ABC’s liberal daytime gabfest “The View” is wrapping up another wild year filled with intense and outrageous moments, feuds, and one surprising exit.
From fiery conservative co-host Meghan McCain announcing she was leaving the program, to explosive clashes over the day’s “hot topics,” to the bizarre moment that two co-hosts were erroneously told they had COVID-19 ahead of an interview with Vice President Kamala Harris, there was no shortage of shocking soundbites that kept Americans across the spectrum talking.
Here are just a few of the show’s most intense moments from 2021:
Co-host Joy Behar declared during a heated exchange on Jan. 5 that she “did not miss” McCain while she was out on maternity leave.
“This is why you missed me so much when I was on maternity leave, you missed me so much. You missed fighting with me,” McCain jokingly commented to Behar during a clash over infighting in the Republican Party on her first show back.
“I did not. I did not miss you,” Behar said.
“That’s so nasty, I was teasing,” McCain responded, growing annoyed. “That’s so rude.”
Behar suggested in April that Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., “doesn’t seem to understand” the difference between a racist country and systemic racism.
Behar, who is White, made the suggestion while railing against Scott, the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate, over his rebuttal to President Biden’s first address to Congress after taking office.
“Now, Tim Scott, he does not seem to understand — and a lot of them don’t seem to understand — the difference between a racist country and systemic racism. They don’t seem to get the difference,” she said.
“Yes, maybe it’s not a racist country. Maybe Americans, the majority, are not racist. But we live in a country with systemic racism,” Behar continued. “The fact that Tim Scott cannot acknowledge this is appalling. How can you go out there and say that when you just said two minutes ago that you were the object and the victim of discrimination?”
She concluded by saying she wanted to hear Scott acknowledge that there is systemic racism. Behar drew derision for the disparaging remarks about Scott, who has discussed his own experiences with racism throughout his career and growing up poor.
During an October guest host appearance, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cited her experience growing up in segregated Birmingham, Ala., as she argued that young children didn’t need to be taught CRT and parents needed to have a say in their children’s education.
“My parents never thought I was going to grow up in a world without prejudice, but they also told me, ‘That’s somebody else’s problem, not yours. You’re going to overcome it, and you are going to be anything you want to be,'” Rice said. “That’s the message that I think we ought to be sending to kids.”
“One of the worries that I have about the way that we’re talking about race is that it either seems so big that somehow White people now have to feel guilty for everything that happened in the past – I don’t think that’s very productive – or Black people have to feel disempowered by race,” she added.
She went on to say that she wanted Black children to feel empowered, but to do that it wasn’t necessary to make White children feel bad for being White.
In one of the strangest live television moments of the year, two of the four co-hosts found out on Sept. 24 that they tested positive for coronavirus and were taken off-set before a scheduled interview with Vice President Kamala Harris.
Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin were on the program to start the show, but as the show returned from its first commercial break, they were asked to leave by a producer. A bewildered Behar admitted she didn’t realize what was going on, and she was stopped from introducing Harris mid-sentence as her co-hosts left the stage.
After another commercial break, Behar explained Hostin and Navarro had received positive COVID tests and would not return. That delayed the Harris interview, which was supposed to take up the majority of the program. The interview didn’t start until there were only 10 minutes remaining in the hour and was conducted via video feed.
To fill the time as the show prepared Harris to be interviewed remotely, Behar and co-host Sara Haines took questions from the audience. With the audience members in the masks, it was often difficult to hear them, and the result was one of the more awkward hours of daytime television in recent memory.
It was later revealed that Navarro and Hostin had false positives, meaning they never had coronavirus after all. The following Monday, the show addressed the fiasco, saying “mistakes were made” and producers shouldn’t have revealed the test results on live television. Harris’ team was reportedly irritated with the show’s handling of the situation as well.
Guest co-host Morgan Ortagus confronted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., in November over his role in promoting the discredited anti-Trump Steele dossier.
During a segment where Schiff appeared to promote his book, Ortagus accused him of potentially helping to spread Russian disinformation through his promotion of the dossier and suggested his credibility had been diminished.
“You defended, promoted and even read into the congressional record the Steele dossier. We know last week the main source of the dossier was indicted by the FBI for lying about most of the key claims in that dossier. Do you have any reflections on your role in promoting this to the American people?” Ortagus asked Schiff.
Schiff avoided directly answering the question, and instead called on “whoever lied” to former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele or the FBI to be prosecuted.
He attempted to dodge more questions from Ortagus until she interrupted him a final time.
“You may have helped spread Russian disinformation yourself for years by promoting this. I think that’s what Republicans and what people who entrusted you as the [intelligence] committee chair are so confused about your culpability in all this,” she said, to which Schiff responded that he disagreed with the premise of her question.
The discussion, which revolved around Biden’s lashing out at CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins after she asked him a question, deteriorated as Goldberg angered McCain by comparing Biden’s clashes with the press to former President Trump’s.
