TV journalism matriarch Barbara Walters will be hanging up her mic in May 2014.
Over her 52-year career, she’s interviewed every US President and First Lady since Richard and Pat Nixon, Hollywood icons, world leaders, dictators, Justin Bieber, and even a member of the tribe or two.
Here’s a look back at some of her top interviews.
1. Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat
In 1977, Walters convinced Begin and Sadat to sit down together for their first joint interview ever. Watch her talk about how she managed it.
39 years after she first got behind an anchor’s desk at “The Today Show,” sources have confirmed that Barbara Walters will be retiring in May 2014.
A number of specials and send-offs are in the works to celebrate the grande dame of television’s 52-year-career. Walters will also be leaving her show “The View,” along with other original host Joy Behar.
“She’s one of a kind and what she has done is remarkable,” a source told the New York Post. There will be an announcement about her retirement soon.”
When she joined ABC Evening News in 1976, Walters became the first female co-anchor of a network evening news broadcast. She hosted ABC’s primetime newsmagazine 20/20 for 20 years.
Deadline was the first to break the story on Thursday, stating: “After years of speculation, I hear Barbara Walters may be finally ready to hand up her microphone.”
Walters apparently wanted to leave on her own terms, and so it remains unclear whether or not she will continue to make sporadic appearances a la Larry King.
Rumors about Walter’s retirement have been circulating since TMZ reported a remark made to President Obama about “retiring next year,” in December 2011. Her recent hospitalization with chicken pox after a fall early this year did their share to fan the rumor flames.
Walter, 83, was born in 1929 to Dana and Louis Walters, descendants of Jewish refugees from Tsarist Russia.
Pop diva Mariah Carey said she hired increased security following what she described as threats reportedly made against her by fellow ‘American Idol’ judge Nicki Minaj, according to an interview on ABC News.
Carey, 42, one of three new judges to join the “American Idol” panel for the hit talent show’s new season on Jan. 16, told Barbara Walters in an interview airing on Monday, “it felt like an unsafe work environment.”
“Anytime anybody’s reeling threats at somebody, you know, it’s not appropriate,” Carey said.
“I’m a professional. I’m not used to that type of environment,” she said, adding that she hired extra security.
The diva was alluding to widely reported tension between her and Minaj, who were seen arguing with one another in a video from the show’s audition phase.
Walters has reported that, according to Carey, others on the “Idol” set heard Minaj go further and say, off-camera, “If I had a gun, I would shoot that bitch.”
Barbara Walters looked straight into the camera while filming a recent episode of “The View” (that is, once she figured out which camera to look at) and plain out told her old friend Donald Trump that he is being “a fool.” If that wasn’t clear enough, she admonished the tycoon and reality TV star with, “Stop it! Get off it!” in regard to the birther conspiracy theory accusations Trump continues to level at President Obama.
Adam Sandler is apparently big in Romania. Well, at the very least his animated feature, “Hotel Transylvania” has been well received there. Sandler didn’t make it over to Transylvania for the film’s premiere there, but director Genndy Tartakovsky did. Next up for Sandler is a Western titled, “Ridiculous 6.”
Drew Barrymore and hubby Will Kopelman made their first public appearance since their baby daughter Olive was born at the LACMA 2012 Art + Film Gala presented by Gucci on Saturday. The couple was photographed showing off pics on an iPhone to friends Jennifer Aniston and her fiancé Justin Theroux. Judging from the adoring looks, we think it’s safe to bet they were the latest photos of little Olive.
As if Barbara Walters’s exclusive soft-ball interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad last December wasn’t bad enough, now there is word that the 82-year-old host of “The View” has inappropriately used her influence to further the career of one of the brutal dictator’s closest aides.
The Telegraph reports that Walters tried to help Sheherazad Jaafari, the daughter of Syria’s UN ambassador, get a spot at the Columbia School of Journalism and an internship with CNN’s Piers Morgan show. When Syrian opposition activists got a hold of email exchanges between Walters and Jaafari, 22, they confronted Walters with them, and she admitted that she had been acting with a conflict of interest and apologized.
Crossposted from Haaretz
Hundreds of emails from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s office were leaked on Monday after an attack by the hacker group Anonymous. One of the email files, which Haaretz has obtained, was a document preparing Assad for his December 2011 interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters.
The attack took place overnight Sunday and the target was the mail server of the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs. Some 78 inboxes of Assad’s aides and advisers were hacked and the password that some used was “12345”. Among those whose email was exposed were the Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Fadlallah Azzam and Assad’s media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.
Assad’s TV interview with Walters was memorable for his repeated denials that Syrian citizens were being killed. “We don’t kill our people … no government in the world kills its people, unless it’s led by a crazy person,” Assad told Walters.