McCain asked whether they should replace a View cohost for better representation, before reacting to online criticism with a GIF from A League of Their Own.
Meghan McCain once again started trending on Twitter on Wednesday, following comments she made on “The View” about “identity politics” in the wake of Democratic Senators Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono pushing for more Asian American representation in the cabinet.
While the other cohosts didn’t see a problem with their calls for diversity, McCain said she “truly” believed “the most qualified people should be holding places that do things like national security and infrastructure, literally the meat and potatoes of what make this country great.”
“I believe that what makes America exceptional is the fact that we’re a meritocracy, that you can be anything, you can come from anywhere and go and have success in any capacity,” the daughter of John McCain continued. “I think the question Democrats have to reconcile with right now is whether or not race and gender are more important than qualification.”
“If you have someone who is more qualified, who happens to be a white straight person, who is on paper has more experience in whatever field that they’re being nominated for than a minority with less experience, are we now in a place where this matters?” she then asked, before saying that putting race and gender above qualifications and “the content of your character” is not “what Martin Luther King Jr. preached.”
“I think this is a very slippery slope. I think this is the natural progression of identity politics,” she continued, before bringing her own morning show’s legacy into the conversation.
“‘The View’ is 25 years old next year, we’ve only had one Asian American host co-host host this show,” she said, referring to Lisa Ling. “Does that mean one of us should be leaving at some point because there’s not enough representation? We’re talking about — is identity politics more important than the qualifications of the job and I think that’s a questioning going forward the progressive left is going to have to reconcile.”
After a commercial break, Joy Behar responded to McCain’s comments by pointing out that the only reason white people have more experience, in many cases, “is because they had all the jobs for a long time.”
Sunny Hostin also replied specifically to McCain’s statements, saying that while “I think we would all love for this country to be a meritocracy,” this has not one been one historically.
“This country has, for a long time, sort of exalted and advanced white male mediocrity. That’s why people are asking for representation,” she continued. “I think it’s not about gender or race being more important than qualifications, it’s about the fact that there are many qualified women and minority candidates that never get the opportunity because of the advancement of generally white male mediocrity because of things like legacy.”
Closing out the conversation, Whoopi Goldberg agreed that underrepresented groups including the Black, Asian or female population have had to “jump through more hoops than everybody else” — all qualifications being equal.
The conversation continued on Twitter, where many — including Jeffrey Wright, CNN’s Abby Phillp and “Riverdale” star Ashleigh Murray — called out McCain for her statements during the segment.
“Kids, if you only ever held a job because you share your famous & powerful father’s name passed down to him from slavers, sit real quiet when the subject of so-called ‘identity politics’ comes up,” tweeted Wright.
“Meghan on Monday: I’m sorry for participating it the rhetoric and hate toward the Asian community,” tweeted Murray, referring to McCain’s other controversy this week. “Meghan on Wednesday: Why does someone Asian need to replace me? Did they go to school? Can they even host? I’m diverse. Look at my cornrow. It has rings in it.”
“There have been more View co-hosts who are children of famous people than view co-hosts who are Asian,” tweeted Phillip. “Does she really think that’s because there aren’t enough Asian people with the right qualifications?”
“Whew: this is an interesting take in many fronts,” wrote Soledad O’Brien. “First: does Ms. McCain think she is qualified for this job or could it be possible that her bold face name late father opened those doors? Why does increasing diversity in Ms. McCain’s mind correlate with not ‘qualified’?”
While many retweeted the video and shared their opinions on McCain’s comments, she only directly responded to Lindsey Boylan, the first woman who accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct. “A lot to unpack here,” wrote Boylan, “All I’m going to say is @MeghanMcCain needs to read up on what identity politics actually is. Please.”
“Hi Lindsey, would love to have you come on @TheView to talk about this and also your accusations against Governor Cuomo,” McCain replied. “I believe the show has reached out already. I find real conversations much more impactful than keyboard politics behind a screen.”
“We show respect for someone when we don’t change the topic to feature the abuse that they’ve suffered when they actually haven’t invited you to that conversation,” Boylan replied — before Meghan added, “Respectfully, I would love to talk to you in general about identity politics and have also remained horrified by all of the accusations from you against Governor Cuomo.”
She also generally addressed the criticism coming her way by sharing a GIF from “A League of Their Own” and writing, “There’s no crying in baseball. I’ve accumulated tough, crocodile skin being in this industry as long as I have. I know who I am and what I believe in this world – just glad I can keep so many (many!!) of you talking and thinking even if it’s that you hate me and my opinions.”
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