Meghan McCain Wasn’t Offended by Racism on Howard Stern’s Show Because ‘Cindy McCain’s My Mother’

Meghan McCain Wasn’t Offended by Racism on Howard Stern’s Show Because ‘Cindy McCain’s My Mother’

Leave it to Meghan McCain to take a nice conversation about redemption and personal growth and make it about her own lack of same.

This happened at the end of Howard Stern’s appearance on The View on Thursday morning, where he promoted his new book and his slightly new, kinder, gentler self. Sunny Hostin told Stern that when she was in college in the 1980s, she found his show so offensive that she could not listen to it.

But, she added, “you’re a very different person today. I loved your book and I believe people evolve.”

Stern thanked her, then went into a discussion about his belief in psychotherapy and the possibility of personal growth. He also talked about how this change is embodied by the deeper and more in-depth interviews he has brought to his longtime show, which now airs on satellite radio.

“There are really fantastic people coming in and feel safe enough to be interviewed…I think the dream was what if I could reach someone like you who was turned off by me and doesn’t know what we’re doing…doesn’t understand that the show has evolved,” he told Hostin.

At this point, the show had to jump to a commercial, which awakened in McCain a realization that three minutes had passed without anyone hearing her opinion

“I grew up listening to you, Cindy McCain’s my mother, I love the show forever, I was never offended,” McCain hollered just as the music started and the show went to break.

One of the moments Hostin, whose father is African-American, had brought up that offended her was that Stern had “used the n-word a lot.” He tried to clarify that he had only used it during an interview of a Ku Klux Klan leader, in which he felt it was important to not let the guy hide behind euphemisms. Whatever the truth, clearly this was an important moment in a discussion of Stern’s growth and his moving beyond his shock-jock days.

Meghan McCain, the daughter of wealthy white political elites from Arizona, could not let that moment go by without reminding everyone of her own privilege in having been able to enjoy the show while not even recognizing the gross racism and misogyny that was a foundational element of Stern’s success. Which says much more about her than about Howard Stern.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.