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Meghan McCain: The Worst of Millennial Culture

Society & Culture  (tags: millenials, Meghan McCain, society, culture, Americans, celebrity, politics, family, women, sadness, news, ethics )

- 1737 days ago -
Meghan McCain is the epitome of what it is to be not a millennial -- but the media perception of a millennial. The media wished that millennials, as a group, could be self-absorbed, entitled and unimaginative; Meghan McCain rose to the challenge.

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Carrie B (306)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 1:25 pm

John McCain's daughter knows little about history or politics -- but keeps getting platforms to spout her ignorance

Millennials, the generation that came after Gen-Y and is nebulously responsible for the success of Twitter, debit cards and *NSYNC, are as easy to mock as they are to use as a marketing metric.

And, until I saw “Raising McCain,” I had thought millennials got a bad rap.

The series, which debuts on the new network Pivot TV this Saturday, is a combination talk show and unscripted series — half “The View,” half “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” It follows the exploits of one Meghan McCain, the daughter of the current U.S. senator from Arizona and one-time presidential nominee John McCain; she alternates between interviewing her guest and showing a slice of what it is like to be the daughter of a U.S. senator who lost the presidency in a landslide. She has been given 30 minutes a week on an aspirant cable network to prove that she has nothing to say.

Meghan McCain is the epitome of what it is to be not a millennial — a group of individuals of multifarious racial and class backgrounds — but the media perception of a millennial. The media wished that millennials, as a group, could be self-absorbed, entitled and unimaginative; Meghan McCain rose to the challenge.

Prior to the release of her current series, Meghan McCain was a columnist for the Daily Beast; her columns for the site, for which her last piece ran shortly after the last presidential election, included such pieces as “Yes, I Wear Fake Hair” and “The GOP’s House Hottie.” She interviewed Snooki, too!

Obsession with pop culture: Check! We’re well on our way to filling out the millennial scorecard. Prior to her present engagement with Pivot, when pressed on anything more troubling than “Jersey Shore” or her apparently ongoing and one-sided feud with the Palin family, McCain defaulted. (To her credit, she has spoken out consistently on behalf of gay rights; such speaking out, however, has generally tended toward the self-aggrandizing, as in her memoir of martyrdom “Dirty Sexy Politics” or her posing for a glam photo shoot to … benefit … gay people … somehow?) Asked, on Bill Maher’s “Real Time,” to defend a point she made criticizing the Obama administration in the context of the Reagan years, McCain replied, “I wasn’t born yet, so I don’t know.”

This was not exactly calling up the ghost of Franklin Pierce. McCain was born in 1984, during the Reagan administration, a period of history about which information is readily available — particularly to a self-styled Republican pundit who has far more access than most Americans could ever dream of.

On its face, nepotism is not worth crying over; it’s the unfortunate way of the world. Most Arkansas schoolchildren don’t end up profiled in Vogue and helping to run global foundations, and yet Chelsea Clinton seems a serious-minded person. Good for her! (Other such cases of nepotism are much more frustrating — but at least, unlike McCain, Luke Russert has stuck with his position as an MSNBC on-air personality!) And yet McCain’s apparent belief that she deserves a seat at the table — that her thoughts, such as they are, ought to drive the national conversation — shocks the conscience. It is the hauteur that only a millennial could possibly possess.

I recognize that this reads as harsh. But the second episode of “Raising McCain,” which I have seen, features a lengthy discussion of feminism, which McCain dismisses as irrelevant to the women of today. The episode, already savaged by the New Yorker, features McCain arguing that feminism out-of-hand is irrelevant to the women of today. If you want to be sexy and fun, McCain alleges, feminism is an outmoded model. “Who doesn’t like getting attention from the opposite sex?” she asks.

Ironically, in presenting her observations about feminism as a broken model (as have many celebrities before her), McCain is parroting decades-old received wisdom. “This is the scene that has permeated news media as well as pop culture about feminism since pretty much the late ’70s,” said Jennifer L. Pozner, the founder and executive director of Women in Media and News.

“The most unsexy thing in the world is to recycle 40-year-old stereotypes.”

When McCain decides to rebrand feminism, at episode’s end, as something fun and sexy that she’s made up, she’s actually just talking about … regular old feminism. Her blindered willingness to presume nothing happened when she was born — and even for parts of her lifetime — is precisely the millennial self-centeredness critics in the media presume of all in this generation. The first episode — about privacy in the surveillance age — is somewhat less objectionable, though McCain interrogates her guest about the degree to which her enemies might be able to detect her movements. What — is the real hair movement finally striking back against that Daily Beast column where McCain admitted to wearing a weave?

It’s easy to make fun of millennials. It’s even easier to do so when one presents herself as the earnest spokesperson for a generational shift — and does so by repurposing old and erroneous ideas as her own and adding no value to jobs earned solely on the back of dad’s name.

Remind me why we all make fun of Lena Dunham again?

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section.

Alan Lambert (91)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 1:31 pm
Luke Russert is growing into a pretty darned good reporter and to be slightly crude about Meghan McCain, I'd hit that.

Diane O (194)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 1:40 pm
Well, right off the bat, we need to correct the article above which states that Obama beat John McCain by a landslide. Obama received 53% of the votes.....hardly a landslide.

I believe Meghan McCain, like some offspring of a highly visible political figure, will have a rough time of establishing herself as a "serious" anything. Chelsea Clinton suffers as well.

I'm not sure why Megan McCain is even important to anything. She is simply a young woman who speaks her mind and in so doing leaves herself open for criticism because her father is who he is.

