Meghan McCain Launches Production Company Citizen Cain & New Podcast

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Meghan McCain is so done with TV.

After four years on “The View,” the political lightning rod needed a breather.

“This is so superficial,” McCain says when asked why she does not miss being on television every day. “My hair and skin were so thrashed because I wore hair extensions, and bleached my hair and had to wear full camera face makeup every day. Just the idea of having to get my hair wrecked and my face wrecked again is reason enough for me not to miss television.”

With a laugh, she exudes a sense of calm: “My hair looks so good now. My skin looks so good.”

“And,” McCain adds, “I don’t always know that everything needs my opinion.”

What McCain does miss, however, is talking about the news. And so, she’s launching her own podcast and production company.

Variety can reveal that McCain has launched Citizen Cain Productions, a production company that will produce podcasts, scripted, unscripted and documentary content for all platforms with a mission to tell female-led and American stories.

McCain hopes to be a driving force for change in entertainment, particularly to highlight untold female perspectives. In all projects at Citizen Cain Productions, McCain will actively seek female talent to provide women with more opportunities across the business.

Projects already in the pipeline include a docuseries on Ashley Bettis about the famed Touchdowns and Tutus charity event in Canton, Ohio; a scripted film about model and adult industry entrepreneur Gail Thackray’s life, which will be produced alongside 2 Coast Media led by Laura Keats and Robert Misseri; and a documentary with Emmy-winning director Steven Leckart, which will be produced in partnership with Grain Media. McCain also says that she is developing an “over-the-top reality show,” but declines to elaborate on the subject matter.

The first project to come from Citizen Cane will be McCain’s own podcas, “Meghan McCain Has Entered the Chat,” which premieres on October 17 and will air new episodes twice per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In the coming months, McCain will bring the podcast on-screen for a digital talk show in partnership with Kin Community and Teton Ridge. 

The podcast — which marks McCain’s first hosting gig since departing “The View” — will blend hard news and politics with entertainment. If you know anything about McCain, you know that she loves everything from the “Real Housewives” to Zionism. In fact, in the perfect showcase of wide-ranging topics, Variety has learned that two guests McCain has booked are Erika Jayne and Senator Ted Cruz.

“The inspiration is what I’m talking about on my group chats all day. I’m giving all my friends this free content, and now, I’m putting it into a podcast,” McCain says. When asked to give an example of some topics she may discuss, she says Israel, the Titanic submersible and, of course, Scandoval.

Plans for the first episode of the podcast were turned upside down when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel this past weekend. McCain — who is a fierce supporter of Israel and uses her platform to condemn anti-Semitism — said she immediately huddled with her producers to discuss dedicating the premiere episode to the Israel-Hamas war.

“I saw an interview today where Andrea Mitchell was interviewing a mother whose children were robbed from her home and stolen and kidnapped by terrorists,” McCain says over the phone earlier this week, speaking of the NBC News journalist. “And she was asking the mother what she thought of the attacks on Gaza. That’s not the fucking point. The point is that the terrorists came in and are stealing children and beheading them and massacring people in the worst murder of Jews since the Holocaust. That’s the point, ladies and gentlemen.”

It’s a topic that McCain is deeply passionate about, and the discussion will likely continue for weeks, if not months, as the war continues to rage on.

“I don’t understand how Americans don’t see how this is only going to get worse. It may be Israel now, but it’s going to be us next if we don’t protect our allies and protect our brothers and sisters in Israel,” she says. “If you don’t care about it for the right reasons and the humanitarian reasons, you sure as fuck should care about it for the political ones. I just don’t have any patience for any of it. I don’t have any patience on this issue. It’s been interesting to see people in the media try and play both sides and tiptoe.”

Clearly, McCain does not care what you think about her. Expect her unfiltered opinions when you listen in to her podcast. But don’t expect yelling across the table, like you saw on “The View.” McCain says that while she will invite nearly anyone on her podcast despite differing views, she wants to create a calm and collaborative environment.

“I have been a guest on so many shows where I have felt uncomfortable, places where I have felt disrespected. I’ve had a lot of wonderful experiences on TV, but I’ve had a lot of negative ones,” McCain says.

“I really look forward to interviewing people in a way that I think can be productive,” she adds. “I can have a more controversial politician on the left that maybe I don’t agree with, but it isn’t combative in any way. This will 100% be a respectful space. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care if you talk shit about me a ton, I don’t care if you hate me, I don’t if I don’t like you and what you’re saying.”

That said, don’t hold your breath for McCain to invite former President Donald Trump as a guest on her podcast.

“I hate Trump. I’ll be in an absolute hellscape if he is nominated again,” McCain says.

Of course, she realizes that Trump is not going away and he’ll be part of the cultural zeitgeist, for better or for worse. In other words, she’ll have to talk about him. But she probably won’t be talking with him.

When asked if she would invite Trump on for an interview, McCain thinks for a moment, before responding, “Oh, man. I don’t think so. I think that will be really hard for me.”

“The point of this is to have a respectful dialogue,” she continues. “There’s so much bad blood between my family and him that I don’t want to have anyone on where I would be overly emotive and not present myself the way that I would like to, if that makes sense. I think I would probably get overly emotional and angry. So, I don’t think so.”

She gets in one final last word: “Also, there’s no interview that he’s done in the past few years that I’ve found that interesting. I feel like he says the same thing over and over again, and I have a lot of Trump fatigue. I don’t actually find him that interesting of an interview anymore.”

As the election cycle heats up, McCain will feature more political guests on her podcast. She says that a number of presidential candidates are in the process of being booked to sit down with her.

McCain’s favorite GOP candidate is Nikki Haley, but she doesn’t think she has a shot. “Everyone I love in politics loses,” McCain says. “I think Trump looks inevitable, and I think it’s really depressing.”

McCain says that the state of the Republican party is “an absolute mess,” and she’s not optimistic about the upcoming election.

“I think the party is really fractured in a lot of places, and I think until the fever of Trump is over, we can we can screw anything up. Our brand is chaos,” she says.

“At a time when President Biden’s polling numbers are historically the lowest of any president — except for Trump’s — it should be an opportunity for us to really lead,” McCain says. “But I’m on the phone with you and Nancy Mace is wearing a scarlet letter T-shirt. I mean, this is performative absurdity. As long as we are ruled by people who are more interested in getting cable news contracts and hits on Fox News than actually governing, we’re going lose again.”

McCain is realistic, and believes 2024 will see Trump versus Biden again. She also believes that means the country will see the lowest voter turnout of all time. “I think it’s really bad for the morale of the country, I think it’s bad for democracy, it doesn’t feel like we’re really given choices on either side,” she says. “They’re both wildly unpopular. Trump is almost an octogenarian — he’s like 79 — so these aren’t the ages and the demeanors of public officials that I think are at the level of what we should want for president.” (Editor’s note: Trump is 77 years old.)

Trying to remain positive, McCain brings the conversation back to her podcast.

“It will certainly make interesting content for my my purposes,” she says. “But it will be very, very, very bad for the country.”

“Meghan McCain Has Entered the Chat” will be available where all podcasts are available.

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