May 5, 2008, - 11:00 am

Barbara Walters: The Selfish, Sleeping Dog Who Won’t “Lie”

By Debbie Schlussel
This is one of those rare cases where “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” isn’t just a figure of speech.
In this case, the female dog who was sleeping around and won’t stop talking about with whom she allegedly slept, has the surname of Walters, the first name of Barbara. And she has the very sad, insatiable need at her twilight age of 78 to get more attention.
Walters, in a bid to sell her new 612-page book, “Audition,” is pimping out former U.S. Senator Ed Brooke . . . telling the world that she had a long-term sexual affair with him, while he was married to another woman.


Barbara Walters And the Euthanasia of Decency

But the man she’s throwing under the bus is 88 years old. He only recently fought off breast cancer and had a mastectomy. He is on the edge of his grave and certainly toward the end of his life. Why is she doing this now . . . or ever? Why is she doing this, other than to sell books and earn for her publishers the $4 million advance she received for this $30 tome of drivel?
And why does a woman, who’s made millions each year and is in the wealthiest 1% of Americans, need to ruin this man’s life at the end of it–just to sell books and make a few more dollars she doesn’t need? Are the millions not enough? Are her inane celeb-filled specials and daily stupid daytime yenta-fest on ABC not enough?
Edward Brooke is a private citizen who has been out of politics and public life for three decades. He has three children and countless grandchildren. They are the ones who will be hurt and embarrassed by Walters’ unnecessary TMI (Too Much Information) revelations. The only ones who will benefit from this gossip are Walters, her publisher, and her book agent.
This happened over three decades ago. Why bring it up now?
Other than gossip and selling books, it also appears that Walters wants to show us how “hip” she was because she slept with a Black man. But it doesn’t show us her hipness or racial diversity of bed partners. Instead, it shows us what bad taste and poor judgment of character Brooke had because he made the huge mistake of sleeping with this yenta with extremely loose lips and zero sense of decency.
These days, interracial relationships aren’t a big deal, and we really don’t care about the “implications” the revelation might have had then for their respective careers. Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, Roxie Roker (Helen Willis of the interracial couple on “The Jeffersons”) and Sy Kravitz (parents of Lenny Kravitz), and a host of others had relationships. But they didn’t pimp each other out for a few million dollars the way Walters has.
Brooke is a fiercely private man. After a divorce in 1978, he publicly decried his dirty laundry being aired in public. Surely, Walters knows that. You’d think that after recently battling serious cancer and moving on from Walters and public life for over three decades, Brooke would enjoy a right to privacy and a right to live his last years in peace. But those two things are now null and void because Barbara Walters, yet again, is showing the world her vulgar personality, he utter lack of class and dignity, and–frankly–her despair that she and the details of her life are no longer important, nor are they interesting.
So, to make them seem interesting, to sell books, Walters is provocatively dishing on this poor octegenarian/soon-to-be-nonagenarian on–where else?–“The Oprah Winfrey Show” (airing Tuesday). It’s sickening. One woman of questionable high regard ruining a man’s life on the salacious, patronizing show of another woman of even more questionable high regard. This is the double-team nightmare no red-blooded American male ever fantasized about, surely not the classy Ed Brooke.
Walters writes that if her father and sister were still alive, she couldn’t have written the book: “It’d be too painful for them, too personal.” How exactly does she think it is for Brooke, who is very much alive? Walters writes that she was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of her mentally-disabled sister. It should have been vice versa.
In news reports of Walters’ revelations, Brooke is being called “the Barack Obama of that day.” Puh-leeze. Obama doesn’t even come close. The only thing they share is skin color. Brooke was a class act–a brilliant liberal Republican whose foreign policy positions, unlike Obama’s, were actually pro-American. He didn’t hang out with people who bomb the Pentagon and the Capitol, and he didn’t hang with supporters of Islamic terrorism or Nation of Islam loons. Or preachers who print the HAMAS charter and hang with Farrakhan and Qaddafi. Unlike Obama, Brooke is a man I’d gladly have voted into the White House.
And for that–and sleeping with a tasteless big-mouth, long past her expiration date–he must now pay.
While the thrice-divorced Walters may think she’s revealing something here, the only thing revealed is solely about Walters: that she was a skank before the slang term was born, that she continues to have no class, and that the level of respect and gushing traditionally showered upon her is vastly over-rated and always has been. Nothing new in any of these revelations.
I’ve never understood the conventional torrent of respect showered on this woman by the world that calls her “a great journalist.” This is journalism? We’re told she “paved the way.” As far as I can tell, yes, she did pave the way for journalists with thick Boston accents and heavy lisps, all one of them. For the rest of us, she paved nothing but Monica Lewinsky interviews and stupid questions about trees. Well, she’s tight-lipped about at least one thing: We don’t yet know what kind of tree Senator Brooke would have aspired to. Thank Heaven for small favors from this extremely selfish woman.
“Don’t kiss and tell” is sage advice, clearly never taught to Ms. Walters. What a shame that in all those hours in “The View” dressing room–while a skilled hairdresser manicly teases the seven hairs left into a faux mass of volume atop her still-scheming scalp–no-one thought to teach Walters that a woman of any substance never tells.
Yes, “never kiss and tell” would have been great advice for Walters. But even more sage advice for prominent men in America would have been, “Don’t sleep with Barbara Walters.”
At this stage of the game–and, likely, many decades before it–that’s a warning most straight American men with eyesight don’t need to hear, anyway.
Most of them, except, sadly, then-Senator Brooke.
At age 78, Barbara Walters has shown us that she’s shown common sense and dignity the door.
If only she’d gone quietly into the good night. But since she won’t–and she’s trying to take down a man who deserves to be left alone–it’s just time, well past time, for her to go.
Her decency–if she ever had a shred of it–already left long ago.

