To: The Mainstream News Media
From: A reporter-turned-educator who is still a news junkie
Re: Barbara Walters
Some people, myself among them, believe Barbara Walters should have had her journalist tag revoked long ago. Sure, she "interviews" people but she has become more famous for making celebrities cry and asking inane questions.
As with Larry King, Walters asks celebrities softball questions to which they respond with pre-scripted answers and they enjoy some happy times together.
This is why both of them should not be treated any more seriously than, say,
Brangelina. At least Team Brangelina in recent weeks have used their collective celebrity and media attention for good causes, such as saying they will not marry until gays also have the right to marry.
Before you protest, "Who in their right mind considers Walters a journalist anyway?" consider that she was the first female to co-anchor the evening network evening news.
And what does Walters do with her celebrity? She makes a fool of herself on a regular basis on The View.
Today she hit a new low as she suggested – with a straight face, mind you – that her dog spoke to her.
She claims that when she told her dog she loved her, the dog responded: "I love you."
James Frey, memoirist/fictionwriter, and Jonathan Karr, who confessed to killings he did not actually do, are starting to look more credible in my mind than Walters.
You know, I read an excellent book about humans talking to their dogs. The book, Dogs of Babel, was by Carolyn Parkhurst. The premise was that a man wanted his dog, the only witness to his wife's death, to speak so he can find out what really happened.
Oh, wait, that was fiction. Methinks Walters' episode is also fictional.
Perhaps it is fitting that Parkhurst's new novel is called Lost and Found because it is looking increasingly like Walters has lost her mind.
Walters says that she is going to bring a corroborating witness onto The View. If that witness can't appear, I'm sure Walters can find some crazy old ladies who talk to their cats to appear and speak on her behalf.
Better, though, for Walters to admit she is just more desperate for attention than Paris Hilton, but without that whole slutty image, thank God.
So let me close with this thought: Who in their right mind still considers Walters a journalist? A person who should be paid to interview others?
ABC, that's who, and all the minions who watch Walters' show.
ABC's biography of Walters begins this way: "Barbara Walters has arguably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history. She is so well known that her name and a brief biography is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary."
It's time for the biography to be updated to change one word: Replace the word "journalist" with "joke."
Until then she, Larry King, Geraldo Rivera and others of their ilk are cheapening the word "journalist" in the same way that people who overuse the word Nazi are lessening the meaning of that label.
Your Constant Reader,