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Beth Arnold

Beth Arnold

Posted: October 24, 2008 08:27 AM

Is Elisabeth Hasselbeck Too Dumb to Be on The View?


Is Elisabeth Hasselbeck too dumb to be on The View? This is the question I've gotta ask myself -- and have many times -- and what do I come up with?

I have to admit that I'd been out of the country and don't watch reality television anyway, so I'd missed the Survivor show on which Ms. Hasselbeck was a contestant. Thank God. It would not have made me feel any better about her replacing dynamic Lisa Ling on this television show I used to love, to discover Ms. Hasselbeck became a celebrity because she ate worms. And as the American dream works these days -- for example, Paris Hilton -- she became a bigger celebrity because she was a celebrity. The blondes even look alike. Do they have similar views? Oddly enough, with Ms. Hilton's past antics, it would be odd to think of her as having a higher IQ than anyone, but Ms. Hasselbeck graduated from college and had a job before she reached the heights of stardom by grubbing for survival and voting people off her island.

So Barbara Walters plucked her out of her new career of doing things like judging Miss Teen USA to sit with the ladies who had lots to say and spout off her deadly and dull conservative views. As my husband says, it makes for spirited conversation on the show -- and skyrocketed the ratings with Ms. Hasselbeck's discussions with Rosie O'Donnell.

But if The View is truly like women friends getting together to chat, discuss, dish -- whatever you want to call it -- Ms. Hasselbeck wouldn't be included, because that group of women wouldn't be friends.

In this vigorous political season, has Ms. Hasselbeck gone too far? With her latest announcement that she'll be campaigning with and for Sarah Palin -- and that is an honor -- does this, unfortunately, demonstrate the lack of her own curiosity and intellectual dynamism. Has it become something her colleagues on The View and the rest of us can no longer ignore?

Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum will be together this weekend, blonde and brunette, no doubt wearing tight dresses. I only hope they'll also wear matching outfits to ratchet up the ratings with the Sarah Palin look.

Before you call me sexist for writing about two women who happen to be of my own sex, I'd like to point out that I've often written of the idiocy of George W. Bush and others in his administration, though they had no sex appeal. And I will say I've liked W. a little better since he's been dancing on TV.

So has Elisabeth Hasselbeck finally revealed too much? Is she too dumb to be on "The View?"

Beth Arnold lives and works in Paris. To see her recent interview with Bernard-Henri Lévy on Salon.com, go here. To see more of her work, go to www.betharnold.com.

Follow Beth Arnold on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BethArnold