Barbara Walters: ABC 'Most Objective' Network

November 6th, 2008 5:31 PM

ABC is the most objective network. Just ask Barbara Walters. The November 6 edition of "The View" kicked off with a discussion on ABC correspondent Steve Osunsami’s emotional reaction to Obama’s victory. Barbara Walters defended Osunsami and called ABC the most "objective network." Barbara then assured the panel and her audience that it’s not because she is "a part of ABC News." This "objective" ABC network is the same outlet where Terry Moran implied Sarah Palin's rhetoric was endangering Barack Obama's life and David Wright accused McCain of engaging in "fear and loathing."

Later in the segment Barbara Walters offered praise, and the panel agreed (in Joy Behar’s absence), to President Bush’s graciousness in willing to offer a smooth transition for the new president-elect.

Later in the program, the ladies discussed rumors, allegedly leaked by McCain staffers, about Sarah Palin’s unruly behavior and lack of knowledge. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the only co-host who met Governor Palin, assured that the Alaska governor is not a "diva." Barbara Walters was puzzled as to what was wrong that Palin allegedly hinted at 2012 presidential run. Sherri Shepherd chastised the McCain staffers for airing Palin’s dirty laundry after they vetted her. Whoopi Goldberg and Elisabeth Hasselbeck agreed: Leaking incriminating information without identifying one’s self is cowardly.

The transcript follows.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: But as you know, plenty of people became emotional about Obama’s victory, but ABC reporter Steve Osunasami (sic) is taking some heat-


GOLDBERG: Osunami.

WALTERS: Osunami.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, alright.

WALTERS: He’s a very good reporter.

GOLDBERG: Right, well he’s taking-

WALTERS: Osunsami.I think it is.

GOLDBERG: See? See? I’m not-



WALTERS: In any event...

GOLDBERG: In any event, he is taking some heat for becoming emotional. Take a look at this.

STEVE OSUNSAMI: From, from a personal note, as a kid, I grew up in a, in a neighborhood that was mostly black. And my father used to tell us that there’s no way this country would elect a black president. Well, this evening the country has proved my old man wrong. And we’re the better for it.

GOLDBERG: Ah! So, some people are saying that wasn’t appropriate for a journalist. What do you think?

WALTERS: You know, this was when, this was when ABC News was when Charlie Gibson called on him. And not because I am part of ABC News, which is my other hat, but ABC News in general I think has been the most objective in all of their coverage. And we have so many, especially in the cable programs, people everyday giving their opinions. This was a man who felt something deeply that night and yes he was a journalist but he also was a person. And I think to say "oh well he shouldn’t have done it," is just absurd.


ELISABETH HASSELBECK: It’s important- and I agree with that Barbara- because you have said so many times and I agree with that and I think on this show you do such a great job remaining objective and neutral. And I think that coming from you it means a lot because people on either side have, have strong opinions. And I think that it- for such a special moment, he is- should be allowed and permitted to feel what he’s feeling. I’d rather someone feel it and let us know than hide it. And if they’re going to use it against them in the future then they-

WALTERS: It isn’t as if he did it before to try and influence. You know, one of the things we talked about here and you brought it up is, is that all of these months I have tried very hard, as much as possible, which isn’t easy in this show, to be objective and to not, you know, not, I don’t think anybody knows exactly what my opinions are, which is the way we were sort of raised in the network news departments. We talked about this earlier.

HASSELBECK: I’ve done the same thing actually. To remain-


WALTERS: But then yesterday, when I talked about crying, when I saw the Martin Luther King, I mean, should I be condemned because I had emotion after the election? I think at a certain time, hey guys, you know, we’re all human beings.

SHEPHERD: And you know, it’s a little nice to see the emotion because, you know, you always see these journalists. It will be stuff going on behind them and they’ll be like "a person fell out of the building and back to you Jim." [laughter] It’s like, you know, it’s just like I want to see a little emotion sometimes.

GOLDBERG: Well, Anderson Cooper took heat too, remember, when he, he had an emotional moment I think during his coverage of Katrina. And he said "look, you know, it hits you." Sometimes it just hits you. And I would think that he would have taken more heat if we hadn’t felt, Steve would have taken more heat had he had no feeling about it. Folks would have said "what was wrong with him?"


WALTERS: Can I say something nice about President Bush without you thinking I’m prejudice one way or the other?


HASSELBECK: I’m all for that.

WALTERS: So, you know, in the past, when an administration- [laughing] Couldn’t you have just said yes? It’s okay Barbara, you know.

HASSELBECK: I can never just say yes.

