Three days after their blowup with Bill O'Reilly, the women of "The View" reflected on the incident with cooler heads and calmer voices, but made it clear they still aren't fans of the Fox News host.
Today's edition of the ABC daytime talk show began with a re-hashing of what happened Thursday when O'Reilly declared that "Muslims killed us on 9/11," prompting co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar to walk off the set.
"He started with me as soon as he sat down," Goldberg said. "You can't throw stuff around like that, in my opinion. I'm glad that I left. I'm glad I left because I had reached my threshold."
"View" creator Barbara Walters said that a walk-out was probably what O'Reilly wanted.
"He loves this, this is just what he wants," she said of the controversy. "I think [walking out] was the wrong thing to do. ... You can express yourself, I hope, without adding to the rage and the fury."
Goldberg said, "He came on and he was condescending. I know that if I had stayed here, for me at least, it would have gotten worse. He was so disrespectful just to the five of us that I thought, 'I'm done.'"
Goldberg did offer that O'Reilly's emotions may have gotten the better of him. "I suspect that maybe he said something that he actually didn't mean," she said.
O'Reilly defended his views last week on his prime-time Fox News show.
"How did we get here?" he said on Thursday's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor."
"Were we attacked by Japanese extremists? How did we get to this point? Now the poll I cited was taken by CNN in August. About 70 percent of Americans, as I said, agree with me on the 'ground zero mosque' issue; it's inappropriate.
Watch Bill O'Reilly's Biggest Blowups
"No one I know, no one, wants to insult Muslims," O'Reilly continued. "But almost everybody I know is tired of the political correctness surrounding the 9/11 attack. The truth is that if moderate Muslims all over the world would stand with America against radical Islam, the terrorists couldn't exist. But ,obviously, that is not happening. I am not in the business of sugar-coating harsh realities."
Meanwhile, Behar reasserted that O'Reilly was out of line on Thursday night's edition of "The Joy Behar Show," which airs on the Headline News Network.
"I was really angry," she said. "I thought O'Reilly was saying ... something I construe as hate speech, frankly.
"It upsets me, as you can see. To say Muslims killed us on 9/11, is like ... you could say that about any group, to lump an entire group like that."
While Behar refrained from personal attacks on O'Reilly, one of her guests, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, didn't hesitate:
"I thought he was a spineless puke," Ventura said.
Bill O'Reilly's 'View' Brawl
"The View's" usually heated discussion boiled over Thursday into a verbal brawl the likes of which the show hadn't seen in years.
O'Reilly, who came on the show to promote his new book, "Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama," was discussing President Obama's stance on Park51, a Muslim community center that is slated to be built two blocks from ground zero in Manhattan, when verbal hell broke loose.
"It's inappropriate because a lot of the 9/11 families who I know say, 'Look, I don't want that,'" O'Reilly said.
Behar countered, "This is America."
O'Reilly shot back, "Hold it, hold it -- listen to me, because you'll learn."
Boos erupted from "The View's" studio audience, and Behar called O'Reilly a pinhead while making a bunny-ears gesture behind his head. But O'Reilly plowed on, saying that "70 percent of Americans don't want that mosque down there."
When Behar asked, "Where's that poll?" O'Reilly didn't provide an answer. Instead, he offered a new reason for why he thinks that Park51 is inappropriate: "Because Muslims killed us on 9/11."
Goldberg spit out a phrase that was bleeped from the broadcast. Behar stood up and said, "I don't want to sit here. I don't." She walked off the stage, and Goldberg went with her.
"View" creator Walters tried to establish equilibrium after they left.
"I want to say something to all of you," she told the audience. "You have just seen what should not happen. We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking offstage. I love my colleagues, but that should not have happened."
Then she turned to O'Reilly.
"Now let me just say to you, in a calmer voice, it was extremists. You cannot take a whole religion and demean them," Walters said.
O'Reilly offered an apology.
"If anyone felt that I was demeaning all Muslims, I apologize," he said.
A few minutes later, Behar and Goldberg returned to the set. Behar announced, "We're back. You apologized."
The incident drew a motherload of attention to "The View." On Thursday, the show's Web site averaged 10 times its normal traffic "which led to brief intermittent outages," according to a statement from "The View's" publicist.