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Barbara Walters

Drawing the highest pay in the history of television broadcasting at the time, Barbara Walters (born 1931) became the first woman co-anchor of a network evening newscast. She developed to a high art the interviewing of public figures. Barbara Walters was born to Dena (Selett) and Lou Walters. Her father operated a number of nightclubs, resulting in Barbara attending schools in Boston, New York, and Miami Beach. She earned a B.A. degree in English from Sarah Lawrence College (1954). After working briefly as a secretary she landed a job with NBC's (the National Broadcasting Company's) New York affiliate WRCA-TV where she quickly rose to producer and writer. She also held various writing and public relations jobs, including a stint as women's-program producer at WPIX-TV in New York. Her abilities and experience in research, writing, filming, and editing earned her a job as news and public affairs producer for CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) television. There she wrote materials for noted personalities who appeared on the CBS morning show that competed with NBC's Today program. She left CBS because she believed further advancement was unlikely. In 1961 she was hired by NBC as a writer with an occasional on-the-air feature for the Today show. Within three years Walters became an on-camera interviewer and persuaded such notables as Mamie Eisenhower, Anwar Sadat, and H. R. Haldeman to appear with her.

Meanwhile, a number of different "show-business" women held the post as the "Today girl," but none held news credentials. Mainly they engaged in small talk and read commercials. Some at NBC began to think a different kind of woman might help the show. When the spot was unexpectedly vacated, Walters was given the "Today girl" slot on a trial basis. The public readily accepted this bright, on-the-air newswoman, who also continued to write and produce much of her own material. A few months later Hugh Downs said Walters was the best thing that had happened to the Today show during his time as host. They would later be teamed on ABC's program 20/20 as competition to CBS's Sixty Minutes.

Today feature stories by Walters included socially significant topics, and frequently she got on-the-spot experience which gave her reports even more credibility. As her reputation grew, NBC made her a radio commentator on Emphasis and Monitor. She also participated in such NBC specials as "The Pill" and "The Sexual Revolution" (1967), and in 1969 she covered the investiture of Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales.

Finally in 1974 Walters was named co-host of the Today show. By then, her status as a broadcaster had risen to such heights that she had twice been named to Harper's Bazaar's list of "100 Women of Accomplishment" (1967 and 1971), Ladies Home Journal's "75 Most Important Women" (1970), and TIME's "200 Leaders of the Future" (1974). As the most influential woman on television, others soon vied for her talents.

In 1976 she accepted a million-dollar-a-year contract for five years to move to ABC, where she became television's first network anchor-woman, the most prestigious job in television journalism. She also anchored and produced four prime-time specials and sometimes hosted or appeared on the network's other news and documentary programs. Her contract stirred professional criticism and jealousy. It not only doubled her income from NBC and her syndicated show, Not For Women Only, but it also made her the highest-paid newscaster in history at that time. (Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, and Harry Reasoner then received about $400,000.) Reasoner, with whom she was to co-anchor, seemed especially miffed at first but later was mollified.

Executives of other networks fumed that their established anchors might demand salary increases, questioned what they perceived as a "show-biz" tint to the sober task of news reporting, and questioned whether the public would accept a woman news-anchor. (ABC's private polls before they made their record offer indicated only 13 percent preferred a male anchor, and they knew her presence could easily increase advertising revenues far exceeding her salary.)

Despite Walters' tart, probing interviewing techniques, she seldom seemed to alienate the person she was interviewing. She revealed some of the secrets of her success in her book How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything (1970). Others attributed her interviewing success to her uncanny ability to ask primarily those questions which the public would want answered.

Still, Walters was not without her critics. Some interview-subjects said her nervousness distracted them. Others claimed she was so eager that disastrous mistakes occurred, citing the instance when she grabbed another network's microphone as she dashed to get a unique interview. Washington press corps members charged that she acted more as a "star" than as a reporter on presidential trips. However, her professional admirers outnumbered her detractors. Walter Cronkite noted her special interviewing talents. Sally Quinn, former rival on CBS Morning News, commented how "nice" Walters was to her.

Walters' personal life held considerable interest to the public. Her brief marriage to businessman Bob Katz was annulled; her 13-year marriage to Lee Guber, a theatrical producer, ended in divorce. Still they remained congenial, sharing mutual love for their daughter, Jacqueline Dena. In 1985 she married Merv Adelson, who had also previously been wed twice.

