Elisabeth Hasselbeck Threatened to Quit 'The View' After Fight with Barbara Walters, Audio Reveals

The fight started as the women were discussing a proposal from the FDA to allow the morning-after pill for over-the-counter consumption


The View bombshells just keep coming.

According to Ramin Setoodeh's book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, former conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck once tried to the quit in the middle of a commercial break after a fight with Barbara Walters, the legendary broadcaster who launched the daytime talk show in 1997.

The argument, which happened on Aug. 2, 2006, started while the panel was discussing a proposal from the FDA to allow the morning-after pill for over-the-counter consumption.

Hasselbeck got heated as she argued that it was a "slippery slope to eliminating life." She was interrupted by Walters, who insisted that we "have to learn how to discuss these things in some sort of rational way" before the show cut to a commercial break — but not before a furious Hasselbeck was seen tearing up her notecards at the table.

According to an audio tape published by Variety on Friday, Hasselbeck immediately bolted backstage and started ranting about Walters to co-host Joy Behar.

"F— that!" she screamed. "I'm not going to sit there and get reprimanded on the air. It's not okay to sit there and get reprimanded on the air. What the f—? I'm not going back out there."

As Behar tried to usher her into her office, Hasselbeck continued to fume.

"What the f—! I don't even swear. She has me swearing. This woman is driving me nuts," she said. "I'm not going back. I can't do the show like this. She just reprimanded me, and she knew exactly what she was doing. Goodbye! I'm off. Write about that in the New York f—ing Post!"

Hasselbeck then stormed off to her dressing room. With just minutes left before the live program returned, the show's executive producer Bill Geddie managed to convince her to return.

She sat down with Walters and the two women put their arms around each other as the show went live.

"The wonderful thing about this show is that we can have discussions that we feel very emotional about," Walters said. "And we respect your opinions. I love your passion."

"Thank you," Hasselbeck said. "I respect yours as well. I love being here with you guys. I want to be able to be passionate."

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Walters, 89, is not commenting on the audio. A rep for The View had no comment, either.

Hasselbeck, 41, addressed the news with a lengthy post on Instagram.

"I am quite humanly reactive. I used bad words when frustrated. I was pregnant with Taylor and a big conversation about the value and the lives of the unborn took place at the View," she wrote. "It was a battle — but not of the flesh. I used fighting words because I believe that God decides the value of the lives of babies."

"In he heat of the moment, when I felt the need to protect what I knew to be truth and had seen with my own eyes on ultrasound the LIFE in my own shell of a body — I used big battle words (one in particular that I am not proud of and am sorry for using in the heat of trying to defend the lives of the unborn)," she continued.

"2 things I have grown to learn: 1) there are words that DISTRACT from your point: Choose wisely," she added. "2) I have a God who fights the battle. I don't have to do that all on my own. God has changed my ways. He has given me a new thing — it is my heart. He literally did that and I wrote a lot about it in #PointOfViewBook and I boast of plenty of failure and imperfection there. I still hold all my Constitutionally protected rights to freedom of faith but now I can hold the hand of the person who does not agree at the same time 💕💕💕💕 because I believe that we can do that by His grace. Hold truth and hold grace as best we can. BY HIS POWER. In my weakness I am made strong. My new word that begins with the letter F: FAITHFUL. Because that is who GOD IS."

Hasselbeck's new book, Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom, details her 10 years at the show. In it, she revealed that while "there were bonds of friendship formed around the table despite opposing views … there were also bonds broken because of those differing perspectives."

And despite her clash with Walters, Hasselbeck wrote in the book that the TV icon was her teacher and supporter and even helped her secure her next job at Fox & Friends.

The View airs weekdays (11 a.m. ET) on ABC.

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