July 27, 2022

Every time I write about ABC’s “The View,” I usually get a few emails asking me why I’m writing about this show.

Here’s why. For starters, it gets decent-to-good TV ratings with more than 2 million viewers on most days — a respectable number for daytime television. And the discussions had on the show are many of the same discussions taking place in households around the country. The New York Times once called “The View” the “most important political TV show in America.”

The show’s panel not only talks about the major political and social issues of the moment, but often invites the biggest names in politics to talk about such issues.

So, yeah, it’s a show worth paying attention to.

Now there’s major news about the show. Apparently it has found a replacement for the polarizing Meghan McCain, who left the show nearly a year ago.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, the former communications director in the Trump White House, will join the show as, presumably, the panel’s conservative voice. Several outlets, including The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona and Lachlan Cartwright, are reporting that Farah Griffin will permanently join the show that includes co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin and, occasionally, Ana Navarro. Nothing is official, but the show is expected to announce Farah Griffin’s hiring next week.

Farah Griffin held several jobs during Trump’s time in the White House. She worked as press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence, as well as in the Department of Defense. Then she moved back to the White House to work in Trump’s communications department. She resigned a month before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Baragona and Cartwright wrote that after Jan. 6, Farah Griffin became a “fierce critic of the twice-impeached ex-president and his role in pushing blatant lies about the 2020 election.”

They added, “Farah Griffin’s positioning as an anti-Trump ex-Trumper ultimately helped land her a role as a political commentator for CNN, where she became a frequent on-air presence, especially during coverage of the Jan. 6 House committee hearings.”

She also has appeared occasionally on “The View.” In fact, she was on Tuesday’s show and criticized some Republicans for being on the “wrong side” of same-sex marriage and said the House vote to codify it should have been the “easiest vote.”

Baragon and Cartwright wrote that Farah Griffin has a “far more thoughtful, tempered on-air presence” than McCain did and that she is willing to question Trump and many of his views. Yet many fans and critics of the show slammed the choice of Farah Griffin to join (just check Twitter).

The Daily Beast’s Confider newsletter reported that, earlier this month, comedian and actor Wanda Sykes backed out of appearing on a panel on “The View” because Farah Griffin was going to be there, too. An unnamed source told Confider, “She didn’t want to be part of helping a Trumper launder her reputation.”

Then this week, Confider reported that an unnamed “CNN star” requested not to be booked on shows that included Griffin.

Cuomo’s big news

Chris Cuomo is returning to television. The former CNN anchor, fired in December for his involvement in helping his brother — former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — fight allegations of sexual misconduct, will anchor a show on NewsNation.

The announcement came, interestingly enough, during his interview Tuesday night with Dan Abrams on … NewsNation. Cuomo’s show will be in primetime and debut in the fall.

The announcement came at the end of Tuesday night’s hour-long interview, his first on TV since being fired. It would appear to be a step down from CNN. Last year, NewsNation, which debuted in September of 2020, averaged less than 50,000 viewers in primetime. Perhaps Cuomo will give the network a bit of a boost.

During his interview with Abrams, Cuomo said, “I think we need insurgent media. I’m going to go where the news is and I’m going to try very hard to be fair. And I want to do it here. I want to make a difference, and I’m really hoping that it makes a difference for you. And I thank NewsNation very much for the opportunity.”

As far as CNN, Cuomo defended himself to Abrams, saying he never tried to influence coverage about his brother — either inside or outside of CNN. He told Abrams, “The truth is in the language. I could have contacted anybody who was working in the media, got a lot of relationships. And I probably could have justified it by just saying ‘I just want to make sure that you are straight on the facts. I don’t want to influence you.’ I never did that. And I think it’s a distinction with a difference and it’s something that we’ll figure out in the litigation.”

Garland on Trump

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, left, being interviewed by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt. (Photo courtesy of NBC News)

In an exclusive interview that aired Tuesday evening, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland if Garland had considered what the impact might be on an already divided country should  Donald Trump be indicted for the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Garland told Holt, “Look, we pursue justice without fear or favor. We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable. That’s what we do. We don’t pay any attention to other issues with respect to that.”

When pressed on whether or not a Trump candidacy for president in 2024 would have any impact on the Justice Department’s plans, Garland essentially repeated his answer by saying, “I’ll say again that we will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer —  legitimate, lawful transfer of power — from one administration to the next.”

Meanwhile …

“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell had an exclusive interview, too. Hers was with Dr. Caitlin Bernard, the Indiana doctor who recently provided an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.

O’Donnell asked Bernard, “There were Republican lawmakers, there was the Wall Street Journal editorial page, that doubted the veracity of that case. To those that doubt the veracity of children needing abortions, what would you say?”

Bernard said, “Come spend a day in my clinic. Come see the care that we provide every single day. You know, the situations that people find themselves in, and in need of abortion care, are some of the most difficult that you could imagine. And that’s why we, as physicians, need to be able to provide that care unhindered, that medical decisions need to be made between a physician and their patients.”

