You can always tell when a network legend is retiring. His/her network blocks out most of a Friday night so they can remember all of the legend's glory days. At 84, ABC's Barbara Walters is taking a bow, and she's certainly as synonymous with television as Johnny Carson or Walter Cronkite.
Walters was a pioneer for female journalists on TV. She's also an archetype for our liberal feminist media. In recent years, she's competitively elbowed out other contenders in providing leading Democrats with the most comfortable of softball interviews.
A holiday tradition at the Obama White House is a visit from Walters, who stays as sweet as pumpkin pie.
From 2012: "Mr. President, Mrs. Obama. There is a photograph of you (hugging) that went viral, became the most shared photograph in the history of Twitter. How do you keep the fire going?"
From 2011: "I know that you answer people's letters all the time. And what we thought that we might do. We asked middle school and high school students to throw a few questions. I'd like to read their questions. 'If you were a superhero and you could have one superpower, what would it be?'"
Walters promised these "news" revelations in 2010: "When we come back, we'll hear about family life in the White House, just who slept through the midterm elections, the importance of SpongeBob SquarePants and the night the Tooth Fairy didn't show up. Stay with us."
Soon after the 2008 election, in her first Barack Obama special, Walters explicitly compared the Obamas to the Camelot swoon over Jack and Jackie Kennedy, and their "youthful embodiment of style, substance and hope." She went all over ABC praising them.
On "Nightline," she said "When you see him with his wife Michelle, he is so relaxed, he is funny. I have rarely seen a couple as devoted, as together, whether they're talking about their children or the kind of dog they're going to get ... They tease each other, but the respect that they have for each other is enormous."
The disastrous rollout of Obamacare eventually caused Walters to lament on CNN: "We thought that he was going to be -- I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but -- the next Messiah."