TV Article

Point of 'View'

Is Elisabeth Hasselback the new Star Jones? -- ''The View'' talk show sidekick gets rowdy and opinionated

Who'd have thought Star Jones Reynolds would be the calm, rational one? No sooner did the frequently mercurial Jones Reynolds exit The View — booted by producers including Barbara Walters, but being humbly gracious to her executioners in interviews — than all heck broke loose, turning the show into must-watch TV. And all from the least likely source: heretofore-quiet mouse Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

On Aug. 2, she went off on an angry, sometimes incoherent tirade about the evils of the morning-after birth-control pill, to the point where Walters told her to calm down. When they came back from the break, Hasselbeck looked as though she'd been crying and was hugging Mama Baba, who told her she appreciated her ''passion.'' A day later, Hasselbeck revealed her Harsh Mistress side by telling an anecdote about encountering a babysitter who Hasselbeck felt was neglecting her young charges on a New York City street. She read a description of her (she'd taken notes!) so that the babysitter might be fired — as would, presumably, scores of other babysitters who may have fit that description. Earlier, on July 17, jamming on Peter Cook's betrayal of Christie Brinkley, The Hass called any woman who'd sleep with a married man a ''ho-bag''; minutes later, Walters admitted that she'd been involved with a married man when she was 19.

Our questions:

• Just how double-super happy is Meredith Vieira that she's escaped from this coffee clash?

• Is Rosie O'Donnell, scheduled to finally replace Vieira on Sept. 5, reading the fine print of her contract for a loophole out, or is she licking her chops and roaring to everyone in sight, ''Let me at 'em! I'll eat that Hasselbeck kid for breakfast!''?

Originally posted Aug 11, 2006 Published in issue #891-892 Aug 18, 2006 Order article reprints