By James Hirsen
ABC’s daytime talk show “The View” has had a great deal of host turnover in its eighteen season run.
Back in 2014, when producers of the show were looking for a replacement for conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, reports circulated that someone with ideological positions that could provide some counterbalance to the perspectives of Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell was being sought.
Names of potential co-host candidates that surfaced were not particularly representative of conservative thought, though, especially in regard to many of the issues typically raised for discussion on the show. Individuals purportedly under consideration at the time included U.S. Sen. John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain, former GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman’s daughter Abby Huntsman, and columnist-commentator S.E. Cupp.
In fall of 2014, when ABC announced that Wallace was the individual who would be assuming co-hosting “View” duties, the network in its choice signaled that its executives did not necessarily want a robust contrasting voice.
Wallace is perceived as a political moderate, albeit one with an unusual resume. The Washington Post at the time was perhaps attempting to shape readers’ opinions with the following statement: “If you can recall a red-hot political firestorm from the last decade and a half, chances are, Wallace was involved.”
Wallace is not one to shy away from politically charged topics or partisan roles. In the late 1990s, after serving as press secretary for then-Gov. Jeb Bush, Wallace became the Communications Director for the Florida State Technology Office. Then in 2000 she found herself in the thick of the Al Gore-initiated Florida election recount.
Additionally, Wallace was the White House communications chief during former Pres. George W. Bush’s tenure, and as part of her official duties had the responsibility of interfacing with the media on a number of high-profile political matters such as the Iraq war, Supreme Court nominations, and Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, among others.
As a senior adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, Wallace appeared in various media venues as a spokesperson for the campaign speaking out in defense of McCain’s choice of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Notwithstanding her extensive experience with GOP personalities and politics, Wallace was relieved of her position as co-host of the daytime television show after working only one season. According to Variety, executives at ABC let her go because she was “not offering enough dissent about political issues and continually voicing her lack of knowledge about celebrities.”
It appears as though the lone opposing voice on the panel may have lost her television slot because she was too civil in voicing her opinions, did not differ from her co-hosts to the proper degree, and was insufficiently schooled in today’s reality television programming and contemporary pop culture.
Wallace took time on a recent episode of the program to jokingly address reports that she had been terminated from her co-hosting gig.
“There’s a lot of news about the show … and about me, lately, and it’s hard,” she told the “View” panel and television audience.
While colleague Goldberg held Wallace’s hand, the soon-to-be-exiting co-host appeared to be upset over the news reports, indicating that they had gone too far.
“Even I have a line that cannot be crossed. Don’t ever diss my Kardashian knowledge,” Wallace said tongue in cheek.
“They called me Kardashian illiterate,” she added, and then proceeded to educate the media by demonstrating an encyclopedic familiarity with the famed reality show family.
The revolving door of “View” cast members has been amazing to watch. Barbara Walters allegedly retired, O’Donnell was ejected from her hosting seat, not once but twice, Hasselbeck exited, Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd were let go, and Star Jones and Lisa Ling moved on.
The current eighteenth season of “The View” has been co-hosted by Goldberg, Wallace, Rosie Perez, Raven-Symoné, and Michelle Collins.
Since the show features a panel of female co-hosts who discuss a variety of social, cultural, and political issues, the infotainment premise requires the expression of divergent points of view in order to maintain an adequate television audience and accompanying extended media interest.
If the integrity of its television programming is a consideration at all, producers of the show already realize that there is no shortage of competent, confident, and television savvy conservative women who would make a positive contribution to the public discourse and would likely improve the show’s ratings in the process.
Sources indicate that Candace Cameron Bure, former member of the cast of “Full House” and sister of producer-actor Kirk Cameron, is reportedly on the short list to become the latest “View” co-host.