19 Responses

Very well said, Debbie, I completely agree. There’s a word for people who make a buck off of their indecent, immoral, and just plain bad behavior. yeah.

Tru on May 5, 2008 at 11:06 am

Holy cow, that is a great photo! How considerate of her to send the old man a note! “Eddie, just want to let you know I’m hoping my new memoir sells big so I’m going to let the cat out of the bag about that thing we had going 30 years ago. Hope you don’t mind! xo Babs” If you want to weigh in on her little affair and her decision to reveal it, vote in this poll at Such a Cheater:

jonnyG on May 5, 2008 at 11:08 am

Shame, shame double shame!
Her TV show ratings must be falling. (As they should!)
How utterly selfish of the old woman.

Marshah on May 5, 2008 at 2:01 pm

This column is a classic! I may print it and put it on the fridge. I have always thought Barbara Walters to be a pea brain phoney, but to drag a decent human being down is selfishness (among other things). He probably helped her with her career too. He doesn’t deserve this. Her time is done. Shut up Barbara!

America on May 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm

You were dead on for most of your article…just until you got to the paragraph that ended with “the classy Ed Brooke.” The piece of garbage cheated on his wife for years! If that’s classy, then you’re as dim as Babs, Deb. Christ, proof-read yourself!

jeff on May 5, 2008 at 3:20 pm

“Brooke is a fiercely private man.”
Brooke published his memoirs in 2007 and admitted to being unfaithful to his first wife. You call that “fiercely private”?

Audacious on May 5, 2008 at 3:44 pm

We all know (excluding nitwits like Audacious) that the elite are more narcissistic now than ever before. That’s why I and many of your other readers read your blog, and other like yours; you keep up with these creeps so that we won’t have to.

c f on May 5, 2008 at 4:23 pm

He cheated on his wife. He got what he deserved.

LoveAManInAUniform on May 5, 2008 at 4:26 pm

c f : “That’s why I and many of your other readers read your blog, and other like yours; you keep up with these creeps so that we won’t have to.”
Now that’s looking out for yourself, c f.

