Less than nine months after Meghan McCain signed off as the conservative co-host of “The View,” the panel of leftist ladies has turned to offering their full endorsement of a fascist police state with no on-air pushback.
On Monday, ABC’s daytime political talk show hosts made headlines demanding President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) probe Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as Russian assets. The same Department of Justice targeted parents last fall who made objections to race-based curriculums and integration of radical gender theory into schools as “domestic terrorists.”
“I think the DOJ, in the same way that it is setting up a task force to investigate oligarchs, should look into people who are Russian propagandists and shilling for Putin,” said longtime substitute co-host Ana Navarro filling in for Sara Haines. “That’s being, if you are a foreign asset of — to a dictator, it should be investigated.”
Carlson and Gabbard’s apparent crime? Public dissent to the media-manufactured consensus that American intervention in Ukraine risks a dangerous escalation contrary to U.S. interests.
Navarro’s radical suggestion went unchallenged on air, with no pushback even from the former Trump White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin, auditioning for the conservative chair left vacant by McCain. Griffin, however, now a CNN commentator, is no conservative crusader having capitalized on the media incentive to play the Republican who attacks other Republicans.
In the absence of any repudiation of the idea that political dissidents be prosecuted by state actors, Whoopi Goldberg supported the approach.
“They used to arrest people for doing stuff like this,” Goldberg said. “If they thought you were colluding with a Russian agent, if they thought you were putting out information or taking information and handing it over to Russia, they used to actually investigate stuff like this. And I guess now, you know, there seems to be no bars.” (It’s unclear whether Goldberg was referring to the United States’ unjust practice of rounding up Japanese Americans suspected of being foreign agents during World War II, or some other historical event.)
Is there any evidence that Carlson or Gabbard were deliberately colluding with Russian agents to manipulate public opinion? If there was, the panel co-hosts amplifying a conspiracy theory promoted by Hillary Clinton three years ago failed to offer any. Griffin, whose job in the conservative seat is to refute extreme ideas on air, did nothing to counteract the echo chamber playing to the program’s more than two million viewers. Instead, the conservative tryout sat silent after supporting Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s indictment of Gabbard as guilty of “treason.”
Navarro spent the afternoon on Twitter doubling down on authoritarian demands that the Biden administration criminalize dissent on Ukraine.
Navarro, who self-identifies as a Republican but can’t explain why, argued because Gabbard and Carlson’s talking points have been adopted by Russian state television, the pair are required to register as foreign agents.
In contrast, McCain offered a preview of what might have been said to the show’s massive audience had she or another genuine free speech activist been present instead of Griffin.
“I strongly support the most robust intervention possible to help Ukrainians. Putin is a thug and a monster, and this war must end now,” McCain wrote on Twitter. “I am also friends with [Tulsi Gabbard] – and we have robust, respectful political arguments and differences.”
For months the network’s flagship daytime program has struggled to recruit a permanent conservative co-host to replace McCain. The search parameters nearly guarantee the network’s pick will not be someone who would offer substantive and consistent pushback to the hive mind playing out on screen.
Politico Playbook outlined the criteria producers and the incumbent co-hosts were looking for in December:
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.
Of course, such constraints indicate broad definitions of what it means to be “a denier of the 2020 elections results” or “flirting too heavily” with “the MAGA wing of the GOP.” In other words, the co-hosts don’t want a new panelist who represents the Republican base ready to offer a serious challenge on air.
The end result is a rotating audition of panelists who are selective in what they counter, leading to the extremism broadcast Monday.
Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected].
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