Reports of Elizabeth Hasselbeck's departure from daytime talk mainstay The View appear to have been greatly exaggerated, with show founder Barbara Walters announcing yesterday, "We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show."
Bullshit? Possibly. As we all know, no one in the TV industry ever, ever lies about future events. Also, with Behar's departure, Hasselbeck would be the longest-tenured remaining co-host, so maybe Walters and ABC don't want to shake things up too much all at once. Because where else could stay-at-home moms and the unemployed possibly get reliable info about how often Kelsey Grammer was having sex with his wife (answer: not much)?
Speculation about Behar's replacement has already begun, but who cares? Whatever her faults as a host, Behar was largely innocuous. No, I'm much more interested in who they could possibly find to take over for the superlatively terrible Hasselbeck. As usual, I have a few suggestions.
Ann Coulter Pros: Queen of the Harpies; also blonde; tenure on show might prevent her from writing another book. Cons: Possibly psychotic; may finally incite Whoopi Goldberg to commit murder.
This isn't really a serious suggestion, because while Coulter is ideologically similar to Hasselbeck, the thought of this deranged opportunist getting any more airtime than she already does makes me want to run over pixies with a lawn mower.
Though she does have experience ...
Margaret Cho Pros: Sarcastic; reasonably intelligent; fills the "Asian gap" left by co-host Lisa Ling's departure in 2002. Cons: Heightened opinion of own beliefs, which means she'll fit right in.
Matching Hasselbeck's political views isn't necessary, but in Cho's case she might tilt the panel so far to the left no conservative guest would come within a rolled-up Pravda's throw of the studio. Cho's main similarity to Hasselbeck is how supremely unfunny she is.
Kristen Stewart Pros: Young; may bring Twilight fans in as they age out of adolescence; needs the work. Cons: Interviews haven't made it clear if Stewart has any opinions on anything (besides weed), or if she's capable of having a conversation or, indeed, articulating thoughts into actual words.
Sure it's stunt casting, but she's at least as qualified as Hasselbeck, whose only pre-View claim to fame was finishing 4th on Survivor: The Australian Outback.
Honey Boo Boo Child Pros: Higher Q rating than Walters herself; better fashion sense than Goldberg; family could be paid in Moon Pies. Cons: None that I can see.
It's high time ABC "redneckognized" that the silent, unwashed masses out there don't want to hear a bunch of New York City slickers talking about politics or other "hot topics." Honey Boo Boo will open The View up to a whole new world of discussions about mud wrestling and the best way to shoot minorities and make it look like self-defense.
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Martian from Mars Attacks Pros: Would offer previously unknown perspectives on scientific issues. Cons: Liable to disintegrate the audience at any moment (this may be a "Pro").
This choice would offer the most seamless transition, as the Martian language is a remarkably close approximation to the noise I hear every time Hasselbeck opens her mouth.