Saturday, December 31, 2022


Feminist icon Barbara Walters, the first-ever female news anchor, is dead at the ripe old age of 93. I can't say that I agreed with Walters's worldview, but I can respect her efforts as an old-school journalist and pioneer for women. She went through a long phase during which she was known as "Baba Wawa," a mocking tribute to her supposed speech impediment (it wasn't really an impediment; her speech was simply a little soft and melty around the edges). I recall with some amusement her interview with a very unrepentant Sean Connery after he had made his remark about keeping women in line with the occasional slap. I also recall an interview she did with comedian Robin Williams, during which Williams told a joke so off-color that Walters essentially stopped and gaped, unable to say anything in reply. I got the impression that celebrities generally liked Walters. Harrison Ford, famously uncomfortable during interviews, outright told Walters that the only reason why he was sitting with her was that he liked her. As you might expect, Walters interviewed more than celebrities: she was often among the first to interview global leaders ranging from heads of state to powerful businessmen. I'm not seeing any immediate cause of death for her; she apparently suffered aortic-valve problems some years earlier, but she recovered after surgery. At a guess, 93 was just her time. She lived well, accomplished much, and will be remembered.


John from Daejeon said...

She became a wash in my estmation. She was great with Hugh Downs on "20/20," but then with the last act of her life she unleashed that hell that is Whoopi and Joy Behar screeching mostly hellacious nonsense on her "The View."

Kevin Kim said...

Yeah, I didn't want to get into all of that. Otherwise, I would've started ranting.

John from Daejeon said...

I think she pulled in a lot of interviews due to the limited television landscape in her main days which is why so many boomers think so highly of Johnny Carson. Plus, many celebs and heads of state figured her to be a safer bet than say MacNeil, Lehrer, Cronkite, or those on "60 Minutes."