WASHINGTON – While ABC put out a statement denying rumors that “The View” has selected Nicole Wallace and October Gonzalez as the new hosts replacing Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd, conservatives are bracing for disappointment that the retooled show will offer any meaningful daytime political dissent or discourse.
Wallace is a bestselling author and political analyst for MSNBC and former communications chief for the George W. Bush White House. Gonzalez is the wife of Tony Gonzalez, former NFL tight end. The couple famously posed nude in a public service ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Thomas Schmitz, chairman of American Grizzlies United, a group founded to support Sarah Palin in 2010, thinks that selection will neither mean good TV nor better ratings.
“I was a fan of ‘The View’ and so were many in my city of Hollywood, California,” he told WND. “But when everyone on the show basically believes the same thing, it gets boring. I would love to see a real conservative on there, just to watch the real civil discourse take place.”
Who would he prefer?
“I think someone beautiful, and brainy like Dr. Gina Loudon, Ann Marie Murrell or Tammy Bruce would be amazing!” he said of two WND columnists and the radio talker.
Loudon and Murrell collaborated with Hollywood star Morgan Brittany on a new book, “What Women Really Want,” debuting the first week of September.
“The only way to really expand their audience is to provide a little contrast amongst their hosts,” continued Schmitz. “I am hopeful that this rumor about Nicole is nothing more than that, because as far as I know, her only claim to fame is shamelessly trying to cover her butt for losing what should have been an easy-to-win election to a two-year senator over an American war hero by bashing conservative icon Sarah Palin. That will repel new audiences. America is tired of her brand of crass and classless, and they won’t watch that.”
Two of those mentioned as better choices for “The View” were actually prospected by the show. Murrell said she was contacted by “The View” to interview for the host spot, but it never came to fruition. Loudon was interviewed, but declined to say how it went. Many were intrigued at the short list of conservatives being interviewed by “The View.”
“I think Dr. Gina Loudon or Ann Marie Murrell would spice things up a lot,” said Tamara Colbert, publicist and media expert close to grass-roots conservatives. “I was watching closely to gauge whether or not ‘The View’ was really looking for a conservative woman who could represent women across the country, or just someone with an ‘R’ behind their name who would go along to get along. These women have been outspoken advocates of spirited discourse, and in their new book, they talk about political engagement from a woman’s perspective.”
Colbert continued: “Dr. Gina Loudon is no stranger to prime-time television. She participated in a recent reality show, and is reportedly being approached for others. Her Ph.D. would have given ‘The View’ some real gravitas, and more in-depth discussion of psychological and other health issues. She could have related to Rosie O’Donnell, since she is also an adoptive mother of a child with Down Syndrome. She has already jumped into the Lion’s Den doing Comedy Central, and doesn’t seem to fear the controversy that comes with a show like ‘The View.'”
Colbert also thought that Ann Marie Murrell, one of Loudon’s partners on “What Women Really Want,” would have made a great choice.
“She is beautiful, Southern, brutally honest with a sincere delivery, and has a refreshing perspective on Hollywood, as a former actress. The two also have one of the most powerful political audiences in social media today, between their new book already reaching record presales, and their PolitiChicks website with thousands of fans and writers from all over the country.”
Ultimately, Murrell said she believes that “The View” may have lost interest in her when she “was brutally honest” with them about her opinions.
“I really thought they wanted someone different from me for ‘The View,'” she said. “I can think of shows featuring conservative thought that I believe would pull huge audience, but I don’t know if network TV executives are ready for what really draws audience. In all honesty, I really think they despise my opinions and principles, so I won’t hold my breath for a call from them.”
Other grassroots, non-establishment candidates were reportedly considered, as well. Kira Davis, a black conservative and former writing partner of both Murrell and Loudon, also received a call to be interviewed.
“I don’t really think they are looking for a true conservative,” said Davis. “I don’t think they want a minority conservative, either. My guess is that they will ultimately go with an establishment type, like Megan McCain or Nicole Wallace – the kind who don’t run in conservative circles at all, and mostly tow the party line.”
Loudon declined to comment on the specifics of her dealings with “The View,” but she did say that they were very nice to her, and that they seemed genuinely interested in what she had to say. She said she did not know if they had made a final decision, or not.
Sources tell WND the only conservative producer, Bill Geddie, will no longer be involved in the day-to-day production of “The View.” This leads conservatives, who were hopeful for a voice on the show, feeling even more skeptical about a real conservative joining the lineup.
As for the notion Wallace will bring any political balance to the panel, when she appeared on”Morning Joe” on Oct. 15, 2013, she was asked if she opposed Obamacare: “I don’t know anymore. My [former Bush aide] husband asked me the other day, ‘What do we hate about it?'”
When she appeared as a guest host on “The View” March 13 of this year, she was asked by McCarthy what she thought about Bill Clinton’s past and whether it would hurt Hillary: “No,” she said. “That’s baked in the cake. I mean, to know Bill is to love Bill, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. So, I don’t think it’s going to affect anyone.”