In the last week of Barbara Walters appearing regularly on "The View" on ABC, beware of those who badly keep tabs on Babs. Start with the New York Daily News and TV writer David Hinckley, who unleashed this whopper.
"You hope people can feel comfortable when they go on ‘The View’,” says Walters. “It’s a show that should let you relax and be yourself.” Hinckley added: "That seemed to work for both Obama and his 2012 presidential opponent Mitt Romney...." Hinckley somehow missed that Mitt Romney skipped the show after the 2008 John McCain debacle and sent wife Ann instead -- who was hammered by the hosts on abortion and why her sons didn't serve in the military. Walters asked her son Josh (sitting in the audience) if he agreed with brother Tagg that he’d like to take a swing at Barack Obama. (video below)
Hinckley failed to recall McCain's interview in 2008, where Whoopi Goldberg asked if he was elected, "do I have to be worried about becoming a slave again?" He let Walters claim "The View" was a civil, nonpartisan space, only ruined temporarily by Rosie O'Donnell:
Walters acknowledges she has tried to walk the line where the show could be civil and also allow for the strong opinions that would make it interestering.
It only veered off that line one season, she said, when Rosie O’Donnell replaced original moderator Meredith Vieira in 2006-2007.
“Rosie gave us high ratings because she was controversial,” says Walters. “And I think Rosie is a wonderful talent. But it was too controversial. We had to cut back a little.”
The greater goal, says Walters, was creating a place where guests of any persuasion could feel they would get a fair hearing in a cordial atmosphere.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who from 2004 to 2013 was the most openly conservative host on the panel, made a point when she left of praising Walters’ journalistic standards.
The "most openly conservative"? Hasselbeck understandably paid tribute to Walters for giving her a TV career and honored Walters as giving her the journalism chops that would allow her to work at Fox News. But Hinckley used that to paper over the bias of "The View."
Walters also told the Daily News that her show worked well for damage control for ultraliberal New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“We called Mayor De Blasio and his wife to be on the show,” said Walters. “His reputation hadn’t been so good since he took office. He’d made some moves people didn’t like, and I think this was important to him. They came on the show, they were holding hands. It enabled them to be the best they can.”