The Double Life Of Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Talk show personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck broke onto the scene as a competitor on Season 2 of the CBS monster reality TV hit Survivor. Elisabeth Filarski, as she was called then, finished fourth and became a fan favorite. The next year, she married college sweetheart-turned NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, and in 2003, she joined The View, replacing Lisa Ling as the show's fourth co-host. According to the Associated Press, Elisabeth was voted onto the show, Survivor-style, by Barbara Walters and the gang. In 2009, the collective of Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Elisabeth won a Daytime Emmy for top talk show. Elisabeth became the show's go-to mouthpiece for conservative opinions before jumping ship to Fox & Friends in 2013.

Though undeniably successful, Elisabeth consistently confounds her colleagues and fans with her wildly contradictory positions on hot-button topics. Call her hypocritical, or perhaps just prone to changing her mind, but there is plenty of fodder to make a case for this star's double life.

She claimed to support same-sex marriage

In an interview with Fancast in 2010, Elisabeth said (via The Huffington Post), "I am not ultra-ultra-conservative on every issue. I actually support gay marriage." She reiterated that stance on The View in July 2011, calling demonstrations against same-sex marriage "uncalled for and tasteless," adding, "If you think anything is killing heterosexual marriage, the only thing that's killing heterosexual marriage is heterosexual marriage."

She supported legislation blocking same-sex marriage

Despite Elisabeth's aforementioned support for the marriage rights of same-sex couples, her subsequent actions have muddied her position, including her defense of California Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. Elisabeth argued that no matter her personal opinion on same-sex marriage, the will of the voters in California should be respected. Singer Melissa Etheridge, a married lesbian and mother, challenged Elisabeth on the issue during an appearance on The View, countering that it was wrong for the majority to abridge the rights of a minority group through direct democracy. Etheridge asked Elisabeth if she was for same-sex marriage, but the co-host declined to give a "yes" or "no" answer.

Elisabeth's entire understanding of homosexuality came into doubt on The View in 2010 when she theorized that women may become homosexual later in life for companionship because "men are going for younger women, leaving the women with no one."

She ripped Erin Andrews apart for skimpy outfits

An avid viewer of ABC's hit Dancing with the Stars, Elisabeth apparently saw something she didn't like about a string of performances by sports broadcaster Erin Andrews in 2011—her "next to nothing" costumes. On The View, Elisabeth pointed out that Andrews had been a victim of stalking repeatedly in the past year, including the widely reported peephole video case and suggested that the culprit could have achieved the same results by watching Andrews on TV. "I mean, in some way if I'm him, I'm like, 'Man! I just could've waited 12 weeks and seen this—a little bit less—without the prison time!'"

She modeled skimpy outfits

Perhaps Elisabeth forgot that she too donned next to nothing while competing on Survivor in 2001. "Every guy on the crew fell in love with her...everybody wanted to date her...It was all in our fantasies," host Jeff Probst told The Huffington Post (via Page Six). And hey, even if Elisabeth couldn't scrounge up more clothing coverage in the wilderness, nobody forced her to don a bikini and flaunt her post-baby bod for the cover of Fitness magazine in 2008.

She tearfully apologized to Andrews

Reaction to Elisabeth's jab at Andrews was swift and harsh, not only from bystanders but also from the sportscaster herself, who told Access Hollywood the remarks were a "slap in the face" to those who have faced sexual predators. "I cried," Andrews said.

Hasselbeck changed her tune quickly, offering a tearful apology on The View (via People) that she said was inspired by a chat with her 5-year-old daughter: "She said to me, 'Mommy, why don't you just call Erin and tell her you're sorry?' So, thankfully, I listened to her—she's a wise little girl—and I did. So, I'm really sorry, and I wanted to offer that publicly too, even though I did follow that advice."

And so ended that saga. right? Wrong.

Andrews denied ever speaking with her

Andrews told Us Weekly she never received a personal apology from Elisabeth. "I didn't speak with her, no. I never talked to her," she said. "I'm moving on. I'm tired of talking about it. It's a new week."

And it's a new age for Elisabeth, who moved on from The View to Fox & Friends, but quit in 2015 to spend more time with her family. "I am taking a new position as CBO—chief breakfast officer—at our house with the kids," she said on air. "I'm in a season where the kids need the best of me, not the rest of me."

She claimed to be pro-choice

Elisabeth supported the legality of abortion during a 2010 Fancast interview, saying (via The Huffington Post), "I also don't believe that the government should tell women what to do with their bodies." She noted that she "believes life begins at conception," expressing conflicting emotions about how to reconcile the two ideas. "I'm torn there in terms of supporting laws [for or against abortion]," she said. "I always say I would rather change a heart than a law. I think it has to start there. Always trying to mandate, mandate, mandate this or that is not the way that I believe this country should run."

She claimed women get abortions for 'superficial reasons'

Other comments Elisabeth has made belie a pro-life stance, like when she trivialized the decision to abort on The View in September 2007. During a discussion of Hillary Clinton's senate proposal to give a $5,000 bond to every baby born in the United States, Elisabeth said she was against the bill but hoped the proposed payment would encourage fewer abortions because "people would just keep having kids." She also said, "There are abortions done for superficial reasons...That's my personal feeling."

In August 2006, Hasselbeck was reduced to tears during a discussion on The View about the "morning after pill." She said (via Fox News), "It's the same thing as birthing a baby and leaving it out in the street!" She has also tweeted about the pill's availability to girls and women of any age, saying, "What has this world come to?"

She campaigned for Sarah Palin in 2008

A proponent and defender of politically conservative policy on The View, Elisabeth frequently stuck up for Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on the show. In late October 2008, Elisabeth even stepped away from the liberal-leaning program to campaign for Palin, the running mate of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. According to the Los Angeles Times, she introduced Palin at a rally in Florida by telling the crowd, "Let me be honest, I was pretty much excited to be able to talk for a full five minutes without getting interrupted."

At the time, the campaign kerfuffle du jour was Palin's $150,000 designer wardrobe, purchased by the Republican National Committee. Elisabeth said it was a non-issue and accused Palin's opponents of being "fixated on her wardrobe" and "deliberately sexist," reported CNN, and Palin thanked her for the support.

She called Palin a media manipulator in 2011

By the next campaign cycle, it was obvious Elisabeth's feelings for Palin had flipped. Mitt Romney was the Republican candidate in the 2012 election against incumbent President Barack Obama, and Palin had no official role in the drive for president, even though it seemed at times like she was running for something. Palin made her presence felt by embarking on a high-profile bus tour. Hasselbeck took issue with Palin's rallies on The View, complaining that the public wasn't getting to hear Romney's plans because Palin was dominating the discourse. "If I had termites in my house, I'd get someone who could deal with it," Elisabeth said on the show. "Mitt Romney, right now, his specialty is the economy, I'd have him in there. Here's why we're not hearing it: because Sarah Palin's on a bus and she's manipulating, in terms of the media attention."

But was it Palin's seemingly superfluous campaigning that got Hasselbeck's goat, or was it personal? The Daily Mail reported that their relationship had transformed into "open warfare," with Palin reportedly refusing to take Elisabeth's calls. A source claimed Hasselbeck always finds the time to stay in touch with her girlfriends, even with a busy schedule, but that Palin "let her down" by going silent. It's quite possible that Hasselbeck felt she had been manipulated.

She called Palin's crosshairs imagery 'despicable'

The Hasselbeck-Palin friendship may have pivoted when Elisabeth criticized Palin's tactics for fighting Obamacare in 2010. According to the New York Daily News, Palin's political action committee created a map that used images of crosshairs to "target" congressional seats that Republicans would need to win to derail the Affordable Care Act. Elisabeth took issue with the metaphoric imagery and rhetoric on The View, saying, "the way some Republicans are handling this is nothing more than purely despicable. The names that are highlighted next to the crosshairs, I think it's an abuse of the Second Amendment. It's disappointing to see this come from the party. I would hope that leaders like Sarah Palin [realize] it's dangerous." Elisabeth added that she "would never put a target on a person's name, where they live or where they're from."

She defended Palin's crosshairs imagery after a shooting

Though Elisabeth was among the vanguard that opposed Palin's crosshairs imagery, after U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was among 19 people shot by Jared Lee Loughner in January 2011, Elisabeth reversed course on her crosshairs position. As a guest on Fox News, she argued there was "no link" between the deadly shooting and Palin's suggestive imagery and suggested the left-wing media was "so drunk on this cocktail of trying to convict Sarah Palin" that it neglected to report relevant information about the shooter's background and potential motives. Loughner pleaded guilty, and no direct connection was confirmed between Loughner targeting Giffords—a Democrat who supported Obamacare—and Palin's crosshairs campaign. Regardless, that doesn't entirely reconcile Elisabeth's about-face on the imagery.