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‘View’ Hosts Address O’Donnell Departure

May 29, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Life—and the search for new co-hosts—goes on at “The View.”
In their first live get together since Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s nuclear war of words May 23, co-hosts Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Ms. Hasselbeck on Tuesday addressed the events that led to Ms. O’Donnell leaving the show three weeks earlier than planned.
While newly trim guest co-host Whoopi Goldberg avoided joining the post-mortem, Ms. Walters assured the audience that “this makes us very sad.”
“Rosie and I have been e-mailing each other all weekend with the most affectionate notes, because we are very close friends,” said Ms. Walters, who created the daytime show. She said “nothing will change” the admiration and affection.
She said the decisions to leave the show after one season and to leave three weeks early, were Ms. O’Donnell’s.
While Ms. Walters alluded to a video posted on Ms. O’Donnell’s Web site Monday when she noted that one of Ms. O’Donnell’s sore spots was the split screen “The View” displayed at the heights of the argument in which both Ms. O’Donnell and Ms. Hasselbeck referred to each other as “cowardly.”
“I think so much was exacerbated by a very hot discussion that usually takes place off camera and took place on camera,” she said. “It is ‘The View. We do have different opinions.”
Despite the impression Ms. O’Donnell gave in her weekend video, Ms. Hasselbeck said “we were in communication a lot.”
The youngest of the co-hosts said the blow-up and fall-out created the opportunity to tackle the hottest topic of all: “the power of forgiveness. I believe we’ve begun that.”
Ms. Walters said Ms. O’Donnell is “welcome to come back any time she wants, and we hope it will be often.”
Without mentioning the increased ratings for which Ms. O’Donnell has been credited this season, Ms. Walters said “‘The View’ will go on. There will new people added to the panel. We’ve been a hot show for 10 years and it will continue to be a hot show for many years.”
Ms. Behar, whose decision to read a list of reasons she doesn’t like President George Bush inadvertently triggered the May 23 between the anti-Bush O’Donnell and the pro-Bush Hasselbeck, said a broad goodbye Tuesday. “I miss every one of the women who have come and gone,” she said naming former co-hosts—including Lisa Ling, whose recent wedding was noted. “It’s a group. It’s a family, in a way. So you have these dysfunctional moments. You feel bad about them for a moment and then people move on with their lives. It’s showbiz.”
As if to underscore that, comedian Jeffrey Ross, appearing to promote “The Next Best Thing,” ABC’s summer celebrity look-alike competition, joked that he was going to join “The View” because “they wanted a less masculine view on the show.”

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