Barbara Walters refuted claims on ABC's "The View" Monday morning that fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was fired and asserted that she is appreciated for her differing political stance.
"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," Miss Walters said. "The truth is … we value and appreciate her point of view, it's important to us, because it helps give the show perspective and balance."
Miss Hasselbeck, 35, whose conservative beliefs continually pit her against the four other left-leaning women on the show, reportedly was fired last week after beginning with the show in 2003.
"The viewers they polled all said she was too extreme and right-wing," a show insider told UsMagazine.com Friday. "People did not watch the show because of Elisabeth. So they told her yesterday her contract would not be renewed."
Miss Walters denied the report on Monday, telling viewers "we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show."
"Having said that to all of you, [executive producer 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," she said to Miss Hasselbeck and the other women on the panel, which also includes Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd.
The confusion comes in the wake of another co-host, Joy Behar, announcing that she is exiting the show in August after 16 years.
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