Here’s the thing about a TV show in the news issuing a statement to the press, of the “absolutely no truth to this story” sort, in response to some hot piece of gossip making the rounds. If it’s not on the level, you can use it once. The View used it twice.

In round numbers, it was the gist of The View exec producer/den mother Barbara Walters‘ response when she was trying to throw the press off the story that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on her way out. It also got fluffed up and used again when word first got out that Walters was retiring. As it turned out, Hasselbeck was, and Walters is. So you can imagine the press’ response this week when, same day stats for Hasselbeck’s first month at her new show, Fox & Friends came out —  up 22% in news demo compared to third quarter —  they began picking up a report in celeb gossip site Radar that The View newcomer Jenny McCarthy may not be testing so well with viewers.

“There is absolutely no truth to this story,”  The View rep said in a statement.

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