“Part of my problem with the Kaitlan Collins moment is that just because Trump was so bad it doesn’t absolve Biden’s bad behavior. What he just did was 100% Trumpy,” McCain said after Goldberg asked for her reaction. “I think I would just like a little intellectual consistency. If Trump had done that, we would be screaming at the top of our lungs in one way or another.”
“Well, it’s the press’ job to speak truth to power,” McCain said. “Just because Biden has gotten a pass so far, which he has and continues to do, it’s in no one’s best interest to treat him like it’s state TV.”
Goldberg turned the focus to Trump, claiming she never saw him apologize to any reporters, unlike Biden.
“With all due respect, I don’t care,” McCain interrupted, to which Goldberg responded, “Let me just finish what I’m saying.”
The two began talking over each other, becoming more frustrated.
“With all due respect, I don’t care if he’s apologizing. He just embarrassed himself. And he looks like Trump,” McCain said.
“I don’t care that you don’t care! Just hear what I’m saying!” Goldberg yelled, to which McCain yelled back, “Well I don’t care that you don’t care Whoopi, so we’re even!”
McCain and Behar got into a heated back-and-forth in May following criticism of the Republican Party from the latter over its handling of the sex trafficking allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
McCain slammed Behar, telling her, “Your influence in the Republican Party is almost zero,” after she claimed the party was covering for Gaetz, while at the same time removing Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her leadership position.
“Well, first of all, I have family members and good friends who all work on Capitol Hill in Republican politics, and trust me, the Republican Party and people on Capitol Hill are embarrassed by this. So, I think I have a lot better sourcing on that than you do, Joy. No offense,” McCain said after Behar criticized Republicans for, she claimed, giving Gaetz a pass.
Behar later asked if she could call the party “the QAnon party,” referencing the far-right conspiracy movement. “What should I call your party now who defends people like Matt Gaetz and goes against Liz Cheney? What are we supposed to call it? Explain it to me please,” she asked, as the conversation became more tense.
“I think you can call it whatever you want because your influence in the Republican Party is almost zero, and again, as I’ve said on this show, it is for us to figure out amongst ourselves,” McCain said.
McCain flamed U.S. athlete Gwen Berry in June over the latter’s controversial protest against the American flag and the national anthem during an awards ceremony at the U.S. Olympic trials the weekend prior.
In a scathing, emotion-filled rebuke, McCain slammed Berry for creating a potential national security risk by making it easier for autocratic world leaders to deflect criticism from the U.S. over how they treat their citizens. She also defended the importance of the flag to people who’ve risked their lives by serving in the military.
“The problem I have is this woman is doing this internationally. And if anyone just saw Vladimir Putin’s recent speech when he met with President Biden, he’s using the propaganda that America is an irredeemable craphole against us, saying, ‘You think your country is so great over there? … You don’t even treat your people correctly,'” McCain said.
“At the same time where he’s literally imprisoning people,” she added. “And we’re having our enemies and propagandic [sic] dictators using our own propaganda against us, which, in turn, turns into a real national security risk.”
“My other problem with this is I don’t understand why we all can’t have shared experiences in this space, or have our own stories, because for some reason my relationship with the flag isn’t allowed anymore. My love of the American flag, my love of the national anthem,” McCain said.
Behar lost it in September while discussing the infighting between progressive and moderate Democrats in Congress, declaring Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., were going to be the “ruination of the nation” and were “the enemies” of democracy.
Behar and her fellow co-hosts blamed Sinema and Manchin for standing in the way of Democrats trying to enact President Biden’s agenda, and claimed they were undermining the work done by Democrats to flip Georgia blue and create “a strong Democratic coalition.”
“The Democrats have the numbers to make it happen, but Manchin and Sinema are standing in their way. They call themselves Democrats, and they will be the ruination of this nation. Those two,” Behar said.
“These people are destroying the country in my opinion. We are so in trouble in this country, I don’t know if people understand how dire the situation is,” she later added. “If Joe Biden loses, if the Democrats lose, the Republicans, who are so corrupt right now, and we all know that, they will move in, Trump will run in 2024 – he might win because of all the cheating that’s going on. We cannot let this happen!”
McCain officially announced on in July that she was walking away from her role as the token conservative on the show after four seasons.
“I’m just going to rip the Band-Aid off, I am here to tell all of you, my wonderful co-hosts and the viewers at home, that this is going to be my last season here at ‘The View,’” McCain said to open the show.
“This was not an easy decision, it took a lot of thought and counsel and prayer and talking to my family and close friends, and, you know, look, COVID has changed the world for all of us, and it changed the way I am looking at life, the way I am living my life, what I want my life to look like, and when I said ‘goodbye’ to all of you in the studio, over a year and a half ago, I had just found out I was pregnant. I left the city very quickly because my OB/GYN wanted me to leave because he wasn’t sure how COVID could possibly impact pregnant women,” McCain continued.
She went on to praise her co-hosts and each of them took time to say some kind words in recognition of her time on the program.