Ever since August, the TV show The View has had a rotating cast of hosts with a conservative viewpoint — but no permanent successor following the exodus of Meghan McCain.
Now, Politico is reporting that the three other hosts of the show – Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, and Sunny Hostin – had a message for executive producer Brian Teta right before they left for the holidays.
They are apparently weary of the continuous rotation of hosts and want someone more permanent. After McCain’s departure, Teta said he was going to “take a little time” to find a new host. That little time has brought Gretchen Carlson, Morgan Ortagus, Condoleezza Rice, Carly Fiorina, and Alyssa Farah among the guest hosts, but none of them have stuck.
The hosts say the constant churn at what was once McCain’s part of the table hurts the show’s flow.
“Right now, we still do need a really conservative voice,” Hostin previously told New York Magazine. “And we need someone that’s not duplicative of anyone else on the panel.”
The issue, according to sources interviewed by Politico, is that it’s hard to find someone who is on the right yet works with the already established tone of the show. They need someone who isn’t seen as too fringe – so those who deny the validity of the 2020 election, or were okay with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, or who flirt with other conspiracy theories aren’t welcome.
It’s a hard line to walk, considering Donald Trump is still a huge part of the Republican Party and 2020 election denial is central to his brand. One of the unidentified fill-in hosts told the publication, “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.”
It’s also difficult to find someone that’s confrontational enough with the other hosts, which market research says is what people want to see.
“They are really looking for a unicorn,” one former show staffer said. “They want someone who is going to fight — but not too hard, because they don’t want it to be ugly and bickering.”
It’s definitely not the easiest spot to fill, as previous hosts like Abby Huntsman and Elizabeth Hasselbeck have described being bullied by other hosts and ABC execs.
“The View has had two successful conservative co-hosts in its 24-year history, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Meghan McCain,” Ramin Setoodeh, author of Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View,’ told Fox News back in July.
“It’s the most difficult seat to fill,” Setoodeh explained. “In between, the ratings reflected the show wasn’t working. ABC News producers kept hiring conservatives — such as Candace Cameron Bure and Jedediah Bila — who viewers found to be conciliatory to the other co-hosts. The secret formula is finding a Republican who actually disagrees about policy and politics, but the more liberal stars of the show openly resent that.”