Meghan McCain may have achieved peak Meghan McCain in 2019.
A mainstream media fixture for more than a decade now (and, once upon a time, a columnist for The Daily Beast), McCain scaled new heights of media notoriety this year thanks to her incessant blow-ups and self-centered punditry on The View, which has prompted frequent mockery from late-night comics.
The overwhelming reaction to McCain’s antics, and the notable on-air animosity she shared with some of her colleagues, reportedly led to her considering an exit from the talk show in the middle of the year. Before deciding to return, sources close to an “exhausted, defeated” McCain said she felt like a “caged animal” and wasn’t sure it was “worth the emotional toll every week.”
After leaving ABC hanging for a bit, apparently in an effort to force ABC to stop leaks and hit pieces from appearing in gossip sites and tabloids, McCain eventually signed back up. Viewers were guaranteed at least another season of McCain meltdowns as the year came to a close.
As we flip the calendar over to 2020, here is a look back at the most infamous McCain dust-ups from the year gone by (in chronological order):
Meghan Claims She Can’t Possibly Be Racist Because She’s John McCain’s Daughter
This segment from January is a microcosm of perhaps the most mocked element of McCain’s punditry: Her near-constant, often shoehorned reminders to the audience that she is the daughter of the late Sen. John McCain. What started as a universal denouncement of GOP Republican Rep. Steve King’s white nationalism soon devolved into an off-the-rails argument about racism in the GOP as a whole, prompting McCain to insist she can’t be painted with that brush because of her last name.
“Please don’t paint me, just because I’m for border security I’m somehow racist in some way,” McCain yelled at frequent sparring partner Joy Behar, adding while pounding the table: “I’m John McCain’s daughter! I am not someone who sits here and is OK with racism in any way whatsoever!”
Meghan McCain Accuses ‘The View’ Co-Host Sunny Hostin of Defending ‘Infanticide’
During this February broadcast, McCain not only changed the subject of a discussion to claim that Democrats support “infanticide,” she also accused her co-host Sunny Hostin—who is personally anti-abortion—of defending a non-existent practice. After McCain insisted Democrats were the party of “late-term abortion” and “infanticide,” Hostin attempted to push back, causing McCain to constantly interrupt and yell at her colleague.
“So you think a baby born from a botched abortion should be put down like a dog or a cat?!” McCain shouted at one point. The conservative host interjected so much that Hostin was given a chance to make her argument uninterrupted in the next segment. McCain, however, still got in the last word: “If the Democratic Party wants to be the party of infanticide, that is their choice.”
McCain Cries Over Ilhan Omar’s ‘Scary’ Israel Comments
In this March broadcast, McCain engaged in some grievance cosplay, finding a way to make herself the victim of anti-Semitism despite being decidedly not Jewish (and conflating Zionism with Judaism in the process).
While discussing the House Democrats’ plan for a resolution denouncing anti-Semitism following Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) comments about Israel that many felt peddled anti-Semitic tropes, McCain teared up while describing how afraid those remarks made her.
“I take this very personally. I would go so far as to say I probably verge on being a Zionist as well,” she said while invoking the McCain family’s friendship with Jewish ex-lawmaker Joe Lieberman. “I take the hate crimes raising in this country incredibly seriously and I think what’s happening in Europe is really scary. And I’m sorry if I’m getting emotional.”
Her over-the-top performance was widely ridiculed and criticized, leading to our next entry.
McCain’s Husband Unleashes Unhinged Homophobic Rant Against Seth Meyers
Two months after crying about Omar’s “scary” comments because she took it personally as a “Zionist,” McCain attempted to tie Omar’s comments to a deadly synagogue shooting in San Diego. And so, during a late-night TV interview, NBC’s Seth Meyers grilled her about it, saying it was “fairly dangerous” how she framed Omar’s statements. McCain, meanwhile, denied tying Omar’s tweets to the shooting before martyring herself: “I stand by every single thing I’ve said, and if that makes me unpopular in this room or in front of you, so be it.”
Following McCain’s combative appearance on Meyers’ show, her husband Ben Domenech—co-founder of right-wing site The Federalist—fired off a series of late-night vulgar tweets calling Meyers a “cuck” and an “untalented piece of shit who only has his job because he regularly gargled Lorne Michaels’ balls.”
Domenech would eventually delete the tweets while apologizing for “rage tweeting how Seth Meyers treated” his wife, adding that he still thinks the NBC host is a “hack.”
‘Don’t Feel Bad for Me, Bitch!’: McCain Snaps at Joy Behar
McCain and Behar took their drama to new heights in this June segment, with the ex-Fox News star snapping at her liberal colleague and drawing groans from the audience. After host Whoopi Goldberg stepped in to play referee, McCain played victim, complaining she is the “sacrificial Republican every day,” which prompted a sarcastic “awww” from Behar.
