Is Meghan McCain’s Shrieking a Look at the Future of ‘The View’?

As daytime TV institutions go, ABC’s The View has to rank near the top of the list. In 1997, Barbara Walters launched the show with five women of different ages, backgrounds, and professions at the table. Twenty-two years later, the train keeps rolling.

It’s been so long, you have to wonder how long it can last in its present form. Without Whoopi Goldberg, the show’s one essential co-host, people like Ramin Setoodeh (author of the tell-all bookLadies Who Punch) see The View struggling to exist.


As it stands, Whoopi has trouble keeping the show from going off the rails. The View now features a high frequency of on-air meltdowns from Meghan McCain. Whether demanding screen time or trying to make a point in what she considers a hostile environment, McCain has been scowling and raising her high-pitched voice an awful lot lately.

With Whoopi and Joy Behar not sticking around forever, it’s interesting to consider that this could be the future of The View. At times, it seems closer to the SNL parody than the show Walters created.

McCain’s tendency to yell over co-hosts at a very high pitch

Joe Biden appears on ABC’s “The View” today, Friday, April 26, 2019. | Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

If you watched The View in its early days, you couldn’t help but notice the polish of the co-hosts. By the late ’90s, Walters had been in broadcast journalism for decades, and when she spoke in her elegant, measured voice everyone listened.

Clips of moderator Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, and Joy working together reveal very grownup conversations back then. It’s quite a leap from that era to, say, the May 16 broadcast that had McCain screaming over her co-hosts on the subject of candidates who don’t appear on The View.

“SNOWFLAKES! SNOWFLAKES SCARED OF THE VIEW!” McCain screamed. “I HATE IT! COME ON! WHAT ARE YOU SCARED OF — A BUNCH OF FOUR WOMEN?”

If you’re grading hosts on their charisma or on-air charm, this would fail any test. (Why was she yelling, exactly?) The same applies to McCain squealing as Joy went to cut to a commercial during Howard Stern’s visit last week.

“I’m sorry, I grew up listening to you!” McCain shouted over Joy (still trying to get Howard to finish his thought). “Cindy McCain is my mother. I loved the show forever. I was never offended!”

With those lines, she reminded everyone why many think of nepotism when they think of Meghan McCain. What does Cindy McCain have to do with this, exactly? And why would you stop a TV show to mention it?

As for cutting off a co-host on the way to a commercial break, we’re looking at a much lower level of professionalism than Walters tolerated in her day.

Unlike her ‘View’ co-hosts, McCain came to the show without much of a résumé.

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS: Meghan McCain during an interview with host Seth Meyers on May 7, 2019 | Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

With the exception of Debbie Matenopoulos, the original cast of The View came from other careers. The same goes for Sunny Hostin, Joy, and Whoopi in the current cast. One big difference is both McCain and Abby Huntsman became famous for being the daughters of prominent politicians.

Obviously, anyone who compares their show-business career to that of Whoopi Goldberg will likely come out on the losing end. But an odd part of McCain’s place on the show is her striving to feel popular. It came out May 20 — also in an awkward, high-pitched way — after the Game of Thrones finale.

[***Spoiler for the Game of Thrones finale ahead***]

After revealing the end of the show on the air, McCain took to what can only be called shrieking after Sunny’s protest. “I’m sorry, but it’s all over the internet!” But the screaming wasn’t over.

“AS A DEDICATED FAN WHO WATCHED LIVE LAST NIGHT LIKE EVERYONE WAS SUPPOSED TO … OK!” If you didn’t think this was great TV yet, wait till McCain started waving her cue cards to the audience and camera operators.

“THEN I DON’T KNOW WHY I HAVE NOTES FOR A ‘HOT TOPIC’ THAT I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO TALK ABOUT!”

Sometimes, you can tell immediately when a show has reached the end of its useful life. It’s getting close at The View.

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