The original "Babawawa"
Last night I had the honor of hearing Barbara Walters speak about her controversial book, Audition, sponsored by the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. Local Milwaukee news anchor, Kathy Mykleby (check out her Drive by Video) hosted while a packed house sat mesmerized by the journalism royalty.
Barbara explained that she wrote the book for her developmentally disabled sister, Jackie, who she was constantly embarrassed by when she was younger and was always angry with because of her disability. As a matter of fact, she named her adopted daughter Jackie, so her sister would also have a baby.
And speaking of her daughter, Barbara is quick to point out their rocky relationship and how Jackie ran away from home and Barbara was encouraged not to report it because of the media it would get and what that might cause her daughter to do in rebellion. An unthinkable position for any mother. The good news is that Jackie grew up and is now running an outdoor therepy program call "New Horizons," for troubled teens.
Barbara also admits that she has a lot of regrets, like not following through on a crush on Clint Eastwood when he asked her to stay for dinner after an interview. While she’s not nervous about doing interviews, in real life she doesn’t drive a car and "can’t make up her mind" (her daughter blames it on her being a Libra). She doesn’t want a movie made about the book because she doesn’t want anyone to play her sister, mother or father.
|Handshake collector Lori Anderson and friend Jeanette Klitzke. Lori shook my hand after learning I met Lisa Ling and shook her hand. A first for me.|
Then microphones are set up for audience questions. Here’s my chance to be an ace reporter (since HarperCollins refused me an interview…the nerve!). I quickly spit out my gum, introduce myself and throw in PW’s name hoping she’ll take me a little more seriously. I thank her for my nickname, Babawawa, which she acknowledges with a smile and a shrug. Now my hard hitting journalistic question… "Barbara, since you’ve admitted to "have done it all," what romance book have you read and enjoyed lately?" Pausing to think about it, she tells me she mostly reads nonfiction to prepare for her interviews, but she can read her good friend, Danielle Steele’s books in about 20 minutes. She also takes a moment to thank me for PW’s great review and I say, "You’re welcome." Interview over.
So what hard hitting journalist question would you have asked Barbara Walters?
Bottom Line: I think Barbara Walters needs to interview some romance writers so she can read some good books. After 70 plus years, she’s due for her "Happily Ever After."
WISN News Anchor Kathy Mykleby Discusses Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters fans Amy Braun-Gross and Shelly Clumpner