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Barbara Walters 'Furious' Plans To Fire Elizabeth Hasselbeck From 'The View' Were Leaked, Says Source

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Mar. 17 2013, Updated 1:31 p.m. ET

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Barbara Walters is furious that an embarrassing leak about the plans to replace Elizabeth Hasselbeck on The View forced her to say otherwise on the show last week, the New York Post is reporting.

Reports that Hasselbeck was being canned went viral March 8, resulting in Walters, who is also executive producer of the show, to make the unconvincing denial last Monday, saying “We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show.”

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"ABC is desperate to freshen up the show," the source told The Post. "Dumping Joy Behar, who was there 16 years, and Hasselbeck would be the fastest way to do it, they decided. After giving Behar the bad news last week and letting her bow out gracefully, someone leaked the Hasselbeck thing. Some enemies she has on the show saw their chance to get back at her. Barbara was spitting mad that it got mishandled."

Hasselbeck may have been given a brief retrieve, the source says, but she's "toast" as to any long term future on the show.

A rep for The View denied that Walters is angry, saying, "She loves these women and wants what’s best for them."

As RadarOnline.com  previously reported, Brooke Shields  is a leading candidate to join The View panel.

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