Rosie O’Donnell will not be rejoining the ABC morning talk fest, The View, until September and yet, controversy and comments continue to amass around her return. On Wednesday, former View co-panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck attacked O’Donnell relentlessly and now, another previous co-host, Joy Behar, has spoken out. This time around, however, it is in defense of O’Donnell and in response to Hasselbeck’s strong criticism.
On Wednesday morning, Hasselbeck, 37, spoke via her show, Fox & Friends, on The View’s decision to rehire O’Donnell, 52, after she famously walked away from the show in 2007. On Wednesday evening, Behar said that it surprised her that Hasselbeck had such a strong negative opinion about things, especially when it came to calling O’Donnell out as a person who “spit in the face of our military, her own network, and in the face of a person who stood by her.”
“I thought that was really kind of below the belt,” Behar expressed to CNN anchor Don Lemon. “I’d like Elisabeth to explain herself, really. What does she mean by that?”
Behar, 71, also said that she considers O’Donnell a “good” and “generous person”.
“She’s always rescuing children. I mean, she has more kids than [Michelle] Duggar at this point on her roster.”
Behar was a panelist on The View since the show’s inception, beginning back in 1997. She was one of the final original co-hosts to leave the show in August of 2013, sticking around for over 16 years. Actress Jenny McCarthy would take her place, although she would last only one season.
“It seemed like the right time,” she said of her decision to part ways with The View. “You reach a point when you say to yourself, ‘Do I want to keep doing this?’ There are other things on my plate I want to do.”
Even before she left, Behar attempted to juggle more than one talk show. She was the host of The Joy Behar Show on HLN from 2009 to 2011. She also was the head of another show, Current TV’s Joy Behar: Say Anything. That series lasted a year, from 2012 to 2013, until Current TV was bought out by the Al Jazeera Media Network.
When it came to her thoughts regarding the decision of the network that made her a household name, Behar, like Hasselbeck, said she was not that surprised to hear of O’Donnell coming back to The View.
“They thrive on ratings [and] she’ll probably bring ratings,” she explained. “She’s very edgy and I think they’re really looking to soup up the show.”
Behar was also present on the day of the infamous argument between Hasselbeck and O’Donnell, when the two women verbally sparred about the casualties of the Iraqi War and who truly was to blame for the high number of lives lost. However, Behar remains steadfastly on O’Donnell’s side, saying that Hasselbeck’s rationalization of O’Donnell “spitting in the face of our military” was a dangerous one to have.
“It’s not true. I would like [Hasselbeck] to prove it,” Behar demanded, before joking, “everything is fiction on FOX anyway, what am I talking about?”
By Jonathan Brown