By Adam Carlson
Updated March 11, 2013 at 03:42 PM EDT
Donna Svennevik/ABC

Whoopi Goldberg began this morning’s The View with the obvious: “It’s been kind of a crazy weekend.”

“People say the times are a-changin’,” she said at the top of the hour, referring to the “story after story” about who would and would not be leaving The View in the wake of Joy Behar’s announcement that she would be exiting the popular panel show.

(Behar, for her part, debuted a list of “Top 10 Reasons for Leaving The View” that Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck thought were hi-larious. A sample: “No. 10: ABC won’t let me drink on the air like Hoda and Kathy Lee.”)

Before the gang could get to the day’s “hot topics,” Barbara Walters leaned forward to explain what was really up with the 17-year-old talk show, and to address rumors that Hasselbeck would be following Behar out the door. “There is a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s departure,” she said, referring to rumors that Hasselbeck was being pushed out due to her conservative views.

“The truth is we love Elisabeth,” Walters continued. “I like her personally and she’s just a wonderful person — but beyond that, we value and appreciate her point-of-view … We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show.”

Walters followed that up with the reminder, however, that any of the other four women were more than welcome to leave whenever they felt the time was right and that she would “fully support” their decision.

She wrapped up the seriousness thus, “Right now, the only person who cannot leave this show is me” — another, subtler response to stories that she would leave the panel in the wake of her flagging health.

Whoopi then cut through the silence: “Are we done with the elephant in the room? Thank God.”

After the commercial break: Did wearing high heels destroy Sarah Jessica Parker’s feet?

Read more:

Joy Behar leaving ‘The View’

Elisabeth Hasselbeck also leaving ‘The View’: Report