Barbara Walters Really Is Baba Wawa
"I guess it's good to be made fun of, I guess that means you're slightly famous." Barbara Walters
If you're an early Baby Boomer you remember Gilda Radner's hilarious send-ups of Barbara Walters on Saturday Night Live. More than parodying her slight speech impediment, Radner really skewered Walters' overblown sense of self-importance and concurrent false modesty about her iconic celebrity status.
Serious journalist? Yes, Walters had the chops and some of the 20th Century's top interviews to prove it. Ground-breaking feminist? Absolutely. She was television's first female journalist, breaking ground for most of today's women on TV news and quasi-news shows.
She even broke through the glass ceiling, if only briefly as television's first female evening news anchor on ABC. When she got cut, she showed 'em all by making more money and becoming more famous than the jamokes who juked her.
Less than impressive is her pivotal role in creating the execrable "infotainment" triad of news, entertainment and celebrity gossip that has supplanted actual news for millions of television viewers.
Did she dally with the great and near great along the way? Well, of course. Who wouldn't? But I don't believe for a second she slept her way to fame and fortune. She just slept with the famous and the rich and powerful who swam in the waters where she dangled her feet.
Now, thanks to the nauseating hype surrounding the most obscure affair she reveals in her newly released autobiography, we are subjected to cutesy, near-adolescent descriptions of her sexual exploits.
I just have to say for the record, Blech. If you can't talk like an adult, I don't want to listen.
Which is nothing compared to my outrage at the media for pouncing on Walters' revelation of her affair with former Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke. And beating it to death. It's pandering of the very worst kind.
Until Walters' book, Brooke was a man living under the radar, completely out of public life. At the time of their affair he was her "younger man." A married man. A US Senator. And by the way, he's Black.
Groundbreaking, famous white woman and younger, formerly little known Black senator plastered all over the news together. Beyond Blech.
I don't know who thought up that disgusting marketing ploy, but Shame on You! And, I have a feeling, shame on Baba Wawa for going along with it just to sell her wittle book.