The Washington Post

Tomorrow when Barbara Walters exits ‘The View,’ we say bye to Baba Wawa

Tomorrow Barbara Walters anchors "The View" for the last time. (Lou Rocco/ABC) Tomorrow Barbara Walters anchors “The View” for the last time. (Lou Rocco/ABC)

Tomorrow, Barbara Walters says goodbye to “The View” and 50-plus years of regular TV gigs.

It’s easy to forget that before Walters became an object of parody (See: SNL, Baba Wawa), the sometimes daffy Mother Hen of “The View” and the power behind the frequently unfascinating “10 Most Fascinating People” of the year specials, she was a barrier-breaking journalist who went where women had never gone: “Today” show co-host, nightly news co-anchor, a journalist whose keen intelligence and unmatched persistence got the truly big gets, from Richard Nixon to Monica Lewinsky to Vladimir Putin.

So let us salute 84-year-old Walters and reveal, in her own words, the secrets of great television conversation:

“When you’re interviewing someone, you’re in control. When you’re being interviewed, you think you’re in control, but you’re not.”

“Wait for those unguarded moments. Relax the mood and, like the child dropping off to sleep, the subject often reveals his truest self.”

A sense of humor helps, too. And though Walters said she first hated the SNL lampoon, she later admitted it was pwetty funny.

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.

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