Walters' elevation to top-paid broadcaster was credited with raising the status of other women journalists. Her own prowess as a broadcaster exploring socially-important issues and as top-notch interviewer were undeniable. In addition, she excelled at bringing to the television public reluctant interview-subjects that ranged from show business personalities to heads of state.

Walters has had a reputation for often being the first to interview world leaders. During the 1996 presidential campaign she interviewed the first African American Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, after his retirement. She has also had exclusive interviews with both Christopher Dardin and Robert Shapiro of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, noted by the media as one of the most controversial murder trials of the twentieth century. Walters also had exclusive interviews with billionaire David Geffen and with Christopher Reeves following the horseback riding fall that left him paralyzed. In 1999, Walters was the first to be granted a public interview by Monica Lewinsky, the ex-White House intern whose affair with President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Barbara Walters Lands Post-Trial Blake Interview

Barbara Walters will get an early start to her on-camera day Tuesday with the first interview with actor Robert Blake since his acquittal on murder charges last week.

Walters, who also interviewed Blake in 2003, will do a live interview with the "Baretta" star Tuesday (March 22) on "Good Morning America." The interview will be Blake's first sit-down with an interviewer since a jury found him innocent last week in the 2001 murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley.

Blake did speak to members of the press outside the courthouse after his acquittal, telling reporters that he "never lost hope" and felt "blessed" to be able to leave the courtroom a free man.
Walters is subbing for "Good Morning America" anchors Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson for Tuesday's broadcast.

Bakley, 44, was killed on May 4, 2001, as she sat in the passenger seat of Blake's car outside a Los Angeles restaurant where the couple had just eaten. Blake has said he left her in the car and returned to the restaurant to get a handgun he'd left behind, then came back to the car to find her dead of a gunshot wound.

After nearly a year of investigation, prosecutors charged Blake with the murder and two counts of solicitation of murder, claiming he'd tried to hire people to kill Bakley. The jury acquitted him of the murder charge and one of the solicitation counts but couldn't reach a unanimous verdict on the second solicitation charge. Judge Darlene Schempp dismissed the latter charge.

Robert Blake thanks Barbara Walters for saving his life

Robert Blake says he's a free man because of Barbara Walters. In his first live interview after a jury acquitted him of killing his wife, Blake told Walters on A-B-C's "Good Morning America" "you saved my life."

During trial, the actor did not take the witness stand, but the jury got to see a video of his jailhouse interview with Walters in which he denied killing Bonny Lee Bakley. It was a bold move by Blake's attorney to allow him to testify without taking the stand and risking cross-examination.

Blake says prosecutors wanted to send him to life in prison. He told Walters: "It didn't work because of you."

She replied humbly: "All I did was ask you questions."

Blake also told Walters he's reunited with Rosie, the child he shared with Bakley. He says his older daughter and her husband act as the girl's parents, and "I get to play grandpa."

He asked: "Can you see me at a P-T-A meeting?"

Barbara Walters: Encourage children to follow those dreams

In the latest edition of "The Lariat," which is distributed to every household in the Willcox Unified School District, there is very good advice for parents. Dr. Donald Roberts, the district's superintendent, offered the following:

"Barbara Walters, the television news journalist, had dreamed since youth of being on television.

"However, she was always told to stay out of television.

"This never crushed her dream, even when Don Hewitt, producer of the famous TV show, '60 Minutes,' told her, 'You're a marvelous girl, but stay out of television.'

"After becoming famous, Barbara Walters said of herself, 'I was the kind nobody thought could make it. I had a funny accent. I couldn't pronounce my R's. I wasn't a beauty.'

"Being told that she would never go far in television did not deter her from being determined and working hard. She pursued her dream and we all know how successful she is today.

"The Barbara Walters story is only one of the many examples of what a person can do if he or she really puts his or her heart into it.

"You must encourage your children to pursue their dreams.

"Maybe your daughter wants to try out for the cheerleading squad. Don't discourage her. Rather, encourage her to prepare for the try-out by working hard, learning a routine, and watching cheerleaders practice

"Or perhaps your son wants to purchase a guitar. Teach him to set goals and save money to make his dream a reality.

"When children realize their dreams, their self-esteem benefits.

