Maybe it’s a good thing Barbara Walters sets my teeth on edge because otherwise I might develop a liking for morning television, but as it stands I don’t watch ‘The View’ unless there is a particular topic I am interested in hearing what the panel has to say about it. Recently, the occasion was the death of Whitney Houston. Now if I remember correctly, Walters isn’t on every panel like Whoopie and the rest however that might be different now that she no longer co-hosts ‘20/20’ (as you can see, it’s been some time since I took an active interest in ‘The View’). I should add that despite what appears to be any current direct tie to ‘ABC News’ during the Houston discussion Walter’s emphasized her allegiance to the news division which prevented her from saying something although she did add that Houston probably died from drugs.
I should also note for reasons of clarification (but not surprising for anyone who knows my political beliefs) I’m not the biggest fan of Elizabeth Hasselbeck either. It isn’t just because she is a Republican, although that never helps, but because mostly she sits there with a sour look on her face which turns into a grimace if Joy Bahar talks about something remotely partisan.
My feelings in regards to Walters are based on the way she makes me feel uncomfortable as if formal attire is required to watch her and the best I can give her are jeans and a turtleneck…and this is from someone sitting at home. Further, it seems as if she has no problem interrupting the other women but if they don’t allow her to finish her thought she reprimands them on TV, “let me finish what I was saying.” Now I might feel different if what she interrupted Whoopie (and the rest) to say was interesting but it never is. It is usually something that is obvious and said with too many pauses between words. I believe she revealed that Houston had admitted to Diane Sawyer during an interview she had used drugs…oh, brother!
I haven’t watched the program in years, but based on the episode after Houston’s death nothing much has changed.
A brief history; the first time Walters really got my goat was when Debbie Matenopoulos was fired left the show. I don’t know exactly what went down but I do know that the way Walters handled it, she is the executive producer of ‘The View’, rubbed me the wrong way. Matenopoulos was young, blonde, and tended to say some stupid things (she served as fodder for several ‘SNL’ skits during her tenure) but to the best of my knowledge that was exactly what she was hired to do. The whole idea of ‘The View’ from the beginning was to have women of diverse ages and backgrounds talk in a group about current events and interview celebrities. Well one day Matenopoulos was there and the next she wasn’t…on a later program Babs stated that Debbie had moved on to something else as if it was the most naturally thing in the world. If you are going to let someone go be upfront about it with the audience because despite all of you faux smiles the audience knows something isn’t right.
I think the best example of Walters inspired awkwardness was when Star Jones left the show. Back when I would occasionally watch the show Jones was one of the fan favorites however she lost ground after losing a ton of weight and deciding to have the wedding of her dreams. To pay for said dream wedding she used her ‘View’ connections to make deals for free stuff in exchange for a shout out on the program. This led to her being busted for the shadiness which eventually led to ABC not renewing her contract. However ABC made the mistake of underestimating a woman scorned. Star shocked the audience by announcing her departure earlier than the producers (one being Walters) had planned.
Soon afterwards Jones spilled her guts to ‘People’ magazine and then was completely let go from ‘The View’. Walters, a day or so later, attempted damage control. By the way ABC, never let Walters do damage control because she really mucks it up. She said that everyone at ‘The View’ (especially herself) was willing to not only lie but to put a positive spin about Jones leaving but since Jones betrayed them Walters was going to lay it all on the table and then never speak of it again. She also said some bullshit about having her feelings hurt and so forth. Here is what I took away from the episode: 1, Ms. Walters never lie to your audience and ACT that everything is okay because they know you are lying (much like the Matenopoulos episode) . 2, Don’t promote yourself into a victim role when you were one of the people who fired the woman. As a producer of the show you let Jones go for a reason and you don’t necessarily have to tell the audience everything, but note that you shouldn’t paint a picture of a work place that is happy (see rule # 1).
Another problem I have with Walters is that she appears to have little in the way of a sense of humor. Of course she does that smug mug pretty well, but more often than not she looks like a deer in the headlights when she has a comedian on the show. Listen, I love Kathy Griffin, and Griffin’s humor is heaven sent for a show like ‘The View’ but it seems as if every time she is on ‘The View’ she ends up being banned from it for a period afterwards. I don’t know what her status is now but I believe the last time she was on the show Hasselbeck lambasted her for something involving Griffin’s political views and probably some other fucktarded excuse. BTW, why does Hasselbeck remain on the show when it seems as if every three months she has a meltdown and is downright rude to guests?
There was also the time Michael Eisner who was CEO of Disney at the time (parent company of ABC) came to ‘The View’. After his nerf ball interview I wondered if he had to surgically remove Walter’s lips from his backside.
I don’t think my Walters prejudice is based on her age as much as it is about a viewpoint that hasn’t bended enough to changing times. I think her wisdom born of life experience is grand, but her dismissal of other women is problematic.
Westerfield © 2012