Meghan McCain offered up her version of her tumultuous tenure on The View, covering everything from Whoopi Goldberg’s infamous, “Girl, please stop talking” moment to the time Joy Behar made her cry, in a new excerpt from her memoir, Bad Republican (via Variety).
McCain joined The View in 2017 and was essentially the show’s lone Republican and conservative voice during the Trump years. In the excerpt, McCain writes about how difficult it was to be in this position and accused her co-hosts and the staff of turning her into “an avatar for everything they hated about [Trump]. It felt like the co-hosts and staff only knew one Republican — me — and took all their anger on me, even though I didn’t even vote for Trump.”
While McCain may have not voted for Trump, throughout her tenure on The View, she espoused boilerplate Republican views effectively indistinguishable from what the Trump administration was pushing legislatively and in the broader discourse. For instance, during a discussion of reproductive rights, she accused her co-host Sunny Hostin of defending “infanticide”; she railed against assault weapons bans and said there’d be “a lot of violence” if the government tries to take peoples’ guns; and, in one of her final acts this past March, McCain — the heir to a dynasty that includes a towering military legacy and an alcoholic beverage fortune — complained about “identity politics” and wrung her hands over “whether or not race and gender are more important than qualifications.”
Anyway, McCain says she was able to handle the pushback she got on The View, but things changed after she gave birth to her daughter, Liberty. Already struggling with postpartum anxiety, McCain says she was unnerved by the way she was treated upon her return to The View. Specifically, she recalled an on-air squabble with Behar, during which McCain says she tried to ease the tension by saying, “Joy, you missed me so much when I was on maternity leave! You missed fighting with me!”
Behar replied: “I did not. I did not miss you zero.”
McCain writes: “She yelled out at me sharp and intensely and I believed her. Now, I know I’m not always a perfect angel, but I would never speak to any woman that way who had just returned after giving birth. There are some things in life and some moments of time in life which are sacred. There are also times in life where you aren’t as strong as you usually are… When we broke for commercial, I burst into tears. Not just like tearing up, uncontrollable sobbing. I was super hormonal and deeply hurt.”
McCain says she later told an executive producer she wanted an apology from Behar, but, “I was told I would not be getting one and we all just needed to move on. I never talked to Joy one on one again after that day.”
Despite these difficulties, McCain says her experience on The View solidified her belief in the importance of paid family leave. She also acknowledged her immense privilege in being able to leave The View on her terms when she felt the workplace environment was too toxic.
“This is the great luxury of my life — being able to get up and leave when I have had enough,” she wrote. “I know that makes me extremely privileged. I feel heartsick for all women who feel trapped in places they can’t afford to leave.”