Elisabeth Hasselbeck says goodbye to ‘The View’
(CNN) — Elisabeth Hasselbeck has had her fair share of tense hours on “The View,” but her last day wasn’t one of them.
On Wednesday, Hasselbeck walked out with co-host Barbara Walters arm-in-arm, and began by confirming that she’s leaving “The View” after 10 years to join Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” in September.
In addition to thanking Fox News for opening up the opportunity, she also was profusely grateful to her co-hosts.
“Everyone always asks me, ‘what’s Whoopi like?’” Hasselbeck told her co-host Whoopi Goldberg. “You’re one of the most talented artists on this planet, but when they ask me what you’re like, yes you are that, but you’re even more loving than you are talented. You are walking unconditional love … and I’m blessed to have called myself a friend of yours.”
Hasselbeck admitted that she and Joy Behar have frequently feuded, but she said that off-camera, the two were friends.
“Joy and I have spent the past ten years sparring over politics, but I have the most insane amount of respect for you,” Hasselbeck told Behar.
Sherri Shepherd wasn’t present during Hasselbeck’s farewell, and she joked that Shepherd’s “protest of absence is not working. I’m still going … [but] I love you, Sherri. Even when you’re not right beside me, you’re always with me. You’re my sister in Christ.”
And to Barbara Walters, who will soon also depart the series she helped create, Hasselbeck thanked her for being a great teacher.
“I could be wrong, but I think I have over 3,000 days working by your side,” she told Walters. “Over the course of a decade, I feel as though I’ve attended the Barbara Walters School of Broadcasting Journalism … I feel more than prepared at this point because of all that you’ve given me, [and] confident to move forward. I can’t ask for a better leader and mentor.”
The ladies returned the love, complimenting Hasselbeck for standing by her opinions even when the debates became heated, and for being there for them as a friend.
“I have to say that I appreciated your presence a lot,” Behar said. “When we got into it, it was exciting, for the show I think. We probably have enemies because of it, but so what? But we never were mad at each other. We’d finish the argument, and talk about our shoes or something. Elisabeth has always been professional. I’m glad to see that you’re moving into a great job.”
Goldberg chimed in to tell the new Fox News name that she thinks Hasselbeck is “the cat’s meow. You’ve been a really good friend to me, and I appreciate you. And may we both continue to grow.”
And from Shepherd, via Twitter: “Love you too my sister-in-Christ…My Bridesmaid…My Friend. Who’s hand will I hold under the table? Who will pray w me? … We may not always agree politically, but @ehasselbeck is one of the most genuine people I know & I am honored to call her my friend #love.”
Hasselbeck joined “The View” after Lisa Ling left the program, and Walters, having hired the then-newlywed with a conservative perspective, was perhaps the most emotional about Hasselbeck’s exit.
“I have a lot of affection for you,” Walters told her. “We feel that you always brought a fresh voice to the show. You stood by your opinions even when things were very heated, and that’s not an easy thing to do … You’re going to leave a big void at this table, and we’re not going to fill this very soon.”
The plan, Walters said, is to use plenty of guest hosts while the show tries to figure out who may step in to fill some of “The View’s” empty seats. Joy Behar, too, is leaving at the end of this season, the show’s 16th.
But for the time being – the rest of Wednesday’s episode, at least – Hasselbeck was still a “View” co-host. “Come back to us, come visit whenever you feel like it,” Walters said. “You’re leaving us, and you’re taking a lot of love with you. … Remember when you’re with Fox, to take a little time to enjoy the ‘View.’”