Why isn’t “The View” auditioning more conservative women?
When The Hollywood Reporter ran down the women set to fill-in amid Meghan McCain’s departure, they listed “former Utah congresswoman Mia Love (who will co-host for premiere week), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, former Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, and cable news regulars S.E. Cupp, Eboni K. Williams, Alyssa Farah, Mary Katherine Ham, and Cameran Eubanks.” Cam Eubanks, the “Southern Charm” veteran with heterodox views and a great sense of humor, seems like a dark horse, but there’s a lot of competition.
But is there a lot of conservative competition for the sole conservative chair? Some of those women are fantastic, but some of them are not remotely conservative. Some of the others, if not most, aren’t conservative on important issues—or even willing to introduce those conservative arguments—meaning the show’s hallmark debates would have no representative value.
That, of course, means the debates would also lack entertainment value. This is a business failure as much as an ideological one. Nobody wants to watch an orgy of soft-core virtue porn. That’s also not what the show claims to be about.
“The View” should be desperately auditioning women with conservative beliefs on God, guns, abortion, the media, and the current administration, not wasting time on social progressives or outright liberals like Eboni K. Williams. It’s true there’s a dearth of serious conservative women in media, but that’s also because the media is especially cruel to serious conservative women.
If “The View” is having a hard time finding a genuine conservative replacement, they should ponder whether they have a role to play in making that space more appealing. (The media treatment would be hell for any woman who decides the paycheck and influence is worth it.)
But they should also try harder. If McCain’s replacement, for instance, is not actually pro-life, the show’s debates on abortion will bear no resemblance to the actual debates American women have on the topic, rendering the conversations both useless and boring.
The least the show can do is have one pro-life woman in the cast, given that 43 percent of women in the country consider themselves pro-life and it’s one of the most important and high-profile issues in public policy. The same is true for guns, religion, media bias, race, LGBT politics, President Biden, and more. The current contenders may have subtle differences from time to time, but they differ little on the “hottest topics” in our politics. So what’s the point?
When “The View” began, Barbara Walters explained she “always wanted to do a show with women of different generations, backgrounds, and views.” I understand that now means culturally progressive ABC employees may have to rub elbows with someone who doesn’t run in their cocktail circles, but that seems like a small sacrifice to make to produce decent television.
Again, there are some conservatives in the try-out rotation, but the disproportionate representation from non-conservatives and cultural moderates suggests the show isn’t all that serious about fulfilling its own mission of representing the different “views” of women. Whether you love or hate “The View,” it’s a big platform that purports to represent these debates. The hosts regularly get access to major public figures for timely interviews. It matters.
But because corporate media appears no longer capable of platforming conservatives, the show may literally start living up to its name. “The View” without conservative representation would demonstrate there is truly only one acceptable view in corporate media.