"But what happens if they do not realize their dream? When they do not realize their dream," valuable lessons in perseverance and in setting alternative goals are learned."

Walters Shines Oscar Night Light on Three Stars

In 1981, Brooke Shields and her mother, Ringo Starr and wife Barbara Bach, country-music superstar Loretta Lynn and "Dallas" co-star Linda Gray were the first guests.

Today, Barbara Walters' high-rated celebrity-interview specials remain Oscar-night traditions. The much-honored television journalist presents her latest ABC session with stars Sunday, Feb. 27, right before the annual Academy Awards telecast in the Eastern half of the country (and right after it in the Western half).

Dual Oscar nominee Jamie Foxx, up for best actor for "Ray" and best supporting actor for "Collateral," gets the Walters treatment this time. So do Golden Globe-winning "Desperate Housewives" co-star Teri Hatcher and "Saturday Night Live" alumnus Will Ferrell, who is making his mark on the big screen in comedies such as "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Old School" and the upcoming "Bewitched."
The boundaries for Walters' Oscar-night guests have widened considerably. In the early years, she recalls, "They would never let you do a story on anyone who was nominated (the same year). What we want to do is to make sure we have one person who's nominated for best actor or best actress, but we don't want that to be the whole show, in part because our show follows the Academy Awards on the West Coast.

"Even though Teri Hatcher has done so much [press], she is very hot right now, and everybody's curious about her. She's also beautiful, and frankly, it helps us to have a woman in the mix. We picked Will Ferrell because he's such a big new movie star; he's doing film after film, and it also gave us humor to have him."

Having Foxx on board is a given, since many believe his "Ray" nomination is the one sure bet in this year's Oscar race. "So does he," Walters says. "I ask him, 'Is it a great deal of pressure for you because everybody thinks you're going to win?' By the time it's seen on the West Coast, people will know whether he's won or not, but I don't change my approach too much for that. Then again, the whole show isn't built around the Academy Awards ... but I also ask him, 'What if you don't win? How disappointed will you be?'"

While a slot on Walters' Oscar-night show may seem coveted by virtually any celebrity, she says that isn't the case. "Some want very much to do it, or at least we hope they do, but others feel it might look too much like they're trying to promote themselves," she says. "By the time we're on, they've done whatever they have to do to promote their movie or their Oscar [bid]. I think they realize this is a show that's important, and a show on which they'll have a wonderful profile done. The show has to stand on its own, though, with people the audience wants to see."

Before she taped her interview with Walters, Hatcher predicted her eyes would be waterfalls before the chat was over. "For a long while," Walters says, "I've been saying to anyone who tears up, 'I won't let you cry.' Bill Geddie, who produces the specials with me, recently told me I have to stop saying that. He said, 'Everybody goes on every program and cries. You're the only one who tells them not to.' I told him, 'All right, all right. I'll let them cry.' We just let them do what they do."

When Walters ended her weekly run on the ABC newsmagazine "20/20" in September 2004 after 25 years, she was looking forward to having more time to spend on other projects. She says, "People say to me, 'Have you retired?' I say, 'Retired?' I had an interview with Mary Kay Letourneau, I did my '10 Most Fascinating People' year-end special -- and did new interviews with all 10 people, which I usually don't. I recently had an interview with President Bush, I just did a compilation of past Oscar-night interviews for '20/20,' then I did this new Oscar show.

"The difference," Walters adds, "is that I've been able to travel a bit and do things I wasn't able to before. I went to Africa, and I'll soon take another couple of trips, one of them for work. I'm going to India to prepare a piece for a special I'm doing next year. There are still times when I see a story or an interview and think, 'Oh, I would have liked to do that,' but very rarely. I think it means I'm just more relaxed."

The ABC weekday program "The View," which Walters produces and co-hosts, is her only regularly scheduled commitment now. "If I still had to do '20/20' every Friday along with everything else, I don't know what I would do," she says. "I used to be frantic ... especially in November, when I just had so much going on. I've been busy lately, but I haven't been crazed."

Barbara Walters: 'King' George reigns over his parade

In the days leading up to his inauguration, George Bush did interviews with every major American television network.

The highlight in terms of laughs had to be the first one, conducted by Barbara Walters on ABC. Chosen by the Bushes, she was treated to a walk through the White House as she questioned the President and Laura Bush. It wasn't hard to see why she was a chosen one.