Asked if she felt threatened, Bernard said, “Yes. It shows how, you know, abortion, instead of being part of health care, which it is — a needed, life-saving procedure, which it is … has been used to create a wedge between people politically and personally. And it shows how far we have come and how sad that is.”

The consequences of the leak

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

Here’s quite the insider story of the day from CNN legal analyst and Supreme Court biographer Joan Biskupic: “The inside story of how John Roberts failed to save abortion rights.”

Biskupic writes that the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, “privately lobbied fellow conservatives to save the constitutional right to abortion down to the bitter end, but May’s unprecedented leak of a draft opinion reversing Roe v. Wade made the effort all but impossible, multiple sources familiar with negotiations told CNN.”

So that would suggest that the draft opinion leaked to Politico was not from someone who worked for one of the more liberal justices, but that it might have come from someone with ties to one of the conservative justices.

Biskupic wrote, “Multiple sources told CNN that Roberts’ overtures this spring, particularly to (Justice Brett) Kavanaugh, raised fears among conservatives and hope among liberals that the chief could change the outcome in the most closely watched case in decades. Once the draft was published by Politico, conservatives pressed their colleagues to try to hasten release of the final decision, lest anything suddenly threaten their majority.”

Biskupic added, “Roberts’ persuasive efforts, difficult even from the start, were thwarted by the sudden public nature of the state of play. He can usually work in private, seeking and offering concessions, without anyone beyond the court knowing how he or other individual justices have voted or what they may be writing.”

At the time of the leak, Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion and vowed to find the origins of the leak. Biskupic wrote, “But, of course, it was, most notably in diminishing whatever chance he had to dislodge the five-justice bloc set to overturn Roe. The aggressive leak investigation worsened the existing strains among the justices, their law clerks and other employees in the nine chambers.”

Some on social media suggested that the leak either came from a really smart person on the conservative side of the Supreme Court or from someone from the liberal side who didn’t think through the ramifications of the leak.

Big hire

Sheila Rayam has been named executive editor of The Buffalo News, making her the first Black journalist and the second woman to lead that paper in its 142-year history. She replaces Mike Connelly, who retired in May.

Rayam has been executive editor of Gannett’s Mohawk Valley news operations, including the Utica Observer-Dispatch, since April of 2021.

Buffalo News President and Publisher Tom Wiley told The Buffalo News’ Jon Harris, “We are proud to have Sheila as the eighth editor of The Buffalo News. Her intelligence, warmth and integrity combined with her passion for journalism will help lead our organization into an exciting future. She brings an impressive history of innovative, audience-focused journalism leadership to The Buffalo News.”

Rayam told Harris, “The thought of being in a city that I love and working and leading a team that I respect a great deal was just an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

Harris has much more on Rayam and her goals for The Buffalo News.

Money and McClatchy

For this item, I turn it over to Poynter media business analyst Rick Edmonds.

Money, the longtime personal finance magazine that converted to digital-only publication in 2019, has announced a deal to be the exclusive syndicated provider of that category to McClatchy and its 29 local outlets, including the Miami Herald and The Kansas City Star.

This is news of note partly because McClatchy has been making editorial investments, including in increased news staffing, since it was acquired by hedge fund Chatham Asset Management in the summer of 2020. That is a counter narrative to the thesis that hedge funds uniformly bring cuts and more cuts to their properties. However, true to the close-mouthed hedge fund norm, Chatham and McClathy have consistently declined to provide numbers and other details.

Who are … both of them?

Mayim Bialik in March of this year. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

In the year after the death of Alex Trebek, the classic TV game show “Jeopardy!” tried a rotation of guest hosts looking for a permanent replacement. It ultimately settled on two hosts — Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik — for the current season.

Going forward, the two will continue to split hosting duties. According to multiple reports, Jennings, the show’s 74-time champion, and Bialik, the actor who holds a doctorate in neuroscience, are finalizing deals to continue hosting.

Count me, an avid viewer of the show, as being all in on Jennings and Bialik. Both impressed as hosts and, as Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva wrote, “The pairing seemed to work well, and was well received by fans.”

A special recommendation

The latest “Sports Media with Richard Deitsch” podcast is a must-listen. Deitsch, who covers sports media for The Athletic, talks to his Athletic colleagues Katie Strang, Ian Mendes and Dan Robson about their reporting on sexual assault allegations involving Hockey Canada — the governing body of Canada’s amateur hockey.

They not only talk about the specifics of the case, but they also delve into their reporting process and how the media might have played a role in helping create a problematic culture inside hockey.

Media tidbits

Hot type

For Sports Illustrated, Julie Kliegman with “Sarah Fuller’s Journey From Football Kicker to Mental Health Advocate.”A fun list: Rolling Stone with the “200 Greatest Dance Songs of All-Time.”

Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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