Cooler heads prevailed. For a couple hours. Then it was back to good old-fashioned overheating for Joy Behar and Bill O'Reilly.
"He's an idiot," Behar said after she and Whoopi Goldberg stormed off The View. "I just couldn't sit there any longer and listen to him."
But she didn't seem to have any problem talking about him—and he, her—on their respective solo prime-time shows. Ready for round two?
First up, The Joy Behar Show on HLN. Guess what the topic du jour was?
"I was really angry, I thought O'Reilly was saying…something I construe as hate speech, frankly," she told the audience. "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."
As for O'Reilly personally, Behar (unfortunately for appetite-whetted public) managed to stay away from personal attacks, noting simply that the Fox News talking head "apologized…it was begrudging, but he did it."
Her guest, thankfully, showed no such personal restraint.
"I thought he was a spineless puke," said Jesse Ventura. Someone get this man a nightly show.
And for the rebuttal…
The O'Reilly Factor naturally also wasted no time in generating its own narrative of yesterday's events, with Bill dedicating last night's Talking Points memo to the View controversy.
While the majority of the segment was spent simply replaying the bellowing that preceded and followed the storm-out, he did discuss the reasoning behind his insult-first, think-later lightning-rod rhetoric.
"How did we get here? Were we attacked by Japanese extremists? How did we get to this point? No one I know, no one wants to insult Muslims, but everyone I know is tired of the political correctness surrounding the 9/11 attack. I am not in the business of sugar-coating harsh realities."
He is, however, in the business of raking up as much controversy and headlines as he can (particularly now that he's on the promotional trail for his new book), and since yesterday's incident will no doubt pay him dividends (and provide his show with ready-made content) for weeks to come, he made it clear that there were no hard feelings.
Especially not from his bank account.
"I enjoy jousting with the View ladies because, with the exception of Elisabeth Hasselbeck, they don't see it my way and I want their audience to hear both sides. I loved that exposition today…didn't you?"
Actually, yes. And so too did MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.
Never one to miss an opportunity to slam his Fox contemporary onair, Olbermann took O'Reilly's behavior to task on last night's Countdown, making the conservative pundit one of his "Worst Persons in the World."
Olbermann recapped the controversy, noting that O'Reilly was out trying to sell his latest "fresh piece of crap book," and in doing so, "revealed himself to be just another Fox News bigot and Islamaphobe.
"I mean, it's like asking who used to be the cleverest juvenile delinquent in a school. Now he's just parroting Gretchen Carlson and Glenn Beck over there. It's sad."
Maybe. But luckily, "sad" and "entertaining" have never been mutually exclusive.