Since Megan McCain aired her many grievances with "The View" in a newly released excerpt from her forthcoming audio memoir, the "Bad Republican" author is making it clear she stands by her words.
She's since been making the rounds to promote her book, and this included an an appearance on Wednesday's "Watch What Happens Live." Host Andy Cohen mostly provided McCain and her friend and CNN contributor S.E. Cupp, with a safe space to complain about being bullied for holding harmful views — but at different points, he challenged McCain on her own inconsistencies, and exhibiting the same behaviors and opportunism she accused others at "The View" of.
At no point does Cohen ask the question we've all wanted to ask McCain, namely that, if she has the right to espouse racist, ignorant and generally deeply harmful views, do people not have the right to dislike her for this? Nonetheless, the interview does deliver a number of revealing insights — between McCain's usual bouts of self-pitying, of course.
Salon breaks done some of those more revealing moments below:
"On a 1-to-10 scale, how hypocritical" is McCain's memoir?
At one rather uncomfortable point in the interview, Cohen asks McCain point-blank, "On a 1-to-10 scale, how hypocritical is it that you wrote a tell-all after prefacing every tell-all interview on 'The View' with 'I hate tell-alls?'"
It's a fair question, even if it might have surprised McCain. Political memoir authors were often guests at "The View," and McCain nearly always had words for them, accusing them of just trying to get a paycheck. In particular, McCain had viciously sparred with Mary Trump, author of a tell-all memoir about her uncle, former President Donald Trump, which became a bestseller and rocked the political media.
"You know, those are political tell-alls," she responds, which . . . doesn't exactly distinguish her memoir at all from these, and certainly ignores how McCain herself is a political media figure, whether she wants to see herself that way or not. The title of her book is quite literally "Bad Republican," and she can't go two sentences without name-dropping her father, the late Sen. John McCain. When Cohen follows up on his question about whether McCain sees her own hypocrisy, she replies, "I don't, but it's OK if other people do. I don't really care."
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No, McCain hasn't been cut off by everyone at "The View"
One fan calls into "Watch What Happens Live" to ask McCain about whether the rumors that "The View" workers have been instructed not to contact her are true. McCain insists they aren't, and she continues to have contact and relationships with some of her co-hosts as well as crew members.
"If it's true, they're doing a terrible job because my hair and makeup people work at 'The View,' I use their stylist still, and I still talk to a lot of the hosts including Sunny [Hostin]," McCain says.
As for her relationships with Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, who McCain had particularly called out for their harsh on-air interactions with her on "The View," McCain says, "I think this stuff has been blown up . . . I adore Whoopi. She's an American icon. I have more love for her than anything else. I just wanted to explain myself and the things that happen."
McCain and her memoir, of course, are a big part of why these conflicts have been "blown up."
McCain can hold a grudge
Years after her father's funeral, McCain is still pissed about Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner "crashing" it. It's a fair sentiment, but it was surprising to see how fresh McCain's anger is toward the couple.
"They had no goddamn business being there and it still angers me, clearly," she says, owing to her family's long-running conflict with the Trumps because of the former president's penchant for criticizing and bullying her father.
McCain also talks about finding solace in Trump's electoral loss in Arizona in 2020, meaning "all is well now" — despite, of course, how her own husband says that McCain herself didn't vote for Biden in Arizona.
Speaking of hypocrisy, is "Bad Republican" pro-women?
McCain wants to convince audiences her book isn't like other tell-all books that trash former friends and colleagues in political media. McCain's friend, Cupp, cites Katie Couric's memoir as an example of supposedly attacking other women, prompting Cohen to turn to McCain and ask how her memoir is any different.
"Do you think your book could be looked at as not pro-women?" Cohen asks. McCain responds with a question of her own: "Is it pro-women to work in an environment where, because you have a different political opinion, you are leaked about every day?" McCain shot back, not exactly answering the question.
At this point, it's difficult to discern any value in interviewing McCain further, who's clearly unwilling to consider her own double standards applied toward herself and others. As she almost rightly points out, being "pro-women" isn't about being unilaterally nice to everyone or to all institutions just because they are or are led by women, and being critical of everyone and everything that warrants criticism.
In McCain's case, she drags the names of her co-hosts through the mud for supposedly bullying her, without the context of the views she holds and the words she said that warranted these challenges from other ladies at "The View." But in more simple terms, as McCain sees it, she and she alone can be "pro-women" and attack other women. Any other woman who does this is just trying to sell a memoir.
Surprising bonds with and respect for Rachel Maddow, Hillary Clinton
In a true testament to McCain's identity as a "Bad Republican," she has only kind words to say about some of the more liberal public figures who are women. For one, she calls MSNBC host Rachel Maddowa "broadcasting genius" and "one of the greatest ever."
Of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, McCain discloses that the two have actually *gasp* had dinner together now that she has a newfound respect for the former First Lady.
"I was very judgmental of Hillary Clinton before I was on 'The View,' and I regret it. I feel like once you're a woman in media and you feel the egregious sexism, I related to her in a different way," she says. "There are some things I've said that I would definitely take back."
In particular, Cohen brings up McCain's experience giving a eulogy at her father's funeral, and the support McCain had received from Clinton, who smiled up at her, at that time. "I adore her for that," McCain said. "I didn't know how I was doing, and it really made me feel good."
Who does McCain want to replace her at a "toxic" workplace like "The View"?
McCain has made it clear she'd like to see her friend Cupp take her place at "The View" — which prompts Cohen to interrogate why, if the show truly is as toxic as McCain claims, she'd like her friend to suffer through that.
"It's a great platform," McCain responds, simply.
Cohen then asks McCain whether she takes any responsibility for the "toxicity" on the show, to which McCain predictably responds, "Only one person was bullied out of their job and doesn't work there anymore." Sure, Jan.
You can watch some of the interview below via YouTube.
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