Moment of Then: Rosie O’Donnell vs. Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Of all the feuds on The View (and there have been many), none was quite as memorable — or game-changing — than the now-infamous fight between Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck on May 23, 2007.
The live, unedited fight — which probably wouldn’t have even lasted as long as it did had Barbara Walters been there that day to stop it — started over the War in Iraq, but quickly escalated into other things. Most arguments were political; others seemed deeply personal, as if emotions had been stewing behind the scenes for months upon months. It was ugly, and unfortunate and awkward, but like so many live television moments, you couldn’t look away.
The effects, of course, were both immediate and longterm; O’Donnell never returned to the show after that episode, while Hasselbeck remained with The View through its current season. (Her final day is today.) She became a cat of nine lives, in a way, as her conservative claws sharpened and her opinions remained firmly on the Right.
Although some may argue that it was this feud that inevitably catalyzed her exit. From thereon, she became permanently, hopelessly conservative, and would often dig herself deeper into arguments she ultimately could not get herself out of. Watching her banter and fight with the remaining panel was like waiting for the other shoe to drop, which it did finally on Tuesday when Hasselback announced she was leaving to host, you guessed it, Fox and Friends.
Either way, the fight remains a crucial moment in The View’s history, one that defined the show as a place for discussion and political arguments, rather than a fluff tank about fashion, trends and celebrities. Hasselback’s exit today will likely be tearful, and many will be sad to see her go. But no one is likely to forget the day she went at it with Rosie O’Donnell, not then, not now, and certainly not in the years to come.
Relive the fight in the video, above.