If you are a Republican, legendary journalist Bob Woodward—and the media as a whole—is the “enemy,” Meghan McCain declared on Thursday.
As The View’s lone Republican panelist, McCain weighed in on President Donald Trump’s bombshell admission to Woodward that he intentionally downplayed the coronavirus threat even though he knew in early February that the virus was airborne, highly contagious, and deadlier than “strenuous flus.”
Her main takeaway? It was a major mistake for the president to speak to Woodward on-record.
“I will say right now a new CBS poll came out saying that 60 percent of the American public distrusts President Trump on the coronavirus, but 65 percent distrust the media,” McCain said. “But going to the initial point of this Bob Woodward interview, I cannot tell you the levels of insanity and stupidity you have to be in politics to give 18 hours to any journalist on the record, period,” she exclaimed. “If Bob Woodward said, 'What did you have for breakfast?' I would say, 'Off the record, Bob, no comment.'”
“Then I would call my war room and I'd call my spin room and I would say, ‘What does he want, what's going on, and what kind of angle does he have,’” McCain continued. “Because as Republicans, this is Almost Famous all the time. They are the enemy, and they are here to make you look bad. So, the idea that you're going to let, literally a shark, come into the White House, what do you think is going to happen?”
(The View host was referencing Cameron Crowe’s 2000 film Almost Famous, which featured a young Rolling Stone reporter covering a rock band that constantly referred to him as “the enemy.”)
McCain’s liberal co-host Joy Behar immediately objected, insisting that the media is “not the enemy.”
“For a Republican, the media is!” McCain fired back. “I would never let my principle, ever under any circumstances, do an on-the-record interview with someone like Bob Woodward.”
While McCain—an ABC News employee married to another member of the media—was referencing Trump’s inflammatory “enemy of the people” attacks on the press, her Republican senator father was famously opposed to any such broadsides against the media and was an advocate for the free press.
Prior to his 2018 death from cancer, Sen. McCain wrote an op-ed calling Trump out for his “unrelenting attacks” on the media, asserting that the president’s constant cries of “fake news” targeting outlets he disagrees with was being used by oppressive regimes to crack down on the press.