In Setoodeh's book, he writes about an incident that occurred on Aug. 2, 2006, after a Hot Topics discussion about a proposal from the FDA to allow the morning-after pill for over-the-counter consumption. Hasselbeck was very passionate about the topic, saying that the proposal was “the same thing as birthing a baby and leaving it out in the street." The TV personality was not keen on letting her co-hosts state their opinion on the matter, and Walters wasn't having it.
“Elisabeth, calm down dear,” Walters told Hasselbeck. “...We have to go on and we have to learn how to discuss these things in some sort of rational way.”
After the on-air reprimand from Walters, Hasselbeck is seen tearing up her note cards as the show cuts to commercial.
"F**k that!” Hasselbeck is heard screaming behind the stage in the newly released audio. "I'm not going to sit there and get reprimanded on the air. It’s not OK to sit there and get reprimanded on the air."
Joy Behar, one of Hasselbeck's co-hosts at the time, tries to calm her down and is heard saying, "Come into my office here."
"I'm not going back out there," Hasselbeck says, clearly choked up. "I can take it in the meeting. I'm not taking it out there on-air. I'm not taking that!"
“What the f**k!” Hasselbeck yells. “I don’t even swear. She has me swearing. This woman is driving me nuts. I’m not going back. I can’t do the show like this. She just reprimanded me, and she knew exactly what she was doing. Goodbye! I’m off. Write about that in the New York F**KING Post!”
Upon hearing that Hasselbeck is wanting to quit over the on-air exchange, Walters replies, "Well, that’s ridiculous. We've got to be able to have these discussion."
The View's executive producer, Bill Geddie, then has to convince Hasselbeck -- who has now retreated to her dressing room -- to return to the show before the commercial break is over. "You have to go on because you’re a pro, so come with me," he begs as they race back to set.
ET spoke with Setoodeh about this moment on The View, and he admitted that it was one of the more alarming things he uncovered while researching the history of the long-running talk show.
"I was most surprised by the story of Elisabeth trying to quit during a commercial break because you can see that there were tensions on the show that I didn't imagine," Setoodeh shared. "The tensions were so much that Elisabeth actually wanted to leave in the middle of the show one day."
ET has reached out to the reps of Hasselbeck, Behar, Walters and The View for comment on this audio.
Here's more of ET's exclusive interview with the Ladies Who Punch author, including why Gayle King was never a co-host: