ABC’s “The View” is having a hard time finding a new conservative co-host. The ones who’ve auditioned either are liberals masquerading as conservatives on air, or have proven they’re too much smarter than the incumbent panelists. Five months after co-star Meghan McCain left the show, the hosts can’t experience the latter again.
“At the same time,” Politico Playbook reported Monday, the new host “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 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,” the newsletter continued.
Despite alienating McCain with a toxic work environment, the show’s hosts and producers maintain hope of finding a replacement who fits the right criteria outlined by Politico:
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.
“Right now, we still do need a really conservative voice,” Co-Host Sunny Hostin told New York Magazine in November, adding the new permanent addition to the panel must not be “duplicative.”
If the hosts were really up for a challenge from a unique personality, they would bring repeat guest and conservative firebrand Ann Coulter back to the table, this time for an audition. She’s entertaining on television, fits the criteria, and offers an articulate perspective severely absent from the program.
Even left-wing writer Mickey Kaus agrees.
“Ann Coulter seems an obvious choice,” Kaus wrote on Twitter. “Not Never Trump. Not pro-Trump (the-person). Not election ‘denier.’ Just MAGA enough! All boxes checked. Also listens before arguing, occasionally changes mind. (Do they want that?)”
Considering the show’s audition process to this point, it doesn’t sound like it.
“I was told when I left, they were looking for a real conservative,” McCain told Variety in October. “I gave them a list. None of them have tested, by the way.”
(To be clear, former Trump State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, who produced a viral segment challenging Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on the Steele Dossier, did not audition until a month later.)
The panelists on “The View” don’t take well to being challenged, not from a permanent colleague on a daily basis. If they did, McCain wouldn’t have been pushed off the program after four seasons.
Love or hate her, Coulter, an author of 12 books, many of which ended up as New York Times bestsellers, holds her own in dynamic discussions on complex topics. Her prior appearances on the daytime program have shown just that to the visible ire of its liberal panelists.