While appearing on the daytime show’s supplemental podcast, “The View: Behind the Table,” former host Lisa Ling spoke about an unsavory joke she made at Monica Lewinsky’s expense that took place during her first stint with the show in December 2001, per ABC News. Earlier that month, Ling had run into Lewinsky, who was in the middle of a college tour. When Ling asked how the tour was going, Lewinsky revealed she had hoped for “more intellectual” questions during her Q&As with student bodies. Ling was later asked about the interaction by fellow hosts on “The View,” and she used Lewinsky’s comments as joke fodder. “I don’t know what’s intellectual about being on your knees,” she recalled saying. According to Ling, “the audience went nuts” after she delivered the off-color joke, per the “Behind the Table” podcast.
Ling was instantly remorseful about roasting Lewinsky. “My heart sunk,” she admitted to Sara Haines on the podcast. “It was so not me to say something like that about someone who had kind of confided in me … It was a horrible, horrible moment where I sacrificed my own character right for that laugh,” the former “The View” host said.
Shortly after making the joke, Ling reached out to Lewinsky and “profusely apologized,” per ABC News. To her credit, Lewinsky was “gracious and forgiving,” but made it clear to Ling how much the joke hurt her feelings at the time.