Walters is considered one of the great American television interviewers of the past three decades, able to get her subjects to talk about the most intimate details of their lives. She does this by asking inane questions and then slipping in a tough one when it is least expected. So in the Oval Office, as the President, Walters, and Mrs Bush stood watching the Bushes' new dog, a Scottish terrier, frolic outside the window, Walters asked the President whether the puppy was house-trained. It took a number of questions, but eventually Mr Bush conceded it was not; the dog had indeed, at least once, pissed on the presidential rug.

Walters also managed to get President Bush to admit that there were two things he regretted having said during his first term. He should not have said he wanted Osama bin Laden taken "dead or alive", and when the insurgency got under way in Iraq, he should not have urged the insurgents and terrorists to "bring it on". These phrases, he said, were undiplomatic and open to misunderstanding.
Walters is not a political journalist, but what has been striking about the Bush interviews has been how deferential they have been, how soft, how unlike the sort of interviews to which Australian prime ministers have been subjected for at least the past three decades.

Given that, in the week of the inauguration, Mr Bush's approval rating in a Gallup poll released on Wednesday was 51 per cent, the lowest approval rating of any re-elected president on the eve of his inauguration in the postwar era, it was surprising to see how gently Mr Bush was treated.
This is a president presiding over a war the success of which is far from assured, and in which more than 1300 American soldiers have been killed and thousands wounded.

This is a president who remains committed to spreading democracy, especially in the Middle East, as part of the war on terror, even if that might, as in Iraq, involve pre-emptive military action, and who has perhaps the most radical domestic reform agenda of any second-term president in recent times.

Mr Bush wants to dismantle the social security system, overhaul the tax system and limit payouts in medical negligence cases.

Second-term presidents have about an 18-month window to get things done before the race for the next presidential nomination gets under way. Then, potential presidential candidates, as well as congressmen and senators up for re-election, start worrying about their political futures and not the agenda of a president who cannot stand again.

If the media have been relatively gentle with the President, the people have not.

In his inaugural speech, Mr Bush said America had to actively "encourage democracy" across the globe in order to be safe and secure, even if this meant regime change using preventive military force.

"We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation, the moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right," he said.

This sounds very much like his famous "you are either for us or against us" statement a few days after September 11.

But the fact is that America is deeply divided, and nothing in the inaugural speech is likely to unite it.

On Iraq, according to the latest Gallup poll, 52 per cent of Americans believe the war was a mistake and 59 per cent believe the war is going badly. In a Washington Post poll published on Tuesday, 45 per cent approved of the direction Mr Bush wants to take the country and 39 per cent said the Democrats should lead the way, a surprisingly high figure given that the Democrats, after the November loss by John Kerry to Bush and the losses in the Senate and the House of Representatives, are a leaderless, divided and demoralised party.

As The Economist put it this week, Mr Bush's first term saw "the largest tax cuts in history, the biggest shake-up of American schools in a generation, a foreign policy revolution, the transformation of the armed services and the reconsolidation of executive power".

Nothing he or senior Administration officials have said suggests the second-term agenda will be less radical.

And nothing in his inaugural address even hinted at a change of direction. Despite this week's admission by his Secretary of State-designate, Condoleezza Rice, that the Administration had made mistakes in its handling of postwar Iraq, both Mr Bush and Dr Rice made it clear they were convinced that the war was worth fighting, that the US military would not leave until the Iraqi military was capable of taking over and that the policy of pre-emptive military action was necessary in this age of terror and rogue states.

Neither President Bush nor Dr Rice would rule out military action against Iran if European diplomatic efforts to convince Tehran to abandon its nuclear program fail and the UN Security Council fails to impose sanctions. Indeed, Dr Rice made it clear that she was sceptical about the chances of European diplomacy succeeding.

Mr Bush, asked in an interview with The Washington Post whether he had any regrets about the decision to go to war and whether that decision, in the light of subsequent events, was a correct one, said: "Well, we had an accountability moment and that was the 2004 election. And the American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq and they looked at the two candidates and they chose me."

Still, Mr Bush must know that the success or failure of the Iraq mission is, to a large extent, outside his control. The Iraqi elections, less than two weeks away, will be marked by violence and intimidation. If the violence continues after the election, if the country descends into civil war, if American soldiers continue to die with no end to the dying in sight, what would Mr Bush do then? And what would it mean for Iraq, for the United States, for the whole Middle East and for the war against terror if the US left Iraq and Iraqis to the chaos and bloodshed of a civil war and at the mercy of triumphant terrorist gangs?

