Lisa Ling, a former co-host of “The View,” and Sara Haines, a current co-host, spoke honestly about their biggest regrets while co-hosting the program and how they learned to speak openly at the Hot Topics table on the newest edition of the “Behind The Table” podcast.
Haines remarked on the podcast that she is a “big admirer” of Ling and has long appreciated her work as a “hardcore” journalist and on the Emmy award-winning daytime talk program.
Ling began her career as a journalist for Channel One News when she was 21 years old, covering the Afghan civil war. She joined “The View” as a co-host in 1999, at the age of 26, and worked with program founder Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, and Star Jones. She was one of the show’s youngest co-hosts.
Ling left the show in December 2002 to pursue a career as a journalist as a correspondent for National Geographic’s Explorer. She went on to become an award-winning journalist who covered breaking news from across the world.
“What you do is emotional at times,” Haines said of Ling’s successful journalism career. “But you’re just so immersing and the tales you tell are so compelling.”
Ling worked at the Hot Topics table for three years before moving on to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” as a field correspondent and pursuing a journalism career.
Despite the fact that Ling described her time on “The View” as a “tangent” in her career, she claimed it was there that she found her voice and that her time there was “important in helping me get to where I am today.”
That’s not to say she hasn’t had to deal with the fallout from some regrettable comments she made on the show.
Ling ran encountered Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern who had a connection with former President Bill Clinton while working in the office of the chief of staff, Leon Panetta, one evening in December 2001. They talked about Lewinsky’s college tour, and Ling claimed she expressed her disappointment that the questions she was asked weren’t more cerebral.
One of “The View’s” co-hosts questioned Ling about her night on Dec. 19, 2001. She informed viewers about her chat with Lewinsky and said that she doesn’t see what’s cerebral about kneeling.
Ling told Haines, “My heart sank.” “It was so unlike of me to say anything like that about someone who had confided in me about a personal matter.”
Ling stated that she “profoundly apologized” to Lewinsky shortly after her remark and that she had the opportunity to contact her again years later. While she praised Lewinsky for being “gracious and forgiving,” she also stated that she “wasn’t scared” to tell her how offended she was by Ling’s remark.
Haines related to Ling’s tale and reflected on statements she made about Taylor Swift following the release of her “Reputation” album in 2017.
Haines claimed she “knew” she was a part of “a media problem” with Swift after seeing her “Miss Americana” documentary and was “upset” by the discovery.
Haines now admits that she was a part of the talks that harmed Swift.
“I private messaged her on Instagram and kind of expressed what I had done, what I witnessed in the video, and that I hoped I could be a part of the stronger narrative from that point forward in defending what someone could feel like in those situations,” she says. Swift’s lack of response surprised Haines, but she “wanted to let her know that I was sorry,” she added.
Prior to making regrettable comments on “The View,” Ling told Haines that she had to overcome the Asian etiquettes she learned growing up.
Ling said she “was taught that you have to be respectful of your elders,” but one thing that’s “imperative on ‘The View’ is you have to fight for space. You have to fight for time. You have to fight to get a word in edgewise.”
Sitting alongside Walters, Behar, Vieira, and Jones,” Ling felt it was “mortifying” to speak up “because culturally, I would always wait until they said their piece, and then I would offer my thoughts or my insights.”
While Ling said it felt like a “fight every day just to express an opinion,” she wouldn’t be able to do what she can now had it not been for those three years at “The View.”
In the third episode of “Behind The Table,” Ling and Haines discuss the challenges they faced on the show, fond memories of Barbara Walters. Ling also looks back on her decision to leave “The View” and Haines reflects on her early days guest co-hosting the show and her decision to come back on the panel after leaving in 2018.
“‘The View’ has become a real force. It’s an important outlet and it’s smart. It can be irreverent. It can be silly. It can be funny,” Ling told Haines on the podcast. “It is comprised of smart women expressing their feelings and their opinions about things that are happening in this country and in the world.”