We're not sure about the smiling, laughing and singing, but Barry Manilow is finding it hard to do The View without you, Rosie O'Donnell.

In a message posted on his Website Monday, the pop icon announced he has scuttled a Tuesday appearance on The View because he did not want to take a seat next to Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

"I wanted to let you know that I will no longer be on The View tomorrow as scheduled. I had made a request that I be interviewed by Joy [Behar], Barbara [Walters] or Whoopi [Goldberg] but not Elisabeth Hasselbeck," he wrote. "Unfortunately, the show was not willing to accommodate this simple request, so I bowed out."

A spokesperson for the chatfest declined to comment on Manilow's exit.

Manilow had appeared on ABC's daytime talker twice in the past year without any such requirements, most recently last November. Of course, that was before his pal Rosie O'Donnell blew up at Hasselbeck over the war in Iraq and exited the show in May.

Said Manilow: "It's really too bad, because I've always been a big supporter of the show, but I cannot compromise my beliefs. The good news is I will be on a whole slew of other shows promoting the new album, so I hope you can catch me on those."

Manilow, 64, has been making the promotional rounds for his latest release, The Greatest Songs of the Seventies, which hits stores on Tuesday and features new acoustic renditions of some his best-known hits, including "Mandy," "Weekend in New England," "Copacabana" and "I Write the Songs," as well as a duet with O'Donnell on Elton John's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."

An avid Democratic supporter and contributor for years, Manilow has already maxed out his contributions this year, donating $2,300 each to the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Joseph Biden and John Edwards. (He also wrote a similar check to Republican contrarian Ron Paul.)

He has portrayed his View adieu as a philosophical clash with the conservative Hasselbeck. TMZ quoted Manilow as saying, "I strongly disagree with her views. I think she's dangerous and offensive. I will not be on the same stage as her."

However, a show insider disputed the crooner's characterization, saying it was View producers who "canceled him" when they learned of his objections to Hasselbeck, and not the other way around.

"It's a show with five cohosts, and it's about having different perspectives. I mean, it's called The View," the source told E! Online. "Elisabeth has acted the consummate professional she is. It's very bizarre he would call her 'dangerous.' "

The insider noted that during Manilow's appearances last year, everyone got along just fine. "They sang, they danced, they laughed."

The source speculated that Manilow, who had been booked on The View since July, made his demands out of loyalty to O'Donnell.

"[His request] is kind of like wanting to be booked on [Live with] Regis and Kelly and not having Kelly on. I don't know if he's grandstanding on behalf of Rosie, but the hypocrisy is outrageous," the insider said. "He appeared twice before, and all of a sudden he has a problem with Elisabeth."

Manilow has seen a huge resurgence in popularity in the past year. His The Greatest Songs of the Fifties debuted at number one on the Billboard charts in January 2006, his first number one in 29 years, and has sold more than 3 million copies. Last October, his Greatest Songs of the Sixties, debuted at number two.

To the chagrin of Stephen Colbert, Manilow also earned an Emmy last year for his PBS special Manilow: Music and Passion.

 

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