Joy Behar had no idea what she was jump-starting. By reciting a (literal) list of the Bush administration's assorted black eyes - Abu Ghraib, "Brownie," Rummy, My Pet Goat and "nucular" included - The View's resident comedienne ignited a war of words on Wednesday's show between e-mail pals Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. (Video now up at YouTube.) It became clear that the shouting match was actually rooted in Liz's failure to succinctly denounce a recent allegation by right-wing pundits that Ro typified the U.S. troops in Iraq as "terrorists."

While not even the most detailed transcript would clarify what transpired, the exchange had Rosie at first fending off a squabble, saying the media (hi, there!) would spin it as, "Big, fat, lesbian, loud Rosie attacks innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth." Soon enough, though, Ro would slam her fair-haired foe as a "double-speaker," and then the claws came out. Speaking to the issue truly at hand, Liz told Rosie to "defend your own thoughts" rather than rely on a cohost to stump for her. Looking to shirk the public's impression of her, Hasselbeck went on to say, "'Poor little Elisabeth' isn't poor little Elisabeth," and later shouted at Ro, "Do not call me a coward!"

A pal instantly IM'd me to say, "That's next year's Emmy tape."

I guess what I'm really getting at here is this: Are you Team Rosie or Team Elisabeth? Vote here.

UPDATE: Rosie has blogged about today's scrape, titled "cease fire":

a split screen
new heights
or lows
depending on who u ask


UPDATE: Later debriefed by TV's Extra on the exchange, Hasselbeck insists, "I am fine," explaining, "We are used to debating things there. It's there, it's an issue, it's dealt with and it's over." As for whether she and Rosie can move past this incident, she says, "I would hope that a disagreement... wouldn't be the end of a relationship." That said, she expects their next backstage crossing of paths to "be a little awkward. Whenever we have a heated debate, the next day is awkward."