Gosh, who could have predicted this? Politico is reporting that ABC’s The View is still without a permanent Republican co-host. The Executive Producer Brian Teta has been told by the four Democrat hosts that they are tired of the neverending rotation of Republicans trying out for the chair left vacant with Meghan McCain’s exit from the show last August.
It’s been six months and there is still no decision. At the time, Teta said that former Utah congresswoman Mia Love would be the first Republican woman to fill the seat temporarily. He gave a list of tentative possibilities for the spot who would try out after her on a rotating basis.
Additional guest co-hosts include Condoleezza Rice, S.E. Cupp, Gretchen Carlson, Carly Fiorina, Eboni K. Williams, Mary Katharine Ham, Alyssa Farah and Cameran Eubanks.
That was then. Here we are in the last week of 2021 and no decision has been made. Instead of just taking it slow to find a replacement, as Teta said he wanted to do, the truth is coming out. It is really hard to find someone who is willing to do the job. From the original list, S.E. Cupp has her own show on CNN. Farah is scheduled to return in January and two other names are being mentioned – Bari Weiss and Lisa Ling. Neither of those two women is particularly conservative.
The three longtime hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and Sunny Hostin, are joined by a newer host, Sara Haines, and there is rarely much daylight between them and their political views. When Barbara Walters started the show, now in its 25th season, the idea was for the show to present differing views on subjects. The show never really achieved that goal, though, even in its early days. Walters, an old-school Democrat, made the mistake that others in the entertainment field do – they assume the rest of the country thinks as they do. In this case, it’s a liberal, now progressive, point of view. The only Republicans who have lasted are those who are acceptable to Democrats, who try to please Democrats. There was never a fair balance of women who sit around the table.
Now the criteria have the show looking for a unicorn. The Republican Party isn’t a monolithic group of people, especially since Trump entered politics. A majority of mainstream Republicans support the policies of Trump and don’t respect NeverTrump Republicans who placed a higher value on his personality than on his politics. Prominent NeverTrumpers are now little more than grifters, and at the top of that list is Ana Navarro. Navarro is a frequent guest host of The View. She used to make her livelihood off Repubicans. Now she is the first to criticize Republicans. She blends in with the progressive hosts and sounds just like them. In other words, she doesn’t attract more political diversity in the audience. The same is true of Nicolle Wallace, now an MSNBC host.
Sources close to the show said that the search has stalled as executives struggle to find a conservative cast-member who checks all the right boxes. They will not consider a Republican who is a denier of the 2020 election results, embraced the January 6 riots, or is seen as flirting too heavily with fringe conspiracy theories or the MAGA wing of the GOP. But at the same time, the host must have credibility with mainstream Republicans, many of whom still support DONALD TRUMP.
“The problem is that they bring people on under the mantle that this woman is a conservative, when they’re ‘Never Trump,’ so they don’t represent the country,” said one of the rotating guest hosts.
At the same time, the anti-Trump conservative can’t be seen as too chummy with the other co-hosts, as the network’s market-research shows that the audience wants to see the women spar. Sources said that this has hurt the chances of ANA NAVARRO, a regular fill-in on the conservative chair who worked as a surrogate for JOE BIDEN in 2020: She is perceived by the producers as too friendly with the other hosts and not a traditional Republican.
For a while, there were two women who were supposed to represent Republicans on the panel – Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman. While conservative, neither are Trump supporters so they often agreed with the other hosts. It was particularly rich to hear Huntsman slam Trump though her father was appointed as Ambassador of the United States to Russia from 2017 to 2019 by Trump. Though they were still outnumbered by liberals or progressives, it was more even to have two women who were there to provide a different point of view to the others. Huntsman left first, then McCain.
Ed responded on Twitter with his own suggestion for the show, one on which I agree.
Maybe they should have *two*, which might make the cast more stable and also more balanced. Turning one woman into an isolated piñata certainly doesn't work for recruitment. https://t.co/3WT7ysYCE9
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) December 27, 2021
As it is, The View is a less intellectual version of Crossfire with three of the four spots occupied by the progressives. No one in their right mind would sign up for the fourth slot on a long-term basis at this point.
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) December 27, 2021
This is what I’ve been saying almost from the start of the show. Why would a Republican woman sign up, knowing that her time on the show would be so unpleasant? It wasn’t as bad as it is now when the show began but even then it was hard to watch if you were a conservative woman. I confess I haven’t watched the show for many years. It’s just unwatchable.
It’s reported that the show looked into hiring FNC’s Kat Timpf, a libertarian. She, wisely, wasn’t willing to be their piñata. I think she could hold her own with the others but why? Why put herself through that when she has a good thing going on FNC?
Sources said that the show was eager to recruit young libertarian KAT TIMPF, but she turned them down because of the show’s reputation for treating conservatives poorly and her contract with Fox. Timpf declined to comment to Playbook. Others have said that the show has a responsibility to fill the conservative chair with a strong Republican co-host ahead of the midterms if they are going to be a credible political talk show.
“Our plans are on track as we continue to look for the right person to join our panel of smart, dynamic women,” said a “View” spokesperson. “We look forward to welcoming guest co-hosts for return appearances and introducing new names into the mix in the new year.”
The show has devolved into a shoutfest. No one tunes in expecting stimulating political discourse, in which both sides of a topic are being discussed. There should be a decent attempt to actually do what the show was meant to do – represent all American women and their viewpoints. If the show got rid of the most obnoxious of the panel and added more than one conservative voice, it might have a shot at increasing viewership, which has dropped recently. I’m surprised it has lasted for 25 seasons.