Who will win the most controversial—read: conservative—seat on The View? That’s the question facing producers of the long-running daytime talk show, which has gone without a right-wing host since the departure of Meghan McCain in August after four tumultuous seasons. “Before taking off for the holidays, the four long-standing hosts of The View had a message for executive producer Brian Teta,” according to Politico. “We’re tired of the rotating cast of Republican guest hosts.”
Nearly six months in, the show has yet to settle on a permanent replacement. And now, the longtime co-hosts—Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin—are upping the pressure to pick a successor, and voicing their displeasure at having to introduce new guest hosts week after week in a seemingly endless process that they find disruptive to the flow of the show.
To date, guest hosts of the show’s 25th season have included conservatives Condoleezza Rice, Carly Fiorina, and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, among others. But The View’s showrunners are reportedly seeking “a unicorn” who both resonates with mainstream Republicans yet doesn’t adhere to anti-vaxx conspiracies or “the big lie” surrounding Trump’s failed bid for reelection that led to the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. According to Politico, “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.”
“They want someone who is going to fight,” a former show staffer explained, “but not too hard, because they don’t want it to be ugly and bickering.”
All of the above mandates, as well as the achieving a political balance for the impending November 2022 midterms, have reportedly made regular guest host and conservative Ana Navarro a less-than-ideal choice for a permanent slot, as producers consider her “not a traditional Republican” who plays too nice with her more liberal co-hosts.
“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,” one of the rotating guest hosts told Politico.
To that end, the show will continue auditioning new hosts and gauging their popularity with audience focus groups in the new year, including a return appearance from former White House Director of Strategic Communications and Assistant to President Trump-turned-Trump critic Alyssa Farah, as well as former New York Times writer-editor Bari Weiss and original View panelist Lisa Ling.
Producers also reportedly courted libertarian and Fox contract player Kat Timpf, who turned down the opportunity in part due to “the show’s reputation for treating conservatives poorly,” according to a source. The same accusation has repeatedly been leveled by McCain, as well as previous conservative co-hosts Elizabeth Hasselbeck and George W. Bush’s White House Communications Director Nicolle Wallace (now a ‘Never Trumper’ with her own show on MSNBC), notes Politico.
Hostin agrees that that while “a really conservative voice” is needed, as she told New York Magazine in November (h/t Politico), that voice should also belong to “someone that’s not duplicative of anyone else on the panel.”
Following McCain’s headline-making departure, the show’s executive producer Brian Teta told the Wrap he would be “taking a little time” to fill her seat. As the year comes to a close, there is now a sense of urgency to find her replacement in the new year.
“Our plans are on track as we continue to look for the right person to join our panel of smart, dynamic women,” a View spokesperson told Politico. “We look forward to welcoming guest co-hosts for return appearances and introducing new names into the mix in the new year.”