When President Richard Nixon went on his ground-breaking trip to China in 1972, Barbara Walters went with him. She wasn’t a star at the time, but as one of only three media women on the trip, she was on her way to fame and fortune. Never mind that she had to fly over in “the zoo plane,” as the Pan Am Boeing 707 carrying the photographers and technicians would be dubbed. Forget about the fact that, by all accounts, she was not in the best of moods as she occasionally looked up out of her window to see another 707, this one operated by TWA, carrying the big guns and good old boys of the major media du jour. She would be an important player one day.
That day has come - and gone.
If Barbara Walters were a tree she’d hardly be noticed these days against the ambient background noise generated by so many stellar female personalities – women for whom she paved the way. Hardly noticed, that is, until last week. Now she is everywhere, plugging her new tell-all memoir, “AUDITION.”
Trees are felled to make paper. Books are made of paper. But this book falls glaringly short of the value of the paper on which it’s printed. It will sell – no doubt about it – because it has some juicy stuff in it. Just to make sure the reader’s eyes don’t glaze over, as so often happens when they watch a Barbara Walters T.V. Special, she has decided to tell us about one thing that had previously been left off her impressive resume.
Barbara Walters is an adulteress. And apparently, she is PROUD of it.
Now, before anyone takes me to task suggesting that I am a narrow-minded clergyman who delights in pointing out the failures and flaws of others, let me disabuse reasonable readers of that notion. Yes, I do deal with the destructive fallout of infidelity all too often in my work. I also preach a message that includes a call to personal faithfulness and even something almost foreign to American discourse these days – righteousness.
But I also understand human nature and our common propensity toward personal failure. In theological terms this is called sin. And anytime I speak or write on a subject like this, I am mindful of St. Paul’s admonition in the New Testament: “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.” (I Corinthians 10:12, New International Version)