Barbara Walters is bowing out with grace.
She’s spent fifty years in front of the camera, and at the end of this week Barbara Walters will say goodbye. The journalism pioneer has interviewed countless newsmakers — from United States Presidents such as Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Barack Obama to world leaders like Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher and Vladimir Putin.
“I used to ask fairly personal questions to politicians and people used to say, ‘You shouldn’t do that!’, but it turns out it’s important to know a little bit about their background, their values or their morality,” Walters told Ramos in an interview on Tuesday. “It’s a question of judgement.”
She was also one of the first in the news world to successfully delve into the entertainment world with interviews of A-list celebrities like Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Whomever she is talking to, she comes prepared. “I sometimes know more about the person than they do about themselves, and it makes it easier for me,” Walters said.
Earlier this week, Walters put aside her coast into retirement to make news yet again with exclusive interviews with the girlfriend and estranged wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in the wake of the controversy over his alleged racist comments. “[T]hat’s what I love about this business,” Walters said about chasing the story. “That’s what I will miss.”
It remains to be seen who her last big get will be — and how much she’ll set aside her journalistic impulses in retirement.“If the Pope said he would do an interview, would I come back? You bet,” she said. If Queen Elizabeth said, ‘Would you do an interview?’ — she’s never done one — would I come back? Yes. I’m not saying goodbye forever. I’m not walking into the sunset.”
Barbara Walters is retiring from appearing on television, but she will continue to work as The View’s co-executive producer. Until the Pope calls her.