Television: The View At The Top

Three years ago, Barbara Walters created a new kind of daytime show for a new kind of daytime audience. Now the five opinionated women of The View have given morning talk a makeover

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Thus Hanover's Vagina Monologues controversy was a perfect example of a salacious-substantive View topic, says Behar--who has just announced that she's going to appear in the play. (Hanover and husband Rudy Giuliani's travails have been very generous to the Hot Topics segment.) "It's about politics, relationships," she says. "Is she sabotaging him or supporting him? Will he turn on her? Will it hurt his campaign? It's got five or six levels."

"And we get to say vagina!" Jones and Vieira chime in. This is enough to alert den mother Walters. "Enough!" she says. "This is a TIME magazine story."

Not to worry, I tell her. TIME can print "vagina" now. It's the 21st century!

"See?" Behar says, satisfied. "They've gone downhill too."

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