Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Definition of Fascinating.

The end of the year has many traditions: Christmas, Hanukah and the Barbara Walters special. Her famed “The 10 Most Fascinating People” is for TV freaks like me, a must. I was however skeptical of the list when in a trailer for the show, I saw Imus was part of the list. Imus? He certainly was a newsmaker in 2007 but fascinating, he is not. Katherine Heigl from Grey’s Anatomy is fascinating? Huh, no, but nice plug for one of your shows, ABC. Jennifer Hudson? Maybe. Perhaps because of the Cinderella twist but in time, people will come to their senses and realize that Miss Hudson got that Oscar because of great timing & great hype – not great acting. The rest of the list makes sense, for entertainment purposes. Justin Timberlake, Bill Clinton, the founders of MySpace, and JK Rowling are arguably individuals who fascinated in one way or another.

I have watched and admired Barbara Walters for longer that I’d like to admit and I’m already salivating over her yet to be published autobiography. However, it's with much chagrin that I’ve watch Miss Walters fall into the celebrity gossip trap through her specials and daily on The View. Barbara Walters is an accomplished journalist who has covered presidential elections, social movements and civil malaises. And now, she’s talking about Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham? Indigestible. I remember in-depth interviews Barbara Walters did with Baby Doc and Michelle Duvalier in the late ‘80’s when the world was figuring out that these two well-polished jet-setters and Haiti’s first couple, were little more then first-class thieves. Walters asked the tough questions and made the couple nervous. I remember an eye-opening interview with the Shah of Iran and his beautiful yet distressed wife. And then there was the one with Anwar Sadat: simply priceless. Walters broke down a complicated geopolitical conflict and managed to give the brilliant Sadat a podium where he could share his vision. But Walters’ true tour de force was executed when she interviewed Castro. That, was fascinating.

There are sufficient TV and Print tabloids covering the Zsa Zsa Gabors-nouveau. Barbara Walters shouldn’t be one of them.

Walters does Chavez:

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