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Jewish World Review
Sept. 26, 2007
/ 14 Tishrei 5768
Stupid Entertainer Tricks
I don't know if Red Skelton was a Democrat or a Republican. I don't know how Desi Arnaz voted in presidential elections. I haven't a clue how Nat King Cole felt about the Korean War. And I'm glad. It's a funny thing, but somehow Sammy Davis Jr., Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Perry Como, George Burns, Doris Day, Steve and Edie and all of the other great entertainers who made frequent appearances on television years ago, did so without feeling a need to spew out their personal politics to millions of viewers. Boy, how things have changed!
What is with modern celebrities anyway? Why can't they just perform and shut their stupid mouths? It seems like they've all just freaked out! The latest one is Barry Manilow. Now, Manilow is a major Democratic fundraiser, okay fine. So what? I hate to break it to him, but nobody buys his songs because he is a fundraiser for the Democratic Party. Nobody goes to his concerts because he is against the Iraq war and is pro-abortion.
I assume he's a singer who still wants to sell records and concert tickets. But instead of attempting to appeal to the largest audience he can, he chops his audience in half by refusing to appear on the television talk show "The View," because he did not want to be interviewed by its conservative co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck. That's right - Barry is scared of Lizzie.
Manilow was scheduled to appear on the ABC morning show Tuesday, September 18th, the same day his new album, "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies" hits the stores. But those plans fell through because he says he doesn't agree with the politics of Elisabeth Hasselbeck, an abortion opponent and supporter of American troops in Iraq. "I had made a request that I be interviewed by (co-hosts) Joy (Behar), Barbara (Walters) or Whoopi (Goldberg), but not Elisabeth Hasselbeck," Manilow said.
It should be noted that Barry Manilow is a very good friend of Rosie O'Donnell, who left the show under highly turbulant circumstances and has since written a book where she pretty much rakes Barbara Walters over the coals. When O'Donnell was there, she and Elisabeth would often get into heated political debates on the program. Manilow had appeared on the show twice in the past year when Hasselbeck and Rosie were both present, and had been booked for Tuesday's appearance since July. But now I guess Barry is afraid to face Elisabeth alone without Rosie to run interference for him.
"Unfortunately, the show was not willing to accommodate this simple request so I bowed out," he said in a statement on his Web site. But a source close to "The View" said "we canceled him," because producers refused to comply with Manilow's "completely disrespectful" demands. In an earlier statement to the news Web site TMZ.com, which broke the story, Manilow said Hasselbeck was "dangerous" and "offensive." Elisabeth Hasselbeck is dangerous and offensive? You mean as opposed to being rational, good-natured, and repectful like Roadhouse Rosie is.
"It's really too bad because I've always been a big supporter of the show," Manilow said, "but I cannot compromise my beliefs." What? Excuse me, who is asking Barry Manilow to "compromise" his "beliefs"? Why does making an appearance on a talk show (that has three liberal co-hosts and only one conservative co-host, by the way) compromise your beliefs? Since when is debating a subject with someone a compromise of one's beliefs? What the hell is he talking about? I swear I think he's nuts! Too much stretching of the face has distorted his mind. Or maybe the Botox has frozen his brain cells.
How about this, Barry - when you go on the show in order to plug your new album you don't talk politics at all. Just keep your trap shut. OR, you can go on the show, plug your album, and talk politics for a few minutes with the co-hosts by stating your opinion in an intelligent, logical way. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Oh no, he can't do that - that would be "a compromise" of Barry Manilow's "beliefs." Give me a break, Barry.
You might write the songs the whole world sings, but you won't appear on the same stage with a conservative woman? What's the matter - are you afraid that it's catching? Trust me on this, Barry, nobody wants to turn you into a Republican, and it couldn't be done anyway. Remember the old axiom about purses and sow's ears? It's kind of like that.
Oh, and one other thing - lose the Phil Spector hairdo already, okay? I know your album is all about 70's music, but tell your beautician that it's the year 2007. Besides, the Phil Spector look only works in the court room when you are trying to solicate sympathy from the jury because you're insane. Spector has bad wigs, what's your excuse?
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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© 2006, Greg Crosby