My brilliant brother Steve has an excellent expression: “We’re gonna die just in time.” Alas, in the case of the publication of Barbara Walters’ memoir, Audition, we all missed the death deadline and now have to suffer through the ugly media coverage of what sounds like utter rubbish, including Walters’ revelation that she had an affair with former Massachusetts senator Edward Brooke. (Where’s that character the funny Kristen Wiig plays on “Saturday Night Live” when you need her? You know, the auntie who reviews films? “Gack!”)
An opportunistic skeeve, Walters will now make appearances to sell her book, including an “Oprah” spot and God knows how many forthcoming trash “entertainment” shows. Now 78, and no less a refuse-monger now than she was in her heyday as a ”journalist,” the pathetic Walters still seeks attention and continues to embarrass herself, mainly because that’s always been her M.O.
Devoid of any intellectualism, Walters has been an obnoxious media presence for decades, exploiting her New York connections to gain a foothold as a “TV personality,” first on NBC, and later ABC, foisting on a defenseless world her sappy, witless, often tasteless brand of reportage, some of which included simply awful interviews with actual world leaders.
Just because Walters has had a podium for however many decades doesn’t make it right, and I’ll leave it to you to surmise how an average-looking broad like her, with a less-than-average mind, who never went to speech school to improve her stupid-sounding regional vocal style, turned it all into a mega-millions television career.
But even if we grant that Walters indubitably established herself as a TV presence through all the years, that’s no excuse for her taking the low road now that she’s a doddering old fool. And yet, would we expect anything less? Sad.
A person with grace, class, a sense of decency and a seriously iconic public profile doesn’t publish a tell-all memoir unless she’s so insecure and craving the limelight that she doesn’t care where the grapeshot of her naval-gazing musings lands.
Edward Brooke is now 88, living out his life in Florida. But no, that’s not enough for Walters. Let’s dig up some bones and say “Look at me!”
Stupid people—Walters’ career-long audience—will possibly buy her book, if they have any money left after buying groceries and filling their cars with gas. Meanwhile, the “author” will sanctimoniously make her media appearances, defend her work, and no doubt tell us how cathartic it all feels.
Here’s the truth, Barbara: Nobody of any substance cares. And that will be the legacy of your life and career.