It really was a sh*tshow. But riddle me this: How else should they have handled it, if not the way they did?
Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were seated at the table awaiting Kamala Harris’s arrival. The producers suddenly learned that they’d tested positive for COVID — falsely, as it turned out. Subsequent tests showed that neither was infected. Rapid antigen tests aren’t super-accurate, unfortunately.
So what should producers have done once they had been led to believe there was an outbreak on the set with the vice president en route?
To make matters worse, producers announced their positive test results on-air, allegedly without their permission.
“It was not OK. They made the decision to reveal their COVID-19 results in the heat of the moment when they should’ve gone to commercial break,” a second insider noted.
“They could’ve stopped, and thought about how to handle it, as opposed to being crazy on the air and running around like chickens with their heads cut off,” they added…
ABC has not provided an explanation, but multiple sources have described the sloppy testing protocol as an “epic fail.” One source described it as “some wild ‘House of Cards s–t,” referring to the canceled Netflix political thriller.
Imagine they had gone to a commercial break and removed Hostin and Navarro from the set. Then they came back from commercial and it was just Joy Behar and Sara Haines sitting there, waiting to interview the vice president — who, instead of joining them at the table as planned, did the interview from an adjoining room.
Should they have pretended that Hostin and Navarro didn’t exist and done the rest of the show without them, with no explanation for their disappearance? Or should they have announced that they’d left the set due to an unspecified “issue”?
That wouldn’t have been great either. With Kamala Harris in the building, some people might have jumped to the conclusion that there was a security problem.
Watch the clip below from today’s show in which Hostin and Navarro address the matter and you’ll get a better sense of why they’re pissed. Finding out that they’d tested positive at the same time as the rest of the country did left them with no opportunity to warn family members or confirm the results with further testing before their close contacts heard the news. Hostin says her surgeon husband was pulled out of the operating room for fear that he was infected and might be contagious to his patient. And Hostin has already lost family members to COVID. Apparently she resented the fact that she didn’t get the chance to break the news to family herself. Who can blame her?
The real breakdown, I think, was in not confirming that all of the hosts had tested negative before the show began. Why on earth was anyone allowed on set near the elderly Joy Behar without knowing that they weren’t infected? If Hostin and Navarro had been excluded from the production before it went to air, their absence wouldn’t have seemed as suspicious.
All of which is to say that the on-air apology from top producer Brian Teta in the clip below may not have been an act of simple heartfelt contrition. The talent may have demanded that he make amends on air, not just privately. Frankly, it sounds like he can’t afford to piss them off. One “ABC insider” told the Daily Mail that the chaotic way the positive tests were announced was emblematic of Teta’s management style: “Barbara used to run this place with an iron fist, Brian just rolls over and let’s chaos ensue. The hosts have too much power, they literally answer to no one. His a** should be on the line for this.” Who knows? He may have saved his job here.
Incidentally, by the time this clip ends, there’s a Trump angle to the whole mess. You’ll see.
CO-HOSTS ADDRESS FALSE POSITIVE COVID-19 RESULTS: After now testing negative multiple times, they look back on the events that played out on live television Friday when @sunny and @ananavarro received false positive COVID-19 results ahead of an interview with Vice Pres. Harris. pic.twitter.com/pH8G2As6CV
— The View (@TheView) September 27, 2021