
POLLAK: And I think that I feel very proud that Donald Trump not only is one of the most pro-Israel presidents that we’ve ever had, but his daughter Ivanka tonight will light the Sabbath candles just like my wife will, and bring in the Sabbath. To me, that is something extraordinary in America history.
BEHAR: But you know that phrase, one of my best friends is Jewish, it’s meaningless really. You can still be an anti-Semite and have Jewish relatives.
POLLAK: I agree with you. When people say my friends are Jewish, it doesn’t cut it.
HOSTIN: Or I have a black friend.
POLLAK: But when your in-laws are Jewish, you have a little more credibility.
HOSTIN: Let me ask you about Steve Bannon. Whoopi calls him President Bannon. He’s the White House chief strategist, former executive chair of Breitbart, people have called him everything from a Nazi to a racist. He’s made bigoted statements. They’ve called him a white supremacist sympathizer. What’s your response? How do you work for someone who has that reputation?
POLLAK: None of that is true. That’s more fake news and even people who —
HOSTIN: So everyone is lying?
POLLAK: Yes. Steve is a fantastic guy. I worked with him for six years and he can be very tough in an argument. We used to argue all the time over any kind of policy issues. Jedediah will back me up here. You bring data and facts to the table —
BILA: A very tough guy.
POLLAK: Absolutely a fair-minded person.
HOSTIN: So we can’t believe when he makes these bigoted statements, is he just being provocative?
POLLAK: What statements are you talking about?
HOSTIN: There’s a laundry list. I can get you a card.
BEHAR: Here’s a headline from Breitbart. ‘Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.’ Do I look crazy to you?
POLLAK: You see how you’ve shifted the goal post now. So, it’s gone from Steve Bannon says things to, “Oh, there was a headline.” Steve Bannon has not said bigoted things.
BEHAR: But he’s behind these though. What are you talking about?
BILA: I submitted content a long time ago to Breitbart and I know Steve and I’ve often argued that you can disagree with him, and it’s tough to disagree with him because he’s a strong headed guy, but I don’t believe him to be an anti-Semite or racist. He’s tough though, so if you go into battle you better be prepared. I have a question about Steve, which is that Steve is from what I know of him, he is kind of a boss. He does like to take control. He does like to be kind of in charge, and I see a lot of what’s coming out from the Trump campaign now. A lot of the focus seems to be about going against the media establishment. That is Steve’s main focal point. Is it safe to assume that Steve is kind of running the show?
POLLAK: Well, I don’t think Donald Trump takes orders from anybody, so I think Donald Trump is very much in charge. I think that Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus do get along.
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