None of this may happen. The elections may be a success and the Iraqi military may soon be trained and equipped well enough to allow the withdrawal of US troops. Some form of democracy may emerge.

Such an outcome would send a clear message to Iran.

It would allow the US to credibly seize the opportunity to push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians based on a two-state solution.

It would force the recalcitrant Europeans to rethink their attitude to Mr Bush and his Administration, and ensure his position as one of the most significant presidents of the past half-century.

Barbara Walters: Mothering the Old Boys

In Barbara Walters's "20/20" interview last Friday with President and Laura Bush, the first lady remarked that in the second term she wants to focus on boys. "I feel like over the last several decades we've neglected boys a little bit," Mrs. Bush explained sweetly as she and Barbara toured the White House renovations (including the new look of the Lincoln Bedroom, where she paused to tell Barbara how much she empathized with Mary Todd Lincoln, who went quietly mad). "I just think it's time for Americans to sort of shift our gaze to boys and see what we can do to nurture boys."

You can say that again. Between the president and the vice president, to say nothing of Rummy, Wolfie and Rove, so much testosterone ran amok in the first term that it's high time for someone to "give boys the life skills that maybe we automatically teach to girls," as Mrs. Bush put it. "Super Nanny" needs to call a time out before somebody starts bombing Iran.

No one is better equipped than Mrs. Bush to calm down the nation's bad boys. As her husband's shock-and-awe absorber, she has done it throughout her marriage. If you could bottle the effect she has on the presidential psyche, every kid with a nasty attitude could throw away the Ritalin.

The first lady's preternatural serenity was on display throughout the Walters interview. She sat at her husband's side with those lovely, wise cat's eyes and subtle Mona Lisa smile. No straining for inclusion. No edgy "I'm not just an appendage" vibes, like Hillary in the pre-Sen. Clinton days. No ill-concealed, fathomless sadness, like poor Pat Nixon. Laura Bush may be unique among recent first ladies for getting through a whole term without putting the wrong foot forward. All first ladies, except the natural clotheshorses like Jackie and Nancy, improve their fashion sense and haircut during the first term. But Laura's Oscar de la Renta makeover has not been an odyssey strewn with heinous fashion misfires. Even her weight loss has been a quiet victory.

All through the campaign -- the hardest time to get it right -- she was Our Lady of the Sound Bite. Her finest hour was the flawless grace she showed when Teresa Heinz Kerry tossed out that unfortunate comment about how Mrs. Bush, a former schoolteacher and librarian, had never had a "real job." The White House statement purred: "Mrs. Bush knows it's not always easy when your husband runs for president. She knows that some days there's lots of interviews where lots of things are said, and knows that everyone looks forward to Nov. 2 coming around."

It beat the gosh darn heck out of Dick Cheney's "go [expletive] yourself" to Patrick Leahy on the Senate floor (while deftly conveying the same meaning), didn't it? Those female "life skills" triumph every time.

What was striking in the Walters interview was how often the president looked over at Laura for validation. Even with his amped-up second-term cockiness, she's still his security blanket. When Walters asked him, "Do you think you've changed very much in four years?" he immediately replied, "You better ask Laura" -- as if he has outsourced emotional self-reflection to his wife. It's always been one of the paradoxes of W that his rigid worldview and inflexible routines are born of a fragile sense of his own worth. It's the baggage of having to compete all his life not just with such an accomplished father but also with the superior gifts of younger brother Jeb.

"His fear of being attacked is so vivid," psychiatrist Justin Frank, author of the insight-crammed "Bush on the Couch," suggested to me the other day. "He has to have all these layers of protection. That's why even for a town hall meeting, the crowd was pre-selected in case they asked a tough question."

One of the endearingly old-fashioned WASPy masculine things about both President Bushes is their touching obliviousness to Freudian categories. The canny Viennese would have had little trouble interpreting the recent unceremonious booting of Brent Scowcroft, Bush 41's national security adviser, co-author and alter ego, as chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board for his dissenting views on Iraq. Or the son's omission of the father as a speaker at the Republican convention -- and then, with presumably unconscious sadism, assigning dear old dad the uncomfortable PR task of co-chairing the tsunami relief effort with the pot-smoking '60s cad who whipped his butt in 1992, former president Clinton. There has to be some Oedipal payback to the Poppy he adores for knowing just how fragile his son really is.