WALTERS: Okay, in the past, when one administration has left and a new one has come in, there has been some, some dirty works, I mean there have been presidents and first ladies when a different party came in, who didn’t let them come into the White House until almost the last minute, you know. And it was very widely reported that afterward, in the Clinton transition before George W. Bush came in, there was like $15,000 in intentional damage. They ripped phone calls from the walls, they took the W’s off of the, off of the computers. They, they stole it says 12 presidential seals. Okay, I’m stopping.

SHEPHERD: The Clintons did this?

WALTERS: Not the, not the Clintons, but members of the staff. George Bush was asked today when he was talking. He said how much he is looking forward to having the Obama family come to the White House now in advance. And it’s very important for Michelle Obama in particular. What does she bring? What does she not bring? She’s got two little kids with her coming. And I thought it was very gracious for him to say, in his speech, you know, "we welcome them. We’ll do whatever we can to make their transition easier." I think that’s nice. There’s so much criticism of him, and, you know, we all know it, but so a nice little thing should be noticed.

HASSELBECK: I think that’s great too. Especially, you know, we’re in-

WALTERS: I know you think that’s great.

HASSELBECK: We’re in war time, but to be able to pass the play book on and share that information. Karl Rove, I think was saying yesterday that people may think a certain way about this world and what’s going on until they actually receive the intelligence. So I think when, when all of this happens and to pass that play book on is so important in, in good spirits, so I think that’s going to happen.

GOLDBERG: Thank you Mr. President.

HASSELBECK: Thank you Mr. President.

GOLDBERG: For exhibiting the fact that you were well raised by your parents.

WALTERS: Ooookay.

HASSELBECK: Sometimes parents don’t, you know-

GOLDBERG: But these are parents that, you know. These are parents that are like, you’re not going to talk bad to anyone. Sit down.


GOLDBERG: "The New York Times" is reporting that the McCain camp and disgruntled staffers say Sarah Palin was a "diva." Are they playing the blame game? Do they even know what a diva is? What are they talking about?

HASSELBECK: Yeah, look, I don’t- I think this is what happens with anytime a campaign loses that there’s going to be some sort of supposed infighting and dragging down and blaming why some things happens. And I, I had a chance and I had- I got to spend a good day with the governor. And I, I didn’t see any, any of that. And I think that to say that she’s a diva. She was, she was anything but that in my opinion and it’s just my opinion. But I, I’d like to think that she truly did a great job for that campaign as well as anyone could. She ignited the base. She gave a different face to feminism. You know, a conservative woman. And, many would disagree with that, but I would say that she- she is- look how far she came. And I thought that, that was an incredible thing. I think all of this infighting was complete bull.

WALTERS: Well, you know, one of the- one of the- I only know what I’ve read. Okay? Because she would not come on "The View," which we are very sorry about. You supported her and we would have loved it if she did come on here and we would have, you know, we’re usually polite. Yes? But one of the things that- well not always [laughter] But when they were talking about different things. One of the things that they supposedly minded was that it looked as if she was campaigning for the future. Well, why not? You know, if there’s something that she’s thinking about doing, that was supposedly one of the complaints, that she broke away from whatever the advisers were telling her she had to do. And more or less did her own thing. Well...

SHEPHERD: And also too. Don’t get mad. You were the same people that said you vetted her. That you investigated. That you knew exactly who she was. So don’t get mad now, now that you’re trying to, you know, now that you’re tying to blame her for all of this stuff.

HASSELBECK: And also, maybe there were people who thought they have a job. And these anonymous sources, I never really had any respect. Look, an anonymous source in my mind was meant to be used to protect someone, you know, not bring harm to someone.

WALTERS: These are his senior advisers.

HASSELBECK: Yeah and if you- look, buck up and give your name if you’re going to reveal information. I just never- I just don’t have any respect for that when it brings harm to someone. Being anonymous, it should protect you if you’re trying to bring someone help in a way that would make someone danger you. To try to bring harm and baseless information against another person and do it in an anonymous fashion is disgusting.

GOLDBERG: Well, maybe they should take their cue from all of the candidates that run. You know, if you’re going to run an allegation, say "I’m so and so and I okay this message. I approve this message." You know, listen, it’s always going to be, they were ready to, to mess with her and, you know, it didn’t help going after her. Doesn’t help now. But she’s also, you know, she’s, she has a lot to learn and how to deal with this craziness that is, you know, the world of politics outside of Alaska also. You know, I, I think you have to be better prepared when you go into talk to some of these folks when you go into talk to journalists, to really know how to talk to them because, because you learn as you are in the media, how to respond to certain questions that people are asking you when you recognize the trap. So there’s a lot for her to learn about talking to these folks so that this, if she decides to run again, she doesn’t walk into the same things.