And in December, when her co-host Whoopi Goldberg sharply told Ms. McCain, “Girl, please stop talking,” Ms. McCain took to Twitter the next day to rally “all the fellow conservative ‘girls’ who won’t be quiet.” The tweet was accompanied by a “Game of Thrones” Mother of Dragons GIF, implying that Ms. Goldberg’s use of the word “girl” was infantilizing rather than common black American parlance.
The injection of vitriol undercuts the substantive political critique that is supposed to be raised during these segments. Every combative segment is immediately countered by a claim that it’s all just a harmless debate among friends, making the ostensibly organic on-air confrontations feel all the more performative, no matter how genuine the sentiment. The day after that particular clash with Ms. McCain, Ms. Goldberg opened the show by insisting that the nature of their exchange was nothing of concern, noting that co-hosts on “The View” have always “clashed and gone back and forth.”
Ms. McCain, for her part, reminded everyone that this is to be expected, as she is “hyper, hyper conservative.” This “agree to disagree” stance is frustrating, and lies in stark contrast with the current political moment, when many are skeptical of the idea of civil discourse and who it is meant to benefit.