Love it or hate it, Meghan McCain has always been more than eager to share her perspective — and in her new book she’s not holding back.
Variety published a lengthy excerpt from McCain’s new memoir, “Bad Republican,” Tuesday in which the right-leaning former co-host of “The View” described the “toxic” work environment on the hit daytime talk show and the on-air comment that prompted her to leave.
The daughter of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) explained in her book that on her second day back at work after the birth of her daughter, Liberty, in September 2020, co-host — and frequent sparring partner — Joy Behar said something to her on live TV that caused her to “burst into tears.”
She wrote that she and Behar “began squabbling a bit about the state of the Democratic Party” and McCain tried to alleviate the tension by saying: “Joy, you missed me so much when I was on maternity leave! You missed fighting with me!”
“I did not,” Behar responded in a moment that went viral in January. “I did not miss you. Zero.”
McCain wrote that the moment completely shocked her and she felt as if she’d been “slapped.”
“I know I’m not always a perfect angel,” McCain admitted. “But I would never speak to any woman that way who had just returned after giving birth.”
McCain also revealed in her book that she was diagnosed with “severe postpartum anxiety” after the birth of her daughter.
The condition is “a cousin to postpartum depression that affects about 10% of new moms,” McCain explained, citing from the the American Pregnancy Association.
“The telltale signs are excessive worrying, racing thoughts and feelings of dread,” McCain wrote. McCain explained that the condition can manifest into irrational paranoia and that she “sadly had this in spades.”
“I was paranoid that someone was going to kidnap Liberty to the point that I considered hiring armed bodyguards outside our house,” McCain wrote. “I was afraid people wanted to kill her, or steal her or hurt her in some way. Every night, when she went to sleep, I would go in and check on her to make sure she was still breathing and still in her crib. As I was dealing with my own emotions, I couldn’t also navigate the idea that I was hated and felt hated at a toxic work environment.”
McCain elaborated about the difficulties she was having due to her postpartum anxiety in an interview with People saying that she was “barely showering and functioning.”
She added that the isolation from the pandemic also triggered her anxiety and that just the thought of taking her newborn out on Halloween about a month after she was born caused her to cry.
“I was just having a really hard time doing something as simple as leaving the house with a baby in a stroller,” she told the magazine.
McCain said that after Behar’s blunt on-air dig, she had a hard time composing herself until the show broke for commercial, and as soon as it did, she began to bawl.
“Not just like tearing up, uncontrollable sobbing. I was super hormonal and deeply hurt,” McCain said.
McCain explained that while she was crying she also began lactating, making her feel like she “wasn’t in control of my body.”
McCain said she managed to make it through the rest of the show, but when she got to her office she “threw up in the garbage can” and continued to sob.
“After giving birth, I didn’t feel like myself. I felt extremely vulnerable,” McCain wrote. “Joy seemed to smell that vulnerability like a shark smells blood in the water, and she took after it. Why was this worth it to her? I will never know. But, so much for working moms looking out for each other.”
After the experience, McCain asked the show’s executive producer for an apology from Behar. McCain was told she wouldn’t get one and to move on.
“I no longer felt safe working at ‘The View,’” McCain wrote, noting that the experience was a crystallizing moment for her.
“I took a look at my life outside of myself and I thought clearly — this shit isn’t worth this,” she wrote.
As you can imagine, that was not all McCain wrote in “Bad Republican” about “The View.” She included plenty more about her decision to leave and quite a bit about co-host Whoopi Goldberg.
Read the full excerpt at Variety.