Admitting weakness seems to be such a severe psychic threat for Bush that when he makes a mistake it's safer just to reinforce it. The strategy creates a perverse system of rewards and punishments. Donald Rumsfeld's reward for misjudging so much of post-invasion strategy in Iraq is to be invited to play Risk again -- with even more cards, and fewer roadblocks from the CIA. The logic seems to be if you've got an Achilles' heel, you get picked for the track team.

One of the strangest aspects of all this is how the nation, and even most of the opposition, colludes with the president's personal denial system. We saw it happening again in Condi's confirmation hearings on Tuesday when, as the New York Times pointed out, Dr. Rice acted as if things were going according to plan in Iraq and elsewhere and the senators acted as if she were not part of the serial disasters of the Bush administration.

When Clinton was in power nobody ever hesitated to analyze the president's emotional neediness and eagerness to please as the obvious characteristics of an adult child of an alcoholic, but W's gift for holding the nation in thrall to early familial fears is always hailed as presidential strength.

"Don't put me on the couch," Poppy used to say, but the couch is probably a better place than the political science seminar room to look for insights into the family that, come the next presidential election, will have occupied one of the two highest offices in the land for 20 of the previous 28 years.

Perhaps Laura's inner calm comes from the fact that she is the only one in the family who is a reader of novels rather than one-page memos. While others may think the story is "Top Gun," she's always known it's "Peter Pan."

ABC's 'The View' gets 'Desperate'

The ladies at "The View" are getting pretty desperate. During the week of Feb. 7, the five stars of "Desperate Housewives" will co-host ABC's "The View" while the show broadcasts from Los Angeles. Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Nicollette Sheridan, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross will each join the daytime talk show for a day.

The Wisteria Lane residents will be filling in for "The View" moderator Meredith Vieira, who will not be making the trip from New York to Los Angeles due to family obligations.

Broadcasting live from Disney's El Capitan Theater, the week is a themed series called "The View Celebrates Los Angeles."

On Sunday, Hatcher won a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV comedy or musical. The ABC show also won for best comedy or musical TV series.

The other hosts of "The View" are Barbara Walters, Star Jones Reynolds, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The show airs weekdays on ABC.

 

Oprah interviewed Barbara Walters

Time is one thing you can’t replace.
Getting older can either be filled with contentment for the life you have or it can be filled with regrets for the choices you have made. Aging has a way of putting things into perspective.
In the October 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Oprah interviewed Barbara Walters.
Walters is in her 70s, and after 25 years of doing 20/20, she has decided to retire. She wants to retire while she is still healthy and young enough to travel and spend time with her daughter.
She has spent a lifetime working. Even though her work has taken her all over the world, most of her time was spent inside a television studio.
When asked what she would have done differently, she said she wished she had spent more time with her daughter.
“I would have been home more and you and I wouldn’t be talking today. It’s not just about spending quality time. It’s about time in general. There are kids who don’t need quite as much. But you really have to think about it,” she said.
Walters’ daughter is 35 years old and runs a therapeutic wilderness program for adolescent girls in crisis. There was a time during her daughter’s teenage years that she worried about her. If her daughter had not straightened out, she would have had had great regrets about not being home more for her.
One of the things she regrets most is not having enjoyed the things she was experiencing more. She was always working too hard and always worried about her work not being good enough.
She has come to a point in her life when she wants to get rid of the alarm clock and just live life.
She realizes now that time is what life is all about. When she looks at all the pictures in her hallway of important people she has met and places she has been, she realizes what she has accomplished. While accomplishing these things, she was thinking about what she was going to do next. She did not give herself time to enjoy the moment, to savor the accomplishments as she was living them.
Life … it’s easy to look back and see what we could have done. It’s not that easy to see that clearly when we are actually living life. We always think there is tomorrow, and tomorrow comes and goes, and we’re caught up in this whirlwind that sometimes makes our priorities get all jumbled up.
There is nothing more important in life than raising children. We can have walls filled with awards, but if we are not there for our children, if we miss out on cultivating a relationship with them, then we have missed out on the most important accomplishment in life.
Time can never be replaced. We can’t purchase it, we can’t put it in a bank account, and we can’t stop it. We can, however, try to live consciously aware of what a gift it is. And spend our time with the people that matter.

