'The View,' Suddenly In Rosie's Rearview

By John Maynard
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 26, 2007

We've heard Rosie O'Donnell's last rant on "The View."

ABC announced late yesterday that O'Donnell, who joined the show in September, has left the daytime gabfest. Her exit had been scheduled for June 20.

"We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave," Brian Frons, president of daytime programming for Disney-ABC Television Group, said yesterday in a statement. "Therefore, we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to 'The View' and wish her well."

Calls to the show's representative yesterday were not returned.

In a statement yesterday, O'Donnell said: "It's been an amazing year and I love all three women" -- referring to co-hosts Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar.

The announcement came two days after O'Donnell's last appearance on the show, when she had a heated exchange with Hasselbeck, a frequent political foe.

Wednesday's five-minute dust-up began when O'Donnell criticized Hasselbeck for not standing up for her when "Republican pundits" suggested that O'Donnell had equated U.S. troops to "terrorists" on a show that aired the previous week.

"I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying," O'Donnell said to Hasselbeck.

"Did I say yes?" Hasselbeck responded.

"You said nothing and that's cowardly," O'Donnell replied.

"No, no, no. Do not call me a coward, because I sit here every single day, open my heart and tell people exactly what I believe!" Hasselbeck yelled.

Early in the exchange, O'Donnell said she was wary of starting an argument with Hasselbeck. "Here's how it gets spun in the media," said O'Donnell, 45. "Rosie, big fat lesbian, Rosie attacks innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth."

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