Revisiting Rosie O'Donnell And Elisabeth Hasselbeck's Fight On 'The View'
It's been over a decade since the former 'View' co-hosts went head-to-head, but it's the feud that keeps on giving.
First, a quick refresher:
Making global headlines and quickly going viral before "going viral" was really ~a thing~, it was the first time The View made use of a split screen as Rosie -- daytime television's one-time 'Queen of Nice' -- and Elisabeth -- a former Survivor contestant turned America's sweetheart -- screamed in each other's faces about terrorism, al-Qaeda, the war on Iraq, the media, their friendship, Donald Trump and their public personas.
Ignoring co-hosts Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd's on-air pleas for producers to cut to commercial, the fight went on uninterrupted for six minutes, and what began as a heated political debate quickly turned personal.
After weeks of being battered by Fox News over her stance on President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq, Rosie lamented the media's portrayal of "big, fat, lesbian Rosie" attacking "innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth" and the lack of public support from her co-host and onetime friend Elisabeth.
"I was asking if you, who actually knows me, do you believe I think our troops are terrorists, Elisabeth?" Rosie asked. "Do you believe that, yes or no?"
"Excuse me. Let me speak," Elisabeth replied.
"You're going to doublespeak," Rosie argued. "It's just a yes or a no."
"I am not a double speaker, and I don't put suggestions out there that lead people to think things and then not answer my own question, okay?" Elisabeth said. "I don't believe that you believe troops are terrorists. I have said that before. But when you say something like 650,000 Iraqis are dead, we invaded them..."
"It's true!" Rosie yelled.
"Let me finish!" Elisabeth yelled.
"You don't like facts!" Rosie yelled.
"I am all about facts. You know that. You tell me not to use facts because you want me to go only on emotion. Guess what? I like facts," Elisabeth argued.
"Every day since September, I have told you that I support the troops," Rosie said. "I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying. You said nothing, and that's cowardly."
The clip is many things: It's riveting television and a historical moment in the world of daytime TV. It's a viral moment. It's a foreshadowing look at a more divided political landscape. But is it also a glimpse at underlying, unspoken romantic feelings?
Probably not, but cut to 2019, and there's a tell-all book coming out about The View in which Rosie has revealed that while working alongside Elisabeth, she had "a little bit of a crush" on her.
In Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, Rosie went on to clarify that although her crush "was in no way sexualised”, she believed there to be some lesbian energy floating between the two of them.
Rosie said: “I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts … She was the MVP of a Division 1 softball team for two years that won the finals. There are not many, in my life, girls with such athletic talent on sports teams that are traditionally male that aren’t at least a little bit gay.”
Appearing on Fox & Friends, Elisabeth was quick to say that Rosie's feelings were not reciprocated, sharing that she "immediately started praying" after hearing Rosie's statement, which she called "disturbing" and "offensive".
Elisabeth continued: “I pray now the Holy Spirit gives me the words to articulate this. I think it can be addressed with both truth and grace. And the truth is … if you took her words and you replaced Rosie for Ronald, there would be an objectification of women in the workplace. So that is disturbing and it’s wrong. And whether you’re a man or whether you’re a woman and you’re objectifying women in the workplace, it’s wrong.”
She went on to say that she had tried to reach out to Rosie but didn't have her number anymore, noted that she 'forgave' Rosie and hoped that they could "be at peace".
Rosie then tweeted that her crush was "not sexual", adding "sorry u got scared" and imploring her to remember their friendship "[before] it all went wrong", writing: "I never objectified u... god love ya kid - i always did".
It also appears Rosie is unhappy with the tell-all novel that kicked all of this off, as she ended the tweet with the hashtag #raminSUX, seemingly a dig at Ladies Who Punch author Ramin Setoodeh.
Feature image: YouTube.