According to a report in Politico, ABC’s show The View, is having trouble finding a conservative host.
Sources close to the show said that the search has stalled as executives struggle to find a conservative cast-member who checks all the right boxes. They will not consider a Republican who is a denier of the 2020 election results, embraced the January 6 riots, or is seen as flirting too heavily with fringe conspiracy theories or the MAGA wing of the GOP. But at the same time, the host must have credibility with mainstream Republicans, many of whom still support Donald Trump.
To be honest, I don’t watch the show myself. But I’ve seen enough of it to know that the point of their political segment has always been to include hosts that argue from both the left and the right. That is an example of bothsiderism that is presenting the executives with a tough call in this era of asymmetrical polarization.
In their search for a host, the executives at The View are looking for a conservative who rejects Trump’s big lie about the 2020 election, the January 6 riots, fringe conspiracy theories, and the MAGA wing of the party. On the other hand, they want someone who has credibility with “mainstream Republicans,” the majority of whom embrace all of those things.
Not only do about 60% of Republicans believe the big lie, they also say that doing so is “an important part of their own partisan identity.” Almost 40% of Republicans think that violent action by citizens might be necessary to protect America. More than half of Republicans (56%) believe the conspiracy theories of QAnon are mostly or partly true. For Republicans, those aren’t fringe beliefs these days. The MAGA folks aren’t a wing of the GOP. They ARE the GOP.
While the executives at The View want a host that doesn’t spout the same fascist themes we hear from someone like Tucker Carlson, they also want a conservative who has credibility with what amounts to the Fox News crowd. No wonder they’re having trouble finding someone to fill that bill.
All you need as proof that a person like that doesn’t exist is to take a look at what happened to Rep. Liz Cheney. She called Trump out for his attempt to overthrow the election. For doing so, she’s been ousted from the Wyoming GOP and stripped of her leadership position in the House.
I’m sure that the executives at The View want to maintain the viewership of any conservatives who watch the show. But finding a rational person who can appeal to an irrational audience is just not going to happen.