Audacious on May 5, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Decent people would be too embarassed to even host a daily television show at a point so past their prime. But not this POS. Now she’s taken an even lower road. I agree that this Brooke cat is no saint, but I hope he sues her stank ugly old saggy ass into the next county.

spiffo on May 5, 2008 at 5:47 pm

The situation that strikes me as parallel is Muhammad Ali who stepped back into the ring far too many times after he was over the hill–to the end of destroying himself, the pummeling on his brain turned it to jello. Walters, now just old–wants to go out being remembered as a sex pot it seems. Oy! Groan!
I wish Gilda Radner was still here to roast Barbara Wa-wa over this “bombshell” with a SNL parody. Hey wait, there’s still SNL and Mad TV–nah–there’s only one Gilda who could truly play Miss Wawa.
I always thought it was such a hoot that Wawa never got the joke–clueless on the sound of that accent where the letters L and R never exist. Then it hurt her feelings. awwww po Wawa!
“Well, she’s tight-lipped about at least one thing: We don’t yet know what kind of TREE Senator Brooke would have aspired to. Thank Heaven for small favors from this extremely selfish woman.”
Choice DS!! This must be noteworthy, eh? Yikes! Maybe wawa will tell the world about the size of that sapling on Ho-prah.

BB on May 5, 2008 at 11:47 pm

I’ve hated bwa bwa since she slept with Castro. No class.

samurai on May 6, 2008 at 12:42 am

Read and agree about Baba having no class and the thrust of your article. I shared it and my feelings to my wife and she said that Senator Ed Brooke gave Wawa his consent and blessing to reveal their affair in her book. Well, that kind of shot down my ranting. Now what is the truth, did she have his blessing or not?

skater4fun on May 6, 2008 at 8:55 am

We have been slammed by ABC ads telling us that Oprah, Cher and Tina are the worlds most influential women.
What tripe this is.
I can’t think of one thing that these women did that influenced my life in any way.
Well maybe, Tina, I still wear shorts because great legs in your late fifties are a thing to be proud of!
The only thing that Barbra Wawa ever said that I found worth remembering was that “clean hair is more important than a new dress.”
This is it, coming from a woman who has interviewed some of the most important people in the world over a long time.
Now I guess I will have to add, “nothing, nothing, is off the record for a journalist”

Aunt Bea on May 6, 2008 at 9:28 am

Talk about Delusions of Grandeur. She’s always been nothing more, really, than a female Larry King.And no, having a long affair ,even with someone of a different race , doesn’t make you more enlightened or hipper.

OldSchoolW on May 6, 2008 at 1:01 pm

A lot of older guys don’t realize that there is never such a thing as a free piece….
You see, if you are a public figure, you owe it to others to protect yourself, and your position, not to trade on it for any sort of favors.
A lot of guys forget that: I have heard that MLK played ‘Little Red Rooster’ though Malcolm X didn’t. The real question is respect for you role. Imagine what would have happened if all the story would have come out at the time: both would have been toast.

taffy on May 7, 2008 at 7:28 am

The queen of the lame stream media – does this surprise anyone? I mean does it really?
for decades this yenta spewed garbage from her pie hole and got away with it – why? 20/20? what a freaking joke! does anyone believe anything from CBS? NBC? ABC? – if you do there is a cool bridge down the road for sale, slightly used and it connects Brooklyn to Manhattan
these cretins have taken debauchery and narcissism to a new level – self proclaimed stewards of society through a prism of self righteous fecal matter
I could never stand this woman and I’m not about to start – and Bill O’Reilly should get his head out of his ass and STOP honoring this creature, she is nothing more than the old hag version of Geraldo and just as ugly

pitbull on May 7, 2008 at 8:56 am

I’d wonder how well received among the “clap on demand” liberal contingent, this would be if, say, Baba was a decade and a half younger, still in the spotlight of a prosperous career, and Sen. Brooke decided on his death bed to “clear his conscience” and tell all?
I doubt you’d hear even one hand clapping, but a whole lot of yelling foul instead.

Mistress_Dee on May 7, 2008 at 11:52 am

I like your “clap on demand” phrase. One hand clapping does not make a sound, but is a meditation guide.
I prefer to think of the elistists as getting the clap on demand.

Loser on May 7, 2008 at 12:35 pm

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