Elisabeth HasselbeckSo you've heard the rumors. Long-time The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving the ABC morning show (along with Joy Behar) because she's too right wing. But is this really the right way to keep Barbara Walters' baby alive? 

The network responded to the bye bye Elisabeth rumors with a statement that says only that the conservative co-host is a "valued" member of the team and has a "long-term contract." Ye-owch! Sounds like a nice way of saying "don't let the door hit you on the you-know-what on your way out," doesn't it?

Maybe it just sounds that way if you're a reporter who has listened to her fair share of public relations spin. The non-answer is pretty typical of publicists who are trying to deflect a question. Note that the network hasn't denied that Hasselbeck, who has stirred up controversy with her various comments about abortion over the years, is radically right wing.

More importantly, they haven't said outright that she's sticking around.

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But as much as it hurts this liberal to say it, letting Hasselbeck go might be the dumbest thing the network could do.

It's true that in the past nine years, the one-time Survivor finalist's name has made headlines more for something controversial than for something positive. The Roman Catholic made us all squirm when she said the morning-after pill should be banned -- even in cases of rape and incest. Then there was the time she tried comparing the Casey Anthony trial to putting Osama bin Laden on trial. Ooh, and anyone remember when she made some seriously offensive comments about Erin Andrews ... and then put up a faux apology?

Of course you do. We remember every time Elisabeth Hasselbeck sticks her foot in her mouth. 

Oh yeah, and ABC? We tune in to see it.

America may not love Elisabeth Hasselbeck, but that's exactly why she needs to stay on The View.

She keeps things interesting on a show that's trying desperately to stay relevant 16 years after Barbara Walters first broke ground with an all-female panel that put a new spin on "women's talk shows."

Would you watch The View without Elisabeth Hasselbeck? Who would you want to see take her place on the panel?

 

Image via The View