Back when Rosie O'Donnell left The View, many industry watchers predicted the program would quickly return to its safe, easygoing roots (and that ratings would dive as a result). Oh, how they underestimated the Hasselbeck! The election year has provoked The View's resident Republican into a lather almost daily, whether she's obfuscating about Barack Obama or calling an unlikely moratorium on Sarah Palin discussion. In fact, things have gotten so heated lately that rampant speculation had Hasselbeck headed for Fox News, forcing her agent to issue a statement today:
"While Elisabeth [Hasselbeck] has a great relationship with Fox News, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that she is leaving The View," her agent said in a statement on Thursday. "Elisabeth is passionate in her beliefs and enjoys being a part of this dynamic group of women and engaging in daily conversations." The show's Executive Publicity Director added: "Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, executive producers of The View, consider Elisabeth to be vital to the program."
Coincidentally, so do Defamer traffic figures! In all seriousness, there isn't a surfeit of female, Hollywood Republicans to replace Hasselbeck with (unless producers plan to make entreaties to Gail O'Grady or Patricia Heaton) and the full head of steam she's been working up has made the show as relevant as its ever been. You can stay for now, Elizabeth. But no hugs. [Photo Credit: Getty Images]