It’s no shock that The View is probably a messy work environment, but The View of today is mild compared to the days when the Don Corleone of lady journalism, Barbara Walters, was trading co-host slots like us queens swap out our RuPaul’s Drag Race fantasy league lineup each week. One of the more controversial picks was when Jenny McCarthy joined the cast because it was right after Jenny became an anti-vaxxer and said vaccinations heightened her son’s autism, which actually improved by allegedly a gluten-free diet and behavioral therapy. Barbara had already popped off on Jenny once, and it sounds like that was a pretty good omen to Jenny’s time on The View.
Vulture got a sneak peak at the upcoming and aptly named Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story Of ‘The View.’ Jenny agreed to talk to the author, Ramin Setoodeh, and she compared Barbara to Mommie Dearest, said Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara had a power struggle, and that the ship nearly sank after Elisabeth Hasselbeck left with her brand of crazy.
Jenny first had a run-in with Babs in 2007 when she was promoting her book Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism. Barbara called Jenny to her dressing room and let her have it:
““I walked into her dressing room and she blew up at me,” Jenny said. “She was screaming, ‘How dare you say this! That autism can be cured?’ My knees were shaking. I remember my whole body was shaking.”
Jenny responded that she never used the word cured to describe Evan’s condition. That didn’t matter. “You’re such a liar!” Barbara screamed.”
But being a liar works on The View, so Jenny was eventually hired in 2013. It wasn’t exactly the best time to be the new bitch on campus since Barbara was retiring and didn’t want to go while Whoopi, if you can believe Jenny, was basically the hand pushing Babs out. Jenny gave up a CBS offer to have her own talk show, which probably seemed like an amazing idea since talk shows flop like a porpoise. However, Jenny lasted only a year, and that’s probably more than enough time for her. After beating out Brooke Shields and Ali Wentworth for the job, Jenny joined the panel only to immediately get shitty press because of her anti-vaxxing views. If that wasn’t enough, it sounds like Barbara was basically turning into that memaw who still thinks the Osmonds crank out Top-40 hits:
“One day in Hot Topics, Jenny sounded off about Katy Perry dating the bad-boy musician John Mayer. “I saw Barbara’s face with her big saucer eyes look at me,” Jenny said. “Then we went to a commercial. She said, ‘Who is it that you’re talking about and why are you bringing her up?’”
“I’m, like, ‘That’s Katy Perry. You interviewed her last week!’”
Jenny recalled, “That wasn’t the right thing to say. I felt everyone kicking me under the table.” The other co-hosts had devised a method to send signals to one another about how to deal with Barbara. “You either had the knee hold or the kick under the table.””
Barbara even asked who Jenny was when she was referring to herself in the third person at one point.
The producers eventually told the cast to knock off with pop culture references since ratings were tanking – the show apparently lost 30% of its ratings after Elisabeth and Rosie O’Donnell weren’t there to have verbal prize fights. There was also a power struggle between Babs and Whoopi because Barbara wanted to guest moderate and Whoopi wouldn’t ever let her:
“There was a war between Barbara and Whoopi about Barbara wanting to moderate. This is one of the reasons I decided not to ally with Whoopi. It broke my heart when Barbara would shuffle to Whoopi and say, ‘Can I moderate, please?’ And Whoopi would say no. How can you do this to a woman who paved the way for so many female journalists? The reason we’re doing this job is because of Barbara Walters.”
The whole article is pretty long and includes a pretty amazing bit about Barbara getting spooked at the sight of a tampon in the toilet.
“Jenny, there’s a tampon floating in the toilet and it’s disgusting.”
“I don’t have my period. It’s not mine.”
“Do something about it!”
“I don’t know what to do,” Jenny said, flabbergasted. “She’s standing in the hallway where the guests are, yelling at me about a tampon. I don’t know. Maybe in her brain, she went, ‘I’m going to the youngest, newest person here, because obviously she has her period and left a tampon floating.’ This is Barbara Walters. I’m not going to yell at her. So finally I said, ‘I’ll take care of it. I’ll take one for the team and I’ll flush it.’”
But basically the takeaway is this: Whoopi may have snake charmed that Republican barracuda Meghan McCain, but just know she’s that bitch who won’t think twice about cutting your grandma in line just to show her who’s boss.