“I think some people feel the pressure, not just here but on TV in general, when they’re Republicans in front of a liberal audience, to not be the big bad Republican,” McCain says in a new New York Times Magazine feature about her show, The View. “And I don’t care. I should care more, but it’s more important to me to be true to myself.”
The piece calls the Republican daughter of the late Sen. John McCain the “most combative questioner” on the ABC daytime talk show, and acknowledges that its audience includes “hate-watchers” ready to pounce on the latest round of bickering.
“McCain presses buttons for a certain kind of liberal who finds her views the apotheosis of white privilege — as does her tendency to lose her composure or name-drop her father,” notes writer Amanda FitzSimons.
Meghan McCain and John McCain together
Meghan McCain and John McCain together
New York, NY - 2017: (L-R) Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain on 'The View', a visit for Meghan McCain's birthday, Monday, October 23, 2017. (Photo by Heidi Gutman /ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - It's Meghan McCain's Birthday with a special visit from her father, Senator John McCain on 'The View,' airing Monday, October 23, 2017 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network.
(Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images)
JOHN MCCAIN, MEGHAN MCCAIN
Megan McCain and John McCain attends the 100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on May 3, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4588 -- (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Louis C.K., Sen. John McCain & Meghan McCain on January 6, 2014 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4588 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sen. John McCain & Meghan McCain during an interview with host Jay Leno on January 6, 2014 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan McCain and John McCain attend 'Raising McCain' Series New York Premiere at Tribeca Cinemas on September 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain, and Jimmy McCain attend 'Jersey Strong' and 'Raising McCain'Series New York Premiere at Tribeca Cinemas on September 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 2: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (L) speaks to the crowd with his wife Cindy McCain (R) and daughters Meghan McCain (2R) and Bridget McCain during an Arizona Republican Party election night event at the Hyatt Regency November 2, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. McCain easily defeated his opponent Democratic candidate Rodney Glassman. (Photo by Laura Segall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX - AUGUST 24: U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks to a group of supporters alongside his wife Cindy and daughters Meghan McCain and Bridget McCain at his victory party after winning Arizona's primary election August 24, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. McCain, seeking a 5th term as a U.S. Senator from Arizona, easily defeated challenger J.D. Hayworth in Tuesday's primary. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate John McCain (C) speaks during a rally on November 1, 2008 in Springfield, Virginia, with his wife Cindy (R) and daughter Meghan (L). McCain and Democrat rival Barack Obama enter the final weekend of their epic race for the White House, scrambling across several states in a last dash for votes. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate John McCain (C) speaks during a rally on November 1, 2008 in Springfield, Virginia, with his wife Cindy (R) and daughter Meghan (L). McCain and Democrat rival Barack Obama enter the final weekend of their epic race for the White House, scrambling across several states in a last dash for votes. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Arizona Senator John McCain hugs his daughter Meghan goodbye at the airport in Denver, Colorado on October 24, 2008. McCain is traveling to Colorado Springs and Durango for more campaign events today. AFP PHOTO Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
WESTERVILLE, OH - OCTOBER 19: Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (R) and his daughter Meghan McCain hold a campaign rally at the Rike Center at Otterbein College October 19, 2008 in Westerville, Ohio. With 16 days left before the U.S. presidential election, John McCain will campaign in the swing-states of Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania over the next three days. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, PA - AUGUST 30: (L-R) Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain (R-AZ), his wife Cindy, their daughter Meghan, presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, her daughters Piper (C) and Willow with her husband Todd arrive and greet supporters during an event at Consol Energy Park August 30, 2008 in Washington, Pennsylvania. Palin and McCain are campaigning before heading to the Republican National Convention. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(L-R-front) Republican presidential candidate John McCain, wife Cindy McCain, daughter Meghan McCain, Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-back), R-FL, ride on an airboat as they tour the Everglades Safari Park June 6, 2008 in Miami, Florida. The Everglades is the largest wetlands in North America. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Charles Trainor, Jr. (Photo by Charles Trainor, Jr. / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHARLES TRAINOR, JR./AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI - JUNE 06: (L to R - front) Republican presidential candidate John McCain, wife Cindy McCain, daughter Meghan McCain and Florida Governor Charlie Crist ride on an airboat as he visits the Everglades June 6, 2008 in Miami, Florida. Seated in the front row (L-R) John?s wife Cindy McCain, daughter Meghan McCain and Florida Governor Charlie Crist. The Everglades is the largest wetlands in North America. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI - JANUARY 29: Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks as his wife Cindy (C) and daughter Megan (R) look on during a post primary campaign rally at the Hilton hotel January 29, 2008 in Miami, Florida. After winning in South Carolina, McCain is the winner of the Florida Republican primary, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani running in third. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
NBC News -- John McCain Campaign -- Pictured: (l-r) Daughter Meghan McCain and wife Cindy McCain with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on primary night for the Republican nomination in Charleston, Michigan on January 15, 2008 (Photo by Bethany Thomas/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 1: Senator John McCain arrives with his wife Cindy and daughter Megan at 'Live From New York Its Wednesday Night' at Cipriani's 42nd Street September 1, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
N361918 31: Presidential candidate John McCain with wife Cindy in their home in Phoenix, Arizona with their children. The oldest daughter is Meghan, their adopted daughter is Bridgette and their two sons Jack and Jimmy, October 14, 1999. (photo by Karin Cooper)
N361918 09: Presidential candidate John McCain with wife Cindy in their home in Phoenix, Arizona with their children. The oldest daughter is Meghan, their adopted daughter is Bridgette and their two sons Jack and Jimmy, October 14, 1999. (photo by Karin Cooper)
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But McCain defends her outspoken nature.
“The Trump years make everything more heated and more intense,” McCain tells FitzSimons. “I am not here to do cooking segments.”
Nor is she going to be cowed by any negative headlines. On Tuesday, a defiant McCain shared an article accusing the media of trying to “belittle” her. The 34-year-old tweeted that she “triggers the left” but she “can’t stop, won’t stop.”
I realize my mere existence triggers the left. Can't stop, won't stop. Even with a target on my back... � �� https://t.co/Mmf40nR20A
It's not your political opinion, it's your elitist attitude toward everything. You don't even act like you care to be at the table on @TheView. You use to be the cool millennial that could debate without getting testy. We miss that Meghan!
Meghan, it’s your inability to listen that triggers me. I root for you on the View, but when you yell, talk over others and pout you benefit no one. Also, please read Mueller report and then comment. Your credibility and your ability to guide your supporters depend on it.