Ramin Setoodeh's new book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View "accidentally" reveals Hasselbeck to be crucial to The View's success, according to Ruth Graham. "The View’s entire brand is discord, both onstage and off. But the show’s own metanarrative also fetishizes harmony and feminine solidarity," says Graham. Graham adds: "The book is divided into three sections, focusing on (Barbara) Walters, (Rosie) O’Donnell, and Whoopi Goldberg, who has been a cast member since 2007 and is portrayed as a steady, sensible presence behind the scenes. A director compares O’Donnell, by contrast, to Pol Pot. But it’s Hasselbeck, hired in 2003, who emerges accidentally as perhaps the most important figure in the show’s history. Before Hasselbeck’s arrival, the show’s leaders—including Walters—had resisted letting the show dwell on politics. Bickering pundits were for shows like Crossfire, branded as masculine spaces. But The View’s Republican executive producer, Bill Geddie, realized that some ideological diversity would spice things up. Hasselbeck arrived two years into the Bush presidency, and she transformed the table. Conservative viewers loved her, and liberals loved to hate her. Since then, The View has always had a conservative at the table—currently Meghan McCain—and the sparks they generate have continued to make news." ALSO: Jenny McCarthy calls the day The View fired her and Sherri Shepherd "The Red Wedding."