Bye, Bye Barbara: Like it or not, Walters' staying power is impressive

05/18/14 by Krystin Olinski

I've never been a fan of Barbara Walters. I know she's been doing television for years, but I've always thought of her unique voice and unconventional delivery as distinct, albeit corny at times, almost as if she's trying to make a 20/20 news feature seem much more important than it really was.
From the "Saturday Night Live" parodies over the years to countless impersonations and jokes at her expense, Walters probably seems more like a character to some than an actual news woman, especially given her most recent work on "The View," hardly the kind of hard hitting news a legendary television journalist would put on their resume.
But despite the light, fluffy nature of "The View" or the crazy, ubiquitous inflection of Walters' voice on countless broadcasts, she's managed to carve out more than just a piece of history given her incredible staying power and how she's a person sought after when it comes to getting the one on one celebrity interviews and sit downs with world leaders that matter most.

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That fact means Walters won't be forgotten, even if she's announced that she's going into pseudo retirement from television, with the exception of a few special appearances. Undoubtedly, Walters' appearances will be few and far between at the age of 84, but whether you liked her style or didn't, she deserve adulation and credit for remaining relevant for so many years.
You can argue that she hasn't been that important to television in years, and that vehicles like "The View" were more pomp than circumstance as far as hard hitting news, and that her best journalistic years are well behind her.
But that sentiment isn't necessarily accurate. Walters still is perceived correctly as carrying credibility and name value when she's mentioned in the same breath sitting across marquee guests as part of a sit down special promoted by the network. She still can pique the interest of an audience, much the way Oprah Winfrey immediately commands attention and still garners ratings. Some call the likes of Walters and Winfrey overexposed, but the more accurate description is legendary and lauded for the work they've done in television.
Walters might not have the hard hitting, swagger of some on air personalities but she's asked her fair share of tough questions, and earned the respect of legions of fans who certainly appreciate what she's offered to the business for so long. Longevity often is overlooked or just deemed accidental when discussing the duration of one's career. Pundits point toward celebrities that have overstayed their welcome and aren't nearly as important in the grand scheme of their profession.
Walters isn't on that list, even if you can take her or leave her. There's just something about Walters attaching her name to just about anything that gives it the kind of drawing power that very few in television have, and certainly not for nearly as long as her.

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