TVNewser reported on Friday that two separate sources said that this season would be Hasselbeck’s last as co-host. Today, after toasting Behar, Barbara Walters said “we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show,” adding:
“On a more serious note, before we get on with ‘hot topics,’ there’s a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s alleged departure saying we don’t approve of her conservative views. The truth is we love Elisabeth, I like her personally, and she’s a wonderful person. But beyond that we value and appreciate her point of view, it’s important to us, because it helps give the show perspective and balance, and believe me she’s tougher than she looks. She has to be, to be here for a decade and take the guff that we give her. We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show. Having said that to all of you, Bill [Geddie] and I have always said that when one of you make the choice to leave, that’s your choice, and we will support your decision.”
We never reported that politics was behind the decision for Hasselbeck to leave, simply that she was unlikely to return. Walters left open the possibility that she may do so.