“Don’t feel bad for me, bitch,” McCain shot back, pointing her finger at Behar. “I’m paid to do this. OK? Don’t feel bad for me.”
Following a commercial break, and after Hostin called on them not to call each other “bitches,” McCain cleaned up the mess by claiming she used the term endearingly and that she actually gets along really well with Behar.
McCain Complains Too Much Spanish at Debate, Battles Julián Castro on ‘Open Borders’
Following June’s Democratic primary debate, which featured a number of candidates flaunting their Spanish-speaking skills, McCain complained about those moments because she couldn’t personally understand what they were saying. “Really quickly, I don't speak Spanish, and I genuinely wanted to hear what they were saying, so I would like subtitles for the future,” she said. “And I mean this genuinely, I don't mean this facetiously. I couldn't understand what they were saying.”
Later in the broadcast, McCain accused former HUD Secretary and Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro of supporting “open borders,” resulting in Castro claiming she was parroting a “right-wing talking point.” McCain, meanwhile, began talking over Castro, saying: “With all due respect, sir, I don’t think it's a right-wing talking point when you’re saying that someone who is doing something illegal, that there shouldn't be ramifications, which at a certain point, if you become a general election candidate against Trump, you're going to have to win over people like me who are skeptical of this.”
‘I’m Not Living Without My Guns,’ Meghan Declares While Warning of Impending Violence
Reacting to former Democratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s proposal for mandatory gun buybacks following the El Paso mass shooting, McCain declared that as the “chick on the panel that spent most of the [summer] break shooting” that she wasn’t going to give her vote to a “gun-grabber.”
“The AR-15 is by far the most popular gun in America, by far,” she said. “I was just in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, if you’re talking about taking people’s guns from them, there’s going to be a lot of violence.”
“I’m not living without guns,” McCain exclaimed after Behar pointed out there had previously been an assault weapons ban. “It’s just that simple!” McCain’s remarks prompted a rebuke from O’Rourke, resulting in a feud between the two and McCain later grousing that O’Rourke was “very nasty” to her.
Meghan Shouts at Pam Anderson, Calls Julian Assange a ‘Cyberterrorist’
McCain and former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson got into a heated confrontation over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Yes, that happened.
Anderson, who has repeatedly declared her love for Assange, said he was the victim of a “smear campaign,” causing McCain to describe him as a “cyberterrorist” who “put our national security at risk.”
Anderson would push back and ask the conservative host how many people America had “killed innocently” in the name of national security, sparking some cheers from the audience. “Oh, calm down, sir!” McCain seethed at the crowd.
While Anderson continued to defend Assange while calling him nothing more than a “publisher” who “supports whistleblowers,” McCain made sure to get the final parting shot.
“He’s a cyberterrorist. I’ll say it! I’ll say it!” McCain shouted. “I’m not going to stand by this. It’s ridiculous.”
McCain Somehow Makes Right-Wing Attacks on Vindman About Her Dad
After a number of right-wing figures questioned impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s loyalty to America, McCain derailed a View segment on the issue by complaining about liberals and inevitably making the focus about her late father.
Claiming anyone who has a problem with attacks in Vindman should also decry Hillary Clinton’s implication that Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset since both Vindman and Gabbard are veterans, McCain eventually claimed that anyone who served in the military was above reproach.
When confronted about Americans soldiers who have committed war crimes, McCain brought up her dad.
“But for me, one thing that’s lauded at my family is that my father was a war criminal, because while he was being tortured he conceded that he had committed war crimes because he was being tortured to the point of broken,” the View host exclaimed. “So throwing the word ‘war crime’ for me is something that’s very intense, something that by the way I’m still dealing with today.”
“The point I was trying to make is it is something that’s being thrown around, in my opinion, bipartisanly on both sides about our veterans and people who have served and to me it is one of the scariest parts of living in America today,” she added. “[Vindman] deserves better respect, Tulsi Gabbard deserves better respect, the Khans deserve better respect, and my dad deserves better respect!”
Whoopi Goldberg Tears Into Meghan McCain: ‘Girl, Please Stop Talking!’
Perhaps no 2019 segment encapsulated the Meghan experience more than this December broadcast that featured Whoopi, who has exhibited infinite patience with McCain, finally snapping at her colleague.
After tangling with Hostin on impeachment and demanding to be allowed to finish talking, McCain grumbled that nobody appeared to want a “conservative perspective on this show ever.”
“Girl, please stop talking! Please stop talking now!” Goldberg shouted as McCain gasped. Meghan, meanwhile, insisted she wouldn’t “talk the rest of the show,” prompting Goldberg to reply: “I’m OK with that. I’m OK with that. If you are going to behave like this.”
Needless to say, McCain didn’t maintain her vow of silence for the rest of the program. She would also use the virality of the moment to later compare herself to the “Mother of Dragons” from HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones while vowing she “won’t be quiet.” No word on whether McCain is aware of that character’s fate.