Barbara Walters Eager for Hypothetical Interview of Osama bin Laden

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterAt the close of her interview on CNN’s "Larry King Live" on Monday evening, host Larry King asked ABC’s Barbara Walters "Have you had a major disappointing interview?... Someone you had looked forward to, didn't work out right." Walters named a few notables, and gave the following anecdote: "I have said, I'm very mellow. I'm not auditioning anymore. I'm not out to get the great get. And then one reporter said to me, and what if Osama bin Laden called? I said I'll pack." King, in agreement, replied, "You’re not kidding. Who wouldn't?" So, these two media celebrities would jump at the opportunity to interview the terrorist guru, despite any possible propaganda coup that may result, thus putting the advancement of their career over the national interest.

Almost immediately before this, a viewer asked Walters, "I was just wondering, who's your candidate for president this year?" Walters responded, "Well, you see, part of being in the news department, because I'm part of ABC News, is we do not give opinions. I don't mind writing in the book about my own life, but I don't give my opinions about political candidates." Walters must have forgotten about her colleague at ABC, David Wright, who is a well-known Obama cheerleader, as well as her own endorsement of Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth" and Michael Moore’s "Sicko."

The transcript of this last portion of the Walters interview:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Barbara. I was just wondering, who's your candidate for president this year?

BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you see, part of being in the news department, because I'm part of ABC News, is we do not give opinions. I don't mind writing in the book about my own life, but I don't give my opinions about political candidates.

LARRY KING: What's your opinion of the way the race has gone?

WALTERS: It's one of the most fascinating races that we -- I mean, I've covered campaign after -- I've interviewed every president since Richard Nixon. I have never seen a campaign like this. Have you?

KING: No. I've interviewed every president since Richard Nixon. We're tied.

WALTERS: Between you and me, you know, we could --

KING: Do you think it's going to be a tremendous turnout in the fall?

WALTERS: I think the wonderful thing, if it continues, and I think it will, is the young people who are involved, and what the Internet has meant. It's changed history. It's changed all our ways of not just how you raise money, but how you reach out to people. It's an entirely new race.

KING: Have you had a major disappointing interview? We only have about 30 seconds. Someone you had looked forward to, didn't work out right.

WALTERS: Oh, I can't think of any now. People have asked me who I would like to interview who I haven't interviewed. The Queen of England has never done an interview. The Pope has never done an interview. And I have said, I'm very mellow. I'm not auditioning anymore. I'm not out to get the great get. And then one reporter said to me, and what if Osama bin Laden called? I said I'll pack.

KING: You’re not kidding. Who wouldn't?

WALTERS: Who wouldn't?

Earlier in the program, King asked Walters about her relationship with Rosie O’Donnell. Walters explained that "[i]t was her decision not to come back. I was sorry. I thought that Rosie -- I mean, she -- she had some feuds. She had the Donald Trump feud, which I got in the middle of -- didn't want to be, but was. She had her own very strong opinions. But Rosie and the network could not come to agreement. She only had a one-year contract, and she decided not to come back." Rosie, however, left "The View" a month before her contract expired.

King then followed-up by asking, "Were you ticked over what Donald said about you?" The ABC host answered, "Well, I didn't know how I got in the middle of it. You know, and suddenly, there I was. Donald had been my friend. I went to Donald and Melania's wedding. So suddenly, I was in the middle of this mess. I mean, when Rosie started to pick on Donald, I was off on a friend's boat." Of course, the reason that Walters ended up "in the middle of it" was the fact that she personally hired O’Donnell in the first place.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center