Barbara Walters had an affinity for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. From gushing over his “charisma” to repeating communist talking points, the ABC journalist couldn’t help herself. It was 36 years ago this November that Walters bragged about Christmas cards from Castro.
Appearing on the November 8,1983 Tonight Show, she told host Johnny Carson: “Every time there is a crisis in Central America, I try to get through to Fidel Castro.... I get a Christmas card every year from Fidel Castro. It comes in March. It really does. I don't know if it means it has to go by way of, I don't know what, Grenada.”
On the December 12, 2014 The View, Walters praised Castro: "Maybe the most charismatic person I have met." On the October 11, 2002 20/20, she gushed, “For Castro, freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth. The literacy rate is 96 percent.”
For more examples from our flashback series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.
A partial transcript is below.
Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
BARBARA WALTERS: Every time there is a crisis in Central America, I try to get through to Fidel Castro.
JOHNNY CARSON: You interviewed Castro.
WALTERS: I have interviewed him. And this is true: I get a Christmas card every year from Fidel Castro. It comes in March.It really does. I don't know if it means it has to go by way of, I don't know what, Grenada? He's the only head of state, outside of the president of the United States, that sends, what? 40,000? That sends a Christmas card.
CARSON: You get a card from the Reagans?
WALTERS: I get a card from the Reagans. Don't you get a card from the Reagans? [ Laughter ]