March 7th, 2010
03:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Reliable Sources: Walters speaks out on celebrities, scandals

(CNN) – Barbara Walters takes her final bow tonight hosting ABC's Oscar's Special, a program she anchored for 29 years. Howard Kurtz sat down with Walters for a wide-ranging interview which aired this morning on CNN's Reliable Sources.

Kurtz asked Walters why she decided to pull the plug on this long-standing tradition.

"I'm sick of it," Walters said. "I've been thinking about this for a few years now. And I feel it's time. And sometimes you can't explain that. I will still do interviews. It's still like having a wonderful dessert for me."

Sunday night's Oscar special features interviews with best actress and best supporting actress nominees Sandra Bullock and Mo'Nique, as well as a look back at previous interviews with icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and oddball moments such as the lap dance Walters received courtesy of Hugh Jackman. Walters said she will continue to do her annual "10 Most Fascinating People" special.

Kurtz asked Walters about her high-profile political interviews in the past year with Fox News' Glenn Beck and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

"Glenn Beck is a very intelligent man. This may disturb a lot of people. I'm not so sure I'm supposed to know that he is, but he is," Walters said.

In her interview with Palin, Walters asked the former Alaska Governor whether or not she knew her daughter Bristol was sexually active, and Palin candidly answered that she and her husband "were devastated.”

"To talk to her about her daughter's sexual activity didn't insult her intelligence. And so that's why she answered," Walters said.

So how has Walters been able to get honest answers to tough questions all these years?

"I don't come off belligerently. I don't give my political point of view. And if I don't get an answer, I say something like, what's the biggest misconception about you? And it's amazing what you learn." Walters said. "People know that I'm fair and dignified. I'm not out for the kill. I'm not out for the get. I'm out to have you know this person."

From 1976 to 1978, Barbara Walters made history by becoming the first woman to co-anchor a network evening newscast. Walters said she is extremely happy with the state of woman and journalism today, and she is particularly happy for her colleague Diane Sawyer, the current anchor of ABC's World News.

"This is my, I don't know, not my vindication and not my legacy, but my great pride in them. I was so happy about Diane. People think that - that she and I are not friends," Walters said. "We always had respect for each other and I'm very pleased that she's doing what she's doing now."

Walters entered the revolving door of hosts at ABC's This Week last month, where she interviewed newly elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Fox News President Roger Ailes, and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, but said she has no interest in taking over hosting duties of This Week on a full-time basis.

"It would be too much for me now. I mean I wouldn't mind doing it sporadically but I wouldn't want to have to go to Washington every Saturday night," Walters said. "I've got enough jobs."

Kurtz briefly turned the tables on Walters and asked, "What's the biggest misconception about you?"

Walters said, "I think it was, until I started to do The View, I was very serious, authoritative and cold. Now people know that I'm warm and lovable."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Paul H

    One thing I didn't like about Barbra Wa Wa on "The Veiw" was that she did allow her political views to shine, and it did obscure her interviews some. You could see it on her face if there was a Bill O Riley on that program that she didn't agree with him.
    I didn't like her in that forum.

    March 7, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    walters, like Romney, don't know when to keep quiet. The quitter has no intelligence to insult and she lies about everything. beck is a certifiable psycho. Get real barbara!!! :( :(
    "Glenn Beck is a very intelligent man. This may disturb a lot of people. I'm not so sure I'm supposed to know that he is, but he is," Walters said.
    In her interview with Palin, Walters asked the former Alaska Governor whether or not she knew her daughter Bristol was sexually active, and Palin candidly answered that she and her husband "were devastated.”
    "To talk to her about her daughter's sexual activity didn't insult her intelligence. And so that's why she answered," Walters said.

    March 7, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |