Barbara Walters took the opportunity on Monday’s The View to refute the claims that conservative host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was set to be fired from the show.

“There is a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s alleged departure, saying we don’t approve of her conservative views,” Walters said. “The truth is, we love Elisabeth… We value and appreciate her point of view. She helps give this show perspective and balance… So we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show.”

Walters went on to state that neither she, nor executive producer Bill Geddie would disallow any The View hosts from leaving the show if they wished to do so. It’s possible that by announcing that the door to departure is wide open, Walters was prepping the fans for Hasselbeck’s “voluntary” exit.

Once it was reported last week that Joy Behar was quitting The View and that Hasselbeck would be fired because of fans' dislike of her ultra-conservative opinions, rumors for potential replacements began swirling. Brooke Shields is a possible addition to the panel, according to Showbiz411. Apparently Walters is eager to have Shields on board, and is close to getting her way. Message boards mention Meghan McCain as a good potential replacement for Hasselbeck. The Daily Currant, a satire site, has suggested that Sarah Palin will be filling her chair.


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