Call it the O’Reilly factor.
“The View” co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoppi Goldberg briefly walked out on their own show Thursday during an argument with conservative TV pundit Bill O’Reilly over a proposed Islamic community center in lower Manhattan.
The daytime dust-up occurred after O’Reilly argued that putting the Park51 center two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks was legal but “inappropriate,” and cited an August poll showing 70 percent of Americans opposed the project.
When Goldberg questioned why the center was inappropriate, especially “when 70 [Muslim] families died” in the attacks on the World Trade Center, O’Reilly shot back: “Because Muslims killed us on 9/11.”
“No. Oh my God, that is such [explicative],” Goldberg said. “Extremists did that.”
As O’Reilly doubled down – "Excuse me, are you saying Muslims didn't kill us on 9/11" -- Behar said she too was “outraged” by O’Reilly’s comments.
"I don't want to sit here. I don't,” she said, taking Goldberg with her as she exited the stage.
“View” matriarch Barbara Walters made it known she was upset with both parties.
"I want to say something to all of you,” she pleaded. “You have just seen what should not happen. We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands, and screaming, and walking off stage. I love my colleagues, but that should not have happened.”
Walters then turned to "The O’Reilly Factor" host to tell him “in a calmer voice” that his comments were “extremist.”
“You cannot take a whole religion and demean them because of what some … You should apologize,” Walters said.
“If anybody felt I was demeaning all Muslims, I apologize,” O’Reilly eventually allowed, paving the way for Goldberg and Behar’s return.
Check out a transcript of the train-wreck TV exchange here.