WTC Memorial Board Holds First Meeting

Robert De Niro, Barbara Walters, David Rockefeller and other members of the foundation charged with raising money for a World Trade Center memorial held their first meeting Wednesday.

The 33-member board set up governance and executive committees before meeting with trade center master planner Daniel Libeskind and memorial architect Michael Arad near the building site.
Arad said his memorial will try "to make present what is absent" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack that brought down the twin towers and other buildings.

The meeting came on the same day that Gov. George Pataki urged passage of an income tax checkoff that would allow New York taxpayers to donate to the memorial.

Whitehead's agency was created to oversee redevelopment at and around the trade center site.

Barbara Walter's interview with President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush

Barbara Walters is return ing to "20/20" next Friday — to present her interview with President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. It's the couple's first joint interview since the November election — and the president's "first in-depth television inter view" since his reelection.
Walters is scheduled to travel to the White House next Wednesday to conduct the inter view, airing Friday (10 p.m.).

Barbara Walters Takes Trophy From Fox


Barbara Walters's annual celebrity suck-up special beat the 15th annual Billboard Music Awards, among not just viewers of all ages but even among the 18-to-34-year-olds who made Maroon 5 Billboard's most downloaded artist of the year.

"Barbara Walters Presents: 10 Most Fascinating People of 2004" on Wednesday at 9 p.m. clocked its biggest audience since 1997 -- more than 16 million viewers -- thanks to the gigantic lead-in served up by ABC's hit drama "Lost," which delivered a series best of nearly 19 million at 8 that night.

By contrast, Fox's Billboard trophy show limped in with just under 7 million viewers -- a worst-ever performance for the awards program.

The trophy show also clocked a worst-ever among 18-to-34-year-olds and even among younger teens. That's a shame because the show was filled with many special moments, like when Ashlee Simpson was named best new female artist of the year and a noticeable number of people in the audience booed throughout her acceptance speech. Or when the members of Motley Crue, who were presenters, couldn't read the teleprompter because they were too vain to wear their bifocals and when they asked co-presenter Tara Reid to help them out, she couldn't read it either because she was, well, who knows, really.

It's something of a mystery that this year's Billboard awards fared so poorly, given that the choice of winners is based not on the whimsy of academy voters but on the only thing that really matters in the entertainment industry: commercial success.

Interestingly, it appears that's how Walters picks her Most Fascinating 10 as well. This year's list included record-breaking "Jeopardy!" winner Ken Jennings, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, "The Passion of the Christ" producer-director Mel Gibson, "The Apprentice" heavy Donald Trump, daytime diva Oprah Winfrey, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, as well as singer Usher and famous-for-being-famous Paris Hilton -- the last two of whom were playing big at the Billboard Music Awards at the exact same time (Walters's interviews were taped in advance).

This year Walters's No. 1 most fascinating person -- which is always kept secret until broadcast, lest it scare younger viewers away -- was Republican strategist Karl Rove.

Barbara Walters names Paris Hilton fascinating

Paris Hilton has been named one of the "most fascinating people of 2004" by Barbara Walters. Walters will host a special on Wednesday, presenting the 10 most intriguing people of the year.

Others besides the hotel heiress include filmmaker Michael Moore, "Jeopardy!" champ Ken Jennings and Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

In an interview for the show, Walters asks Hilton about the now infamous sex video with her then-boyfriend Richard Salomon. The tape surfaced just before the premiere of Hilton's Fox reality show, "The Simple Life."

"I was in love with him and people, I think, do that sometimes," Hilton says. "I never thought that it would get out and that I'd be hurt like that.

"It was (very painful). I thought it was the end. I thought, I was so embarrassed for all my teenage fans and my younger fans. I thought it was over."

Nevertheless, "The Simple Life" became a hit, and spawned a second series as well.

Also in the interview, Hilton reveals that she doesn't just sit around saying "That's hot" all day: she even reads books. And the most recent one? Fittingly, "Maneater," a novel about an uninhibited L.A. woman's search for a man.

"Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2004" airs 9 p.m. EST Wednesday on ABC.



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