Will Rosie and Elisabeth Make Up Before O'Donnell's Departure?

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," May 24, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

GERALDO RIVERA, GUEST HOST: Barbara Walters was back at work today keeping the peace after yesterday's heated shouting match between Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O'Donnell. Elisabeth got a break today from her feuding co-host because Rosie already had a scheduled day off before their big bad feud. But that didn't stop the ladies, including guest host Kathy Griffin, from taking on the squabble and talking all about it.


BARBARA WALTERS: Certain people, who shall remain nameless unless you push me, said that we did this for ratings. Are they crazy?

JOY BEHAR: We're not that smart.

WALTERS: We're not that smart.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: The timing is not that good.

WALTERS: You're not that good of an actor. And by the way, the highest ratings that we had this entire year was the month of February when we had no feuds.

KATHY GRIFFIN, GUEST CO-HOST: I would love it if Barbara would punch me in the face. Then I would be on all the shows tomorrow. Come on, come on, give it to me.

WALTERS: We have big things to discuss. We used to do them sort of off camera. It was on camera but on the other hand I think the show went on yesterday as normal, if there's such a thing as normal on this show.


RIVERA: That's a question. Walters said she didn't want to rehash the incident and it's no wonder they don't want to talk about it. It was World War III.


ROSIE O'DONNELL: I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying.

HASSELBECK: Did I say yes?

O'DONNELL: You said nothing, and that's cowardly.

HASSELBECK: No, no, no.

O'DONNELL: Nothing, Elisabeth.

HASSELBECK: Do not call me a coward. Defend your own thoughts.

O'DONNELL: But every time I defend them, Elisabeth, it's poor little Elisabeth that I'm picking on.

HASSELBECK: You know what, poor little Elisabeth is not poor little Elisabeth, OK.

O'DONNELL: That's why I'm not going to fight with you anymore because it's absurd. So for three weeks you can say all the Republican crap you want. I'm not going to do it.

HASSELBECK: It's much easier to fight someone like Donald Trump, isn't it, because he's obnoxious?


RIVERA: Speaking of "The Donald," Trump has always been Rosie's arch nemesis. FOX News caught up with the billionaire businessman late today in Chicago. He weighed in on the big fight.


DONALD TRUMP: Rosie is very self-destructive. She's going to leave at a certain period of time and that's really what happened. Rosie wears thin. Rosie will go on to another show and like her first show, it will fail. So let's see what happens.

As far as Elisabeth Hasselbeck, I've always said she's probably the dumbest person on television. But when she called me obnoxious, she was probably right.


RIVERA: The dumbest person on television, wow. So with tensions on the set, will Rosie end up leaving "The View" sooner than expected? With me now is FOXNews.com entertainment columnist Anna David. Hi Anna. And "Extra" correspondent Tanika Ray.

Tanika, you first. You both have different favorites in this brawl. Now Tanika, you think that Elisabeth maybe was the instigator in this particular incident?

TANIKA RAY, "EXTRA" CORRESPONDENT: Well this is the deal, OK. Elisabeth obviously felt like her buttons were being pushed. She was wrong. Joy pushed that button. It was really started by Joy, but because Elisabeth couldn't win that fight with Joy...

RIVERA: Rosie called her a coward, didn't she?

RAY: Well she is a coward. She went to the easiest target, which is Rosie, because she knows Rosie has a reputation for starting fights and she is the bad guy so Elisabeth is like, ooh, ooh, oh my God, she's right, she's right. This is the worst president ever so she attacked Rosie who was completely innocent and Rosie just kept calm, relaxed and you know a person is wrong when they have to start waving their finger and shaking their necks. So Elisabeth, relax.

RIVERA: Anna, you see it the opposite.

ANNA DAVID, FOXNEWS.COM ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST: Well not necessarily. I think it's pretty hard to pick a favorite in this case. I'm not a fan of how either of them behaved.

RAY: Not for me.

DAVID: But this is my point of view, but I have to say, while I don't agree with her particularly...

RIVERA: And don't start wagging fingers you two.

DAVID: No, no. We're not going to get into a little Rosie and Elisabeth are we?

RAY: No, please.

DAVID: I have to say that I don't agree with her politically, but Elisabeth really did stand up for herself for the first time and I sort of respect that.

RAY: Well congratulations.

RIVERA: So you think that Rosie is mean then, Anna? You think that Rosie is mean and a provocateur?

DAVID: No. I think she can be a little bullying in fights but it was obvious also that her feelings were hurt. I mean, that wasn't really about politics it was about her hurt feelings that Elisabeth couldn't defend her, you know, and I think it has less to do with politics and more to do with power and control and things like that.

RIVERA: And Tanika, what about that control? When you guest-hosted "The View" the two times, was Rosie your co-host and did you feel intimidated by her?

RAY: No, unfortunately. She was in the control room the entire time and apparently she's the one that had Barbara Walters put her hands in my hair. So she was definitely there. I'm a fan of anybody that expresses themselves, Geraldo. You know what that's like. I just think it's cool and when you said that Elisabeth stood up for herself for once, she's a grown woman, I hope she would stand up for herself before she's — whatever she is, 30 years old. I thought that was really interesting.

RIVERA: Here's my question for Tanika and Anna. But Tanika, you first. Is the fact that you tend to side with Rosie over Elisabeth a function of your politics — vis-à-vis the president and the war in Iraq which sparked this whole conflagration here — Tanika?

RAY: No, you know what, I'm all open for somebody that's open-minded. And Elisabeth has been stuck on her point of view; she won't even listen to what anybody has to say. She's so brainwashed by this government, it feels like. She did the same thing yesterday that the government has done which is, oh my god, the heats on. Oh my god, we messed up. Let's throw a firework over there and distract the people who are really fine.

RIVERA: All right, you reveal a lot about your personal politics in that last bit there.

RAY: Possibly.

RIVERA: Anna, what about you? Do you see it the other way? Do you side with Elisabeth, quickly?

DAVID: No, I side more with Rosie but I don't think either of them are playing fair. I think that they're both kind of going a little bit below the belt and making it personal, but I absolutely side more with Rosie and agree with Tanika about Elisabeth.

RIVERA: So you believe that Rosie was in the right? OK.

RAY: I do. I mean, I think for Elisabeth...

RIVERA: On that note, I leave you both and our audience will ponder their own feelings. Anna David and Tanika Ray, thank you.

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