Meghan McCain, all-purpose media whatever, shares her side at storytelling event with Forest Whitaker


Meghan McCain on stage at the Newseum. (William B. Plowman/USA Network)

On Wednesday night, McCain — along with Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker — headlined an evening of monologues at the Newseum, billed by hosts USA Network and storytelling collective The Moth as “stories of prejudice and power.”

One man recounted how his mother set fire to all his belongings after he came out as gay. Another, who has cerebral palsy, regaled the audience with his humiliating encounter with a manic faith healer. A third man described the bullying of his teenaged son, who later killed himself. Whitaker, deploying that great, soft voice that makes you lean in to listen, talked about growing up in a still-segregated community.


Forest Whitaker, Meghan McCain and USA Network Co-President Chris McCumber. (William B. Plowman/USA Network)

Er, raise your hand if you can relate? Still, McCain’s vivacity (and comfort dropping a few four-letter words) drew some warm laughter and applause. “I started getting requests from colleges not to talk about politics but to talk about my weight,” she said, but “I started to feel empowered” by leading discussions on body image. “I’d like to say I’m totally over it, but I’m not. This comes up in every interview I do.”

Read earlier: Meghan McCain writes new memoir, overshares a little bit more -- and here are the best parts, 9/1/10

Meghan McCain plays hooky from book tour, gets caught via her own tweet, 9/24/10

Flashback: Meghan McCain offers her own straight talk on the campaign, 3/28/08

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