In her decade-long tenure on The View from 2003 to 2013, former co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was no stranger to controversy, often due to her far-right leaning political views, which caused her to butt heads with her fellow panelists. But what most people don’t know is that Hasselbeck came very close to quitting in 2006 over an on-air spat with Barbara Walters, which led to some fairly explosive behind the scenes theatrics.
The topic of conversation on that particular day was a proposal by the FDA to sell the morning-after pill as an over-the-counter drug. Hasselbeck was naturally not a fan of the idea, as she believes life begins at conception, and got perhaps a bit too worked up about it. Walters attempted to diffuse the situation by telling Hasselbeck to calm down, emphasizing that they “need to learn how to discuss these sort of things in some sort of rational way.”
Suffice to say, that did not sit well with Hasselbeck, who proceeded to rip up her note cards and storm off stage. The encounter is detailed in a new book called Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, and Variety subsequently obtained audio footage of the ensuing meltdown, which went as follows.
“F— that!” Hassselbeck screamed in a narrow corridor behind the stage, according to an audio tape of the exchange. “I’m not going to sit there and get reprimanded on the air. It’s not ok to sit there and get reprimanded on the air.”
“Come into my office here,” Behar said, trying to calm her down.
“What the f—!” Hasselbeck yelled back. “I don’t even swear. She has me swearing. This woman is driving me nuts. I’m not going back. I can’t do the show like this. She just reprimanded me, and she knew exactly what she was doing. Good-bye! I’m off. Write about that in the New York F—ING Post!”
Eventually, producers were able to calm Hasselbeck down and get her to return to the stage, but nevertheless it was a harrowing several minutes, as you can hear in the full clip below:
Hassselbeck responded to the nearly 13 year old incident on Instagram Friday, writing: “I am quite humanly reactive. I used bad words when frustrated.” She went on to elaborate that she was pregnant with her eldest son at the time, and the topic may have hit a little too close to home.
“In the heat of the moment, when I felt the need to protect what I knew to be truth and had seen with my own eyes on ultrasound the LIFE in my own shell of a body — I used big battle words,” she wrote.
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This. Just. In: Yes-There were times when I was quite humanly reactive. I used a bad word when frustrated. I was pregnant with Taylor and a big conversation about the value and the lives of the unborn took place at the View. It was a battle -but not of the flesh. I used fighting words because I believe that God decides the value of the lives of babies. We care for a group of Robin’s eggs in a nest before they are hatched and likely would think twice before stomping on the awesome blue shells because we know what God placed inside the hard womb. And in the heat of the moment, when I felt the need to protect what I knew to be truth and had seen with my own eyes on ultrasound the LIFE in my own shell of a body- I used big battle words (one in particular that I am not proud of and am sorry for using in the heat of trying to defend the lives of the unborn). 2 things I have grown to learn: 1) there are words that DISTRACT from your point: Choose wisely 2) I have a God who fights the battle. I don’t have to do that all on my own. God has changed my ways. He has given me a new thing – it is my heart. He literally did that and I wrote a lot about it in #PointOfViewBook and I boast of plenty of failure and imperfection there. I still hold all my Constitutionally protected rights to freedom of faith : but now: I can hold the hand of the person who does not agree at the same time 💕💕💕💕 because I believe that we can do that by His grace. hold truth and hold grace as best we can. BY HIS POWER. In my weakness I am made strong. My new word that begins with the letter F: FAITHFUL Because that is who GOD IS
Hassselbeck eventually left The View in 2013 to co-host Fox & Friends, where you’d have to think she probably dropped far fewer F-bombs.