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The View in Review

Meghan McCain Gets Heated Over Olympian's Anthem Protest: 'It's Not About You!'

"My relationship with the flag isn't allowed any more," complained The View host.
  • Meghan McCain did not hold back today on The View. (Photo: ABC)
    Meghan McCain did not hold back today on The View. (Photo: ABC)

    Meghan McCain spent the morning ranting about Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry and her decision to turn her back to the American flag as the national anthem was played at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. The conservative co-host insisted that "it is not appropriate or patriotic" to dismiss the American flag, and she accused Berry of not "representing America" in the same way that her father, the late Sen. John McCain, did. "I will die for this. I will die on this hill," said McCain. "It's not about you! It's about all of us!"

    If you know anything about McCain's background or politics, her Tuesday morning screed didn't come as a huge surprise. After her co-hosts said that Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who criticized Berry Monday on Fox News, should show the same kind of outrage towards the "racists and insurrectionist" who stormed the Capitol, McCain read a quote of his condemning the January 6 riot, adding, "I don't actually know where everyone's getting that he somehow was okay with it."

    "In regards to the athlete protesting, I've spent the last year and a half hearing every argument possible and understanding why athletes protest in the United States of America," she said, transitioning to the topic at hand. "The problem I have is this woman is doing this internationally. 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 crap-hole against us ... If we're having our enemies and propaganda-dictators using our own propaganda against us, [it] in turn turns into a real national security risk."

    "National security risk" concerns aside, McCain's real issue with Berry's protest is personal. "I don't understand why we can't all have shared experiences in this space, or have our own stories," she said. "For some reason, my relationship with the flag isn't allowed any more. My love of the American flag, my love of the national anthem."

    "I know that it's very triggering for people and they get very upset when I talk about my dad, for whatever reason, which is why I've really stopped doing it on the show unless it's really meaningful to me," McCain continued, before launching into a story about John McCain's fellow POW Mike Christian, who sewed an American flag into his shirt so that the prisoners could say the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. "One day the Vietnamese captors found that and beat the living crap out of Mike Christian," she said. "The second that he was able to do again, do you want to know the first thing that Mike Christian started doing? He started re-sewing the American flag into his prison garb so his cellmates could say the Pledge of Allegiance and remember what they were doing and what they were fighting for, in prison for America."

    "So, excuse me if I don't think some of these athletes are representing America in the same way," she said, her voice reaching a fever-pitch. "It is not appropriate or patriotic to go to a foreign country where you're supposed to be representing America and act like it's just about you!"

    Given the intensity of the moment, McCain's co-hosts declined to engage, although Whoopi Goldberg, in her first day back after a bout with sciatica, did school the conservative a few minutes later. "Well, in the upcoming days we'll play you the American anthem and let you see what you think of it. Because there's some stuff in there that makes it a little bit tough to take," said Goldberg in her no-nonsense voice. "But you know what? This is America, and both people have the right to do exactly what they did."

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    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Meghan McCain, The View, Summer Olympics