Conservative daytime talk appeared to be taking a bow with the report that ABC was not going to be renewing talk show host Elisabeth Hasselbeck's contract on The View. However, Barbara Walters announced on-air on Monday that the reports are absolutely false.
"There is a partcularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s alleged departure saying that we don’t approve of her conservative views," Walters said. "The truth is we love Elisabeth. I like her personally. She’s just a wonderful person. But beyond that, we value and appreciate her point of view. It’s important to us because Elisabeth helps give this show perspective and balance. And believe me, she’s tougher than she looks. She’d have to be to sit here for a decade and take the kind of guff we give her. So we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show."
The false story Walters was referring to included a quote from an insider who claimed, "The viewers [the network] polled all said she was too extreme and right wing. People did not watch the show because of Elisabeth. So they told her [Thursday, March 7] her contract would not be renewed."
Apparently, the insider didn't know what he/she was talking about but sure got all of the media outlets reeling for a spell.
Known for her fiery political and religiously conservative Christian beliefs, Hasselbeck, 35, joined The View in November 2003. Since then she's gotten into famous on-air fisticuffs with various liberal-minded personalities, most notably with co-host Rosie O'Donnell, who left the show in 2007.
The false report about Hasselbeck leaving comes on the heels of Joy Behar's amicable exit from the show.
"It seemed like the right time," Behar told Deadline last Thursday. “You reach a point when you say to yourself, ‘Do I want to keep doing this?’ There are other things on my plate I want to do—I’ve been writing a play, I’ve been neglecting my standup."
Having joined The View since it debuted in 1997, Behar, 70, will remain on the show until the season ends in August.