200709ehm.jpgBarry Manilow, who is out promoting his Greatest Songs of the Seventies, has refused to share a stage with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who was barely walking in the 70s. The crooner left a little message on his website yesterday for his fans letting them know he wouldn't be on The View today, saying "I had made a request that I be interviewed by Joy, Barbara or Whoopi, but not Elisabeth Hasselback. Unfortunately, the show was not willing to accommodate this simple request so I bowed out. It’s really too bad because I've always been a big supporter of the show, but I cannot compromise my beliefs."

Manilow vs Hasselbeck, it's on! The reason for his request is that Manilow is a major Democratic fundraiser, and Hasselbeck is a conservative (or as Manilow put it "dangerous and offensive"). Clearly the producers of the show wanted to get a heated interview with the two, and when he refused -- they refused to accommodate him. Daytime television and easy listening have never been so edgy!

Last night on Barbara Walters's Sirius radio show, she and her producer Bill Geddie discussed the situation, which went something like this...

BG: I wouldn’t even be talking about this except that he called up TMZ. So, now, what are we going to do? Last Friday we got the word that he’s very close to Rosie, and he doesn’t want to appear.

BW: Well also, Elisabeth Hasselbeck is not an enemy of Rosie’s. None of us are. If Elisabeth disagrees with Rosie, and Rosie disagrees with Elisabeth….nobody is to my knowledge is taking sides. All I can think of is that wonderful song (Walters breaks into rendition of ‘I Write the Songs That Make the Whole Sing’…adding her own lyrics) Provided They Happen to Be Liberals.’

BG: It got me thinking. You know, I’ve never heard Jane Fonda say ‘I won’t sit with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.’ I’ve never heard Susan Sarandon say that. If someone was conservative and said ‘I won’t sit with Joy Behar’ I’d react the exact same way. I don’t understand this when this became an issue for him, and why would you go off and then call TMZ and make a big column item. Is it all about publicity? Is this all it is?

Interesting how a few lines on TMZ can get someone more publicity than a network television show these days.