The View‘s occasional role as a contentious front for American political debate goes back to well before its very prominent conservative co-host Meghan McCain joined up. Variety has now released explosive audio recorded during a commercial break the show went on back in August 2006 after an on-air discussion about the morning after pill got especially tense. On the audio, then-co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck tries to quit the show in a rage.
Before the commercial break, Hasselbeck rants:
‘This medication should be available only for special situations… This is a slippery slope to just eliminating life. For people who want the government to stay out of their business and do what the heck you want with your bodies and kick them out — then why are you for universal health care?’
Besides the tension that erupted during the break, jumping from birth control to “eliminating life” is an outlandish leap, to put it lightly.
Then-co-host Barbara Walters tried to cut in to calm things down, offering:
‘I think the most important thing, which is what we see today, is that we’ve got to be able to have these discussions and listen to other people and not go so crazy that you don’t listen.’
It didn’t work.
In audio taken from the break, an obviously emotional Hasselbeck shares:
‘Fuck that! I’m not going to sit there and get reprimanded on the air… what the fuck! I’m not going back out there… I can take it in the meeting, I’m not taking it out there on-air!.. What the fuck! I don’t even swear. She has me swearing. This woman is driving me nuts. Goodbye! I’m off! Write about that in the New York fucking Post!’
On the audio Variety shared, interspersed with Hasselbeck’s passionate ranting, fellow co-host Joy Behar (who’s still on the show) can be heard trying to calm Hasselbeck down. She had lost control over Walters saying we ought to “listen to other people and not go so crazy” that you don’t actually take in what they’re saying. Maybe Hasselbeck’s mindset in opposition to that explains a lot about the current direction of the Republican Party.
At the end of her above-quoted commentary, she stormed to her dressing room, where the show’s Executive Producer Bill Geddie joined the effort to try and get Hasselbeck to not quit her job in the middle of a live broadcast. He proved successful, having offered some support for her view that Walters went too far, and she returned to the stage. There, she and Walters together addressed the previous drama and tried to bridge the divide once the live broadcast restarted.
Watch and listen:
Hasselbeck ended up actually leaving the show a number of years later, at which time she began a comparatively brief stint on eventual President Donald Trump’s often preferred cable broadcast these days — Fox & Friends. She worked alongside the same two male hosts who are still on the show, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy.
In the time since her departure, The View has often remained a hotbed for controversy. At one point recently, Behar angrily suggested she would be leaving the show after a particularly contentious exchange with McCain, although she didn’t make her pronouncement nearly as dramatically as Hasselbeck.
Featured Image via screenshot