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Walters Buries Kathie Lee Buzz

Barbara Walters yesterday tried to stamp out the rumors that Kathie Lee Gifford wants a job on The View.

Walters took the unusual step of denying -- on the air -- that Gifford was sniffing around, hoping to replace Lisa Ling, who is leaving the show on Dec. 5.

The report, which first appeared on the MSNBC Website, said Gifford was pulling out all the stops to try and land a spot on The View. Her career after she left Live with Regis and Kathie Lee has not taken off the way she expected.

"The rumor is that Kathie Lee is begging us to put her on the program," Walters said yesterday during a live telecast of her daily coffee-klatch show. "Kathie Lee has never called us, we love Kathie Lee and for this to get around is so unfair.

"Kathie Lee is a great friend," Walters said. "We would love to have her come on, and be a guest-host one day [but] she's never called any of us to ask -- she doesn't want Lisa's job."

Walters then read portions of a letter that Gifford sent to Jeannette Walls, the MSNBC gossip columnist who broke the story.

"For the record, I'm not interested in Lisa's job or anyone else's," Gifford wrote. "I'm not at all intrigued by doing something that I've already done and no longer enjoy doing anymore."

Walls could not be reached for comment.

Walters, who is the executive producer of The View said that the show will not replace Ling.

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