. I don't believe I'll be watching this.

Sue Matheson (79)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 2:19 pm

Barbara K (60)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 2:22 pm
I've seen her several times on TV and she is just another Tbagger.

Elizabeth M (65)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 2:47 pm
Thanks for the article Carrie
In my opinion Meghan McCain is another young person who feels she deserves whatever she wants. I have listened to her a few times and couldn't believe how she thinks her opinions are the only ones.

Jo S (619)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 3:01 pm
Noted & shared.
Thanks Caririe.

Carrie B (306)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 3:04 pm
Meghan McCain is definitely not in the same league with Chelsea Clinton ~ who is a well educated, successful, articulate young woman who does not need or crave the spotlight like McCain.

Kit B (276)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 3:10 pm

Neither Meghan McCain nor Liz Cheney have done the hard work to prove they have or can contribute to society. Running about on Daddy's name is not impressive. Do something to make yourself important or relevant, then run for office. The problem is we now have a celebrity culture, people known for being known.
Chelsea Clinton seems to find her work fulfilling and avoids much of the spotlight. Though her work is beginning to gain some attention. She is a special correspondent for NBC News, and works with the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. Still another daughter of an important man. She may find politics interesting at some point, if so she knows she will have to carve out her own place.

Kit B (276)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 3:15 pm

In the United States we decide elections by the electoral vote.

In 2008 that vote was

Obama - 365 --- McCain - 173

Needed to win: 270 - that was very clear cut win.


Linda Moore (240)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 4:58 pm

Like her father, she is a bore. Let's stop giving her attention. Except Alan, if he can!!!

Birgit W (160)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 5:02 pm
Noted, thanks.

JL A (281)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 6:13 pm
Electoral college was indeed what is considered a landslide:
Electoral Vote
y Popular Vote Electoral Vote
Barack H. Obama Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Democratic 69,499,428 52.87% 365 67.8%
John S. McCain, III Sarah H. Palin Republican 59,950,323 45.60% 173 32.2%

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 12:41 am
Marketing, marketing, marketing that's the ideal of the new generation. To create jobs all governments are pushing entrepreneurship. Well, what can we say, it's a sign of our times and, if social media supports this then it is what it is.

Amy F (11)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 12:53 am
I've seen her pontificate on TV. Beyond the gay thing, which alone makes Teabaggers squirm, she has nothing interesting or original to say. She's touted as the voice of the New Republican Party, which makes sense, as Republicans today have no good ideas, just recycled garbage, things like "restoring family values", except that different families have different values

Jonathan Harper (0)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 2:17 am

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 5:18 am

. (0)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 7:23 am
Great article, Carrie. Thanks for sharing.

Jason R (67)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 11:19 am
Meghan McCain: Dumbed down like the rest of the baggers. I cringe when she speaks.

Rehana VN (0)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 12:06 pm
This woman actually walks & breathes at the same time, Amazing!!!

Winnie A (179)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 1:26 pm
I doubt I'll be watching her show any time in this century.

Diane O (194)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 2:23 pm
Hey, liberals, I feel your pain. There are people who absolutely, by hearing their voice, make us cringe. For me, it's Hillary Clinton in her new "clipped" serious, slow talking speech except when she lost all control and raised her arms and asked, "What differences DOES it make?" Hillary Clinton has the same effect on me that Meghan McCain has on you.

So, trust me, I get it.

Lois Jordan (63)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 2:26 pm
Nope, I've sworn off watching all stuff that just wastes my time and my brain like this drivel from McCain. Let's not forget that she's an heiress. Her mother, Cindy Hensley McCain was the money behind everything John McCain has done from the start. She inherited a fortune, and will pass that on to her kids. Meghan apparently just wants her own little slice of celebrity, and will get it the only way she knows how. Education? She don't need no freaking education. lol. Can't remember how I ended up receiving mailings from Pivot....but I will be unsubscribing.

Diane O (194)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 3:08 pm
Lois, you are correct! There is certainly family money on Cindy McCain's side. She inherited a great deal but she is also managing that business and keeping a watchful eye on it. She is a smart cookie and I would venture to say that ANYONE ONE OF US here on Care 2 who inherited a great deal of money from our parents would do exactly as she is doing. There's no stigma attached to inheritance.

In Meghan's defense, she is a the offspring of high profile parents. She didn't ask for this. She was born into this. If you don't like her simply don't follow her. That's what I do.

reft h (66)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 3:25 pm
no reason to watch her.

Diane O (194)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 3:40 pm
June, that's exactly the way I feel. We are adults...we are smart....we decide who is important and who is not. It matters how we, as individuals, feel and we have the power to "ignore" those who annoy us.

Charlene Rush (79)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 5:32 pm
It must be nice to have a parent who is prominent figure.
It opens all kinds of doors, whether you deserve it or not.

Dogan Ozkan (5)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 10:26 pm

Jason R (67)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 10:26 am
It's NOT the voice, Diane. slaps head..It's the words! Can an adult 4th grader see that they need to grow up? I guess not.

Diane O (194)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 3:40 pm
Jason, I don't know why I respond to you. I need clarity on your last post since you actually typed in my name...Diane. What in the name of Ned are you talking about?

Diane O (194)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 3:41 pm
There are certified "airheads" on both sides of the political arena....we are talking about their off spring are we not? Just because their mother or father are considered "centers of influence" in no way gives them a certificate that states that whatever they say is coherent or even important. But, Jason, you know this...right? We are judged as individuals or we should be.
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