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'The View's' Elisabeth Hasselbeck wears heart on her sleeve, and T-shirt

October 23, 2008 |  6:14 pm

   Elisabeth Hasselbeck has shown her “Great Americain hero” T-shirt twice on “The View.”  It’s the one she designed “from my heart and my creativity” and gave to Sen. John McCain’s campaign to help her favorite presidential candidate raise funds. The staunchly conservative co-host says she does not receive any money from the design or the sales. 

    But that didn’t stop the shirt from sparking more controversy for the ABC show. Hasselbeck wore it on the air Tuesday when executive producer and co-host Barbara Walters was not present.

    On Wednesday, Walters said on the air that the show’s offices had been inundated with calls and e-mails from viewers complaining about Hasselbeck’s choice of wardrobe. Walters’ comment stirred a lively discussion:
   

    Hasselbeck: Really? Well, they must be voting for Obama. I’m so sorry.

    Sherri Shepherd: It’s very interesting 'cause I saw you in the shirt and I thought, ‘Oh, cute shirt.’ I’ve seen so many celebrities endorse candidates. I’m so used to people wearing T-shirts. Me, myself, I don’t feel like I need to announce with a T-shirt who I’m going to vote for.

    Hasselbeck: Well, here’s the thing: I actually designed the shirt. I actually sketched it out on a piece of paper and sent it to the campaign, something that came from my heart and my creativity. There’s nothing negative about the shirt. It just says ‘Great Americain hero,’ whether you’re voting for him or not, that’s what he is. I’m not making any money on it.

    Joy Behar: But it’s kind of an advertisement.

    Hasselbeck: Well, on your comedy shows, if you’re against me wearing a shirt, I understand and respect that. But we talk about your shows. You have a political edge on your shows and you promo them here. You could also take that argument to promoting your show.

    Walters: I think the feeling was that perhaps it was one thing to wear it on [the Hot Topics segment] … but the other point of view was that it was an advertisement that you were wearing throughout the program.

    Hasselbeck: Look if I sat here buck naked, people would probably see McCain across my chest. That’s who my heart is for.

    Be that as it may, the four co-hosts were notified by their bosses about how their hearts were feeling about the matter today, according to a statement issued by ABC.

    “Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, executive producers of "The View," don’t think it’s appropriate to wear T-shirts endorsing either candidate but would never forbid any of the co-hosts from expressing themselves.”

—Maria Elena Fernandez

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