McCain Reveals That Status Quo, Mental Anguish, And Joy Behar Ultimately Led To Quitting The View
Once again, we can give credit to the emotional toll daytime talk shows leads to its biggest stars. In the last year we’ve seen the curtain finally pulled on Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne’s mutiny from The Talk, Wendy Williams continuing her ongoing battle with inner peace, and of course Meghan McCain’s sudden exit from The View. The ongoing global pandemic combined with social media gave us a deeper dive into the lives of our favorite – or least liked – daytime cohosts. DeGeneres, Williams, and others took their television shows from their home while the Emmy Award winning hot topics roundtable saw the ladies of The View trying to keep it as professional as possible – they do perhaps have the biggest reputation to uphold. For the last four years, and almost daily, McCain would have The View trending on social media for her latest on-air feud or exchange with whomever crossed her path – whether it be taken out of context, misinformation, not the information people wanted to hear, or for insults hurled at her. McCain handled herself well with any backlash or praise she’d receive, and since she’s left the hit show, The View has only mildly been trending on social media – examples being when two of the cohosts falsely tested positive on live television and had to be removed from set and two weeks ago when Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran accidentally called Whoopi Goldberg fat. McCain, in an excerpt from her Audible tell-all, makes it known The View lost its core controversy and trending topic with her departure, as now the women are nearly interchangeable with agreeing opinions. However, it’s no love lost on her part.
According to Variety, in McCain’s audio memoir, Bad Republican, she’s telling us exactly what we want to hear. Of course, her friends, supporters, and new mothers alike want to be in the know with motherhood, pregnancy, and her lifelong dedication to conservative politics. But, she knows the tabloids and the celebrity gossip obsessed group want to hear about back stage drama and the true reasons why she exited The View, although it’s almost predictable at this point. However, McCain unleashes her truth and takes down a few of the cohosts with her.
With any corporate or entertainment job, McCain hits the nail on the head: HR reports ‘fall on deaf ears’ and always has. She describes the production as a zany mess only fixated on ratings and not on the open discussions and conversations between women – what the show was originally intended to be when created by Barbara Walters. Now, it’s essentially ratings ratings ratings, drama drama drama, headline, headline, headline, wash – rinse – and repeat. She knew what she was getting herself into and accepted the highly public job, knowing she was welcomed and originally felt protected by Goldberg, a friend of her late father, John McCain. McCain explains that for two years, Goldberg did have her back, but slowly began to turn on her as the political divide of America grew stronger and Democrats and Republicans quickly became the Capulets and the Montagues. McCain understood the power at the show, and over culture, Goldberg holds, and eventually she’d be cut off and scolded at by Goldberg on live television for voicing her opposing opinion: It’s Goldberg’s way or no way when it comes to conversations on The View – something audiences are a daily witness too.
McCain tells that becoming a trending topic for being insulted by Goldberg took an emotional toll and destroyed her self-esteem. She believes Goldberg and fellow cohost Joy Behar treated her as if she were then-President Donald Trump – because she is a Republican – and they got to speak to her every morning. It confused her, especially since McCain was never pro-Trump, but pro-Republican. It had to of been her personality, that she knows received complaints from the cohosts behind-the-scenes. She tells no other Republican has gotten worse treatment than her or Elisabeth Hasselbeck, because the other Republicans who go on the show pretty much agree with whatever script Goldberg and Behar spout, even when it’s anti-Republican. McCain did not. McCain gives shade to guest cohost, Ana Navarro, who claims to vote Republican, despite “find[ing] nothing except the ability to trash the party and its members at every possible opportunity.” She would often go home after a day of work to have the show’s publicist call her and read all of the horrible, mostly false or out of context headlines written about her in various media articles. McCain laughed these off for a while, until the headlines became unbearable to understand or even joke at. Of those headlines she tells:
“One of the oldest tricks in the book is calling women crazy. If you have an emotional reaction to something mean they’ve done, they turn around and say, “She’s so crazy. Look at her. What an unhinged lunatic!” There’s no way to win because you’re made to feel crazy and then you start going crazy. And then when you go crazy, they say, “She’s always been a basket case. Look at her! What a maniac.” It wasn’t like that for other co-hosts. They could have their emotions. They could get fired up about what they believed in. But I couldn’t. I have endless stories about my colleagues’ behavior on set and off. It’s an emotional show and sometimes what happens backstage isn’t pretty. But for some reason, it was always my stuff that leaked.”
Post-baby, McCain was riddled with anxiety and paranoia regarding her newborn daughter. She admittedly wasn’t able to manage herself, going into depression and fear of her baby: Would a radical hater steal the baby from her stroller walking down the street? She knows she’s a media and social media target: Could this ever boil over into real life? Her fears led her to realize these were irrational fears after seeing a medical professional. Eventually she was prescribed anxiety medicine.
Apparently, Behar became meaner through McCain’s Trump-tenure on the show. It appears Behar is all politics, all the time, and doesn’t shut it off behind the scenes or in her personal life. After coming back from maternity leave, Behar instantly refueled their never-ending on-air arguing. When McCain noted that she believes Behar missed her, Behar touted that she absolutely did not – despite reaching out to McCain during her maternity leave as if they were friends. McCain requested an apology for Behar and was told she wasn’t getting one. She barely held it together and went on continuing to film despite uncontrollably sobbing and embarrassingly leaking from post-newborn lactation. This instance crushed the already depressed McCain and is what ultimately led to her deciding it was time to leave The View, along with wanting to escape the pressuring limelight of daytime television for her family. While she doesn’t regret going on daytime’s hottest talk show, she thinks the status quo of the show needs to change: In front of and behind the camera. It’s a corporate machine that is sucking the life out of their willing participants. In closing, McCain adds:
“Since COVID, a lot of people, but especially people my age, are reassessing what they want and what they consider worthwhile. My generation would rather make less money and create quality work, or do something they love, or work with people they respect. I never thought I was that person. But when I went back to the show, I felt like I was being disingenuous. I thought of the press I would have to do next season, the junkets. It’s all about women supporting women. I didn’t want to lie anymore. I couldn’t. I couldn’t put on the happy face after what I went through. Unlike a lot of women my age with little kids, I can afford to leave a toxic workplace. This is the great luxury of my life — being able to get up and leave when I have had enough. I know that makes me extremely privileged. I feel heartsick for all women who feel trapped in places they can’t afford to leave.”
McCain spills it all – so much that we’re going to have to grab a copy of Bad Republican when it comes out. The almost six-hour tell-all memoir can be purchased for pre-order today and comes out everywhere on October 21st. To snag a copy, head here.
Writer’s Note A: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.