Hasselbeck vs. 'Law & Order': Whose side are you on?

142542__eh_lA week ago, I wrote a blog item about how I’ve been finding myself disturbed by what feels like increased levels of graphic violence on NBC’s Law & Order franchise this season. In particular, I pointed to the Oct. 17 episode of L&O: SVU, in which the curiously named victim Elizabeth Hassenback was raped on two occasions, then murdered by a sociopath intent on charting his victims’ ovulation cycles so he could impregnate them.

Well apparently, I wasn’t the only one who raised an eyebrow over the victim’s moniker, as Elisabeth Hasselbeck, perky panelist for daytime chatfest The View, took it upon herself to call an SVU producer and express her dismay about the episode, a conversation which she recounted on her show this morning. (Rewatch the segment by clicking here, courtesy of the good folks at Best Week Ever.) Now in SVU‘s defense, the Hassenback character wasn’t a talk-show host or any sort of conservative public figure in a ripped-from-the-headlines case. But when you come right down to it, the writers’ choice of victim name was pretty distasteful, particularly considering the hideousness of the crime. I mean, wouldn’t you expect a backlash if SVU started a trend of giving its rape-murder victims names like Kelly Clarksen, Angeline Jolique and Christine Aguilar? Seriously, why go there at all? Of course, whether The View‘s producers will back Hasselbeck’s threat to ban L&O stars from her show’s couch remains to be seen, but I’m curious, in the dustup between NBC’s massive crime-procedural franchise and one of the nation’s most irritating TV personalities, whose side are you on?

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  • betsy

    Please,She is not the only “Elizabeth Hasselbeck” out there, should her feeling be any different then any other Elizabeth Hasselbeck out there. Anyones name could pop up on a L&O or CSI as a victim. Why should celebrities be singled out or excluded from the Murder List.

  • Kelly

    Please, Elizabeth Hasselbeck needs to get a life. I never even connected the two names.

  • Telly B

    Wow…I saw the episode, and never did I make the connection.
    Not even once the thought crossed my mind.
    That self-righteous beeetch needs to get a sense of humor.
    Ugh, no wonder I can’t stand The View….

  • Tammy

    Mariska Hargitay as a guest on the View trumps Hasselbeck as a permanent member any day. I’m certain that if the Emmy winner – who has guest hosted the View, by the way, was to be a guest again, Elisabeth will be her chirpy self, forced to eat her cry baby words. I’m just surprised that Barbary Walters backed her comments. The use of the word struck me as odd as well, however, it wasn’t a big deal, or shouldn’t have been. Clearly Hasselbeck thinks that she’s a worthy target for potential rapists claiming that use of the name was suggestive – the view indicates she is a legend in her own mind. And, she also likes to victimize herself. The best way to have handled her sensitivity was to say nothing at all – unfortunately silence is not the chirpy one’s virtue.

  • Bobbi

    I watched the show and made the connection immediately. I thought it was odd before Elisabeth mentioned it this morning. What disturbed me is she called this guy to express the feeling that it was irresponsible and a risk to her and he told her to chalk it up to experience! I’m sorry, but her name is NOT a common one. He was incredibly rude to her and wound up hanging up on her. I think she deserves an apology particularly for the way she was treated by the executive producer. But, I doubt they will ban the actors from the show and I don’t feel they should. I did feel sorry for Elisabeth though.

  • brandonk

    Unfortunately, this is a lose-lose situation. I wouldn’t want to support either side.

  • Alida Rios

    Definitely on Hasselback’s side! I believe the producers of SVU do not like Hasselback’s politics and decided to “dis” her in this way. It was abolutely NO coincidence and, I believe totally deliberate. If it had been a coincidence (the writer used the name) then it was up to the producers to put a stop to it and, as you said, why go there? Alida Rios

  • Carol Traxler

    Many people have never even heard of her; she’s on the B or maybe C list. I never made the connection. She needs to get a grip.

  • lml

    It just doesn’t surprise me that there is such rudeness by the left wing media towards anyone with opposing views. I don’t blame her for being upset. Why didn’t they use Joy Bahar or Rosie O’Connell?

  • Jeff Commings

    As hard as it for me to say, I’m siding with Elisabeth. The disclaimer they use on L&O doesn’t protect them. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

  • erin

    I enjoy watching SVU every week. Mariska is a phenomenal actress. Yes the storylines can be a bit think in the violence area… but that’s the entire reality of working in this area.. And we have a ratings system so parents can reduce the risk that their children would be exposed to this.
    Re: the name similarities. My boyfriend pointed it out as soon as they said it. And he has never even watched the view. He knows her as the quarterback’s wife. So yes, it was obvious. Questionable if it was intentional… but EVERYONE would watch SVU if a distraught ex-wife, Jen Atin, went balistic on her ex’s baby’s momma, Angeline Jolique… Its distasteful to do.

  • Miles

    wow, i’m completely ambivalent about this, I take no sides… I have never seen the View, and I only catch Law and Order on occassion, you know those, USA marathons cannot be avoided.

  • Jennifer

    I really think this is a non-issue. If they were going to take a shot at the right-wing, I doubt they would use Elisabeth Hasselbeck as their target. Most people don’t have any idea who she is by name, though they would probably know her as “the young one on The View”. If L&O was really going to “go there” they probably would have named their victim Anne Coultere or something. SVU has taken shots at tons of other celebrities before and they didn’t try to hide it. I don’t see why they would start now.
    More than likely it’s just a weird coincidence, and while it may be unsettling for Hasselbeck, after 8 seasons of perps and rape victims, name similarities happen.

  • Steve Smith

    My name is really ‘Steve Smith’ and it’s used in every show/movies from gay love affairs, murderers, rapists, saints, band leaders, etc. and I don’t get offended. She needs to get a grip!

  • yawn

    Elisabeth Who????????? And while some may wish to see the demise of Rosie and/or Joy, do we really believe a criminal would desire to have carnal knowledge of either of these two harpies?

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