Opinion: There should be no token Republicans, or tokens in general

Oct 25, 2021, 3:02 PM | Updated: 3:22 pm
token Republicans...
Meghan McCain appears at Variety's third annual "Salute to Service" celebration in New York on Nov. 6, 2019, left, and Joy Behar appears at the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame Awards 27th Anniversary Gala in New York on Oct. 16, 2017. McCain says she decided to leave “The View” following her second day back from maternity leave in January after a comment was made by fellow panelist Behar during a political argument. The incident is one of several backstage stories in McCain's new book, “Bad Republican.” (AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

Meghan McCain has a new book I’ve just downloaded on Audible entitled Bad Republican. In it, she talks about the pain she experienced being the “token Republican” while she was on The View.

She describes going into her dressing room to throw up, crying because of the cruel way her co-hosts would speak to her both on and off the air. I admit I haven’t had the opportunity to watch many episodes of The View, but since my Sunday morning program on KSL Newsradio was named after that show, I thought it would make sense to ask my guests what they thought of the way Meghan was treated and how she responded.

My guests included singer and songwriter Cherie Call, physics Professor Michelle Arnold and Robbyn Scriber, Director of Outreach for Rise Next, the creator of the Tech Moms program.

Cherie talked about how confrontational the show is in general. She, like me, had limited exposure to the show, but she felt like that kind of toxic vibe was prevalent. She completely understood Meghan McCain’s decision to leave the show to get away from that kind of toxicity, especially with her growing family.

If any of you reading this column are more familiar with the program, I would love to hear your impression. Is the show confrontational in general? Did you feel like the other hosts were unfair or cruel to Meghan during her time there?

Robbyn broadened the topic to suggest that this is “another pandemic that we’re having of a complete absence of civil discourse and the inability of anyone to have a disagreeable conversation without ascribing sinister motives to everyone.”

Professor Arnold added that “there are lots of people I don’t communicate my opinion to anymore because even if it’s 90% in agreement and 10% not, you quickly become a monster without even saying much.”

I feel this division. I see it on social media. I see it on mainstream and every other form of media. I take more responsibility, personally, and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

I am blessed in my job in many ways, including that it is not part of my job to share an opinion. I am a news anchor. It’s my job to ask probing questions, add context to help illuminate meaning, read news, lift spirits. This is my job. I have never been encouraged, as perhaps some talk show hosts might be in other places, to be controversial. That’s not my job, and I am so grateful. I could not do it and remain healthy, mentally or physically.

I believe that there are no token Republicans or Democrats, no token women or men, no token members of any group – racial or religious or sexual orientation. We are all human beings worthy of respect by the nature of that fact alone.

I am interested in all voices because of that fact alone. It is easier to hear your voice when one person talks at a time. 

Amanda Dickson is the co-host of Utah’s Morning News and the host of A Woman’s View on KSL NewsRadio. You can hear her weekday mornings on 102.7 FM and 1160 AM, as well as catch her talk show on Sundays. 

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Opinion: There should be no token Republicans, or tokens in general