It's been less than two days since Chris Brown broke the misguided hearts of Team Breezy by deactivating his Twitter account following his (admittedly provoked) verbal attack on comedian and Tweet Beat regular Jenny Johnson. To recap, on Sunday night, Johnson, who often uses Twitter to make fun of celebrities, wrote this in response to an earlier comment by Brown:
Brown then responded to Johnson with a whole slew of garbage such as these winners: "Just ask Rihanna if she mad??????", "take them teeth out when u Sucking my dick HOE.", and this lovely piece of advice from his mother: "mom says hello... She told me not to shart in ur mouth, wanted me to shit right on the retina."
The exchange then prompted Brown (or his handlers) to remove the tweets and then take down his entire (and sadly popular) account. This is where the recap ends.
The women of The View, always willing to approach hard topics with the inarticulate, bullheaded intensity of a drunken bridge group, discussed the situation on yesterday's show. Soundbites ranged from hilarious (Sherri Shepherd calls Jenny Johnson "Jenny Jones") to cringe-worthy — Whoopi, who's always been a bit off base when it comes to issues of violence against women, had this to say: "If you want to mess with [Chris Brown], you have to expect to get your head handed to you." Of course, this "mess with the bull and get the horns" excuse works when you're talking about an actual animal, but doesn't work when talking about an adult human being which, unfortunately, Chris Brown is. He, especially as someone with a history of throwing violent tantrums, does not get to be let off the hook. He is 23 years old and should know better, end of story.
Unsurprisingly, the most incendiary of comments tumbled from the mouth of human peanut brittle Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who said this in Jenny Johnson's defense:
"I think that [Brown's comments] are disgusting, first of all, but also, it seems like verbal rape to me."
Let's be very clear here. Chris Brown does not need defending. At his best, he is an autotuned top 40 mouthbreather and, at his worst, he is the man who nearly beat his girlfriend to death by punching her in the head while she attempted to call for help. This is not someone who we need to feel sorry for. But neither is Johnson.
Hasselbeck's comment about "verbal rape" forces Johnson into being the victim of a crime that does not exist. If you follow Jenny Johnson on Twitter or have heard her on podcasts, then you probably understand what someone as reactionary as Elisabeth Hasselbeck doesn't — she is not a delicate bird. She has crafted an aggressive persona that is the opposite of fragile. She has been tweeting to Brown for years with the full knowledge that he may one day respond and she, by continuing to attempt to engage him in one-sided aggressive rhetoric, is a fully willing participant in whatever discussion should follow. There is no need to defend or worry over Johnson. She is fine. She can take a few shitty comments on Twitter. This is what she does.
In the end, you can say that Johnson was baiting Brown (she was) and you can say that Brown responded like a horrible, sexist and disgusting asshole (he did), but this was a situation with two willing participants. It was not a "verbal rape," it was a verbal hate fuck.