Rosie O’Donnell exits The View early

May 26, 2007 by Ian Evans

Rosie O’Donnell has left with three weeks left on her contract. ABC confirmed that Rosie asked for, and received, a release from her contract after the huge on-air battle she had with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Wednesday.

O’Donnell released a statement that said that “it’s been an amazing year and I love all three women.”

Obviously that love wasn’t very evident on Wednesday, when she and Elisabeth clashed over pundits’ interpretations of her comment last week that “655,000 Iraqi civilians have died. Who are the terrorists?”

Though it could be interpreted as a comment on the Bush administration, the righties at Fox News and other conservative outlets said she was calling U.S. troops terrorists. Rosie felt that Elisabeth did not defend her on air, a move she called “cowardly” when she asked Elisabeth if she agreed with the pundits. Producers kept the argument running for several minutes in split-screen, with exasperated co-host Joy Behar asking if they were on PBS and imploring the director to cut to a commercial.

ABC has also confirmed that photos of Hasselbeck in the studio building were defaced but did not confirm reports that O’Donnell’s head writer, Janette Barber, was taken out of the building for drawing mustaches on Hasselbeck’s lobby photos.

This battle may be over, but a ratings battle may soon begin, as CBS has apparently approached O’Donnell to host a talk show in direct competition with The View. Our survey: which show would you watch?