29 June 2006

Open Letter To: Barbara Walters

Your face –slapped all over Our airwaves past few days, but fortunately: YOU don’t get only or last word, thanks to one of the few rights not stripped by current Oval Office occupant, though his pals are feverishly working on it. This author not black and doesn’t need to be to see what you have done –and wretch; appalled at your temerity. Who the hell do you imagine you are?

Your name –etched into a California sidewalk next year, at least until The Earthquake, announced recently. Which means: you, or your employer, nominated you, put up $2,200. for said “honor,” “agreed” to show up when it’s done. That stretch of a Los Angeles sidewalk reserved for significant people in the Moving Picture business. What’s it got to do with you? Who the hell do you imagine you are?

EXCUUUSE us: Where the Hell were your ‘modulated’ tones when FCC enabled Mega media corporations to rip-down firewall –TV-radio-newspaper-Internet, single ownership in a single market –Engorge themselves, become ever-larger –control news –line their pockets –suppress competing viewpoints –buy up competition, that outraged Americans? National Rifle Association, ACLU to artists –well over two million protested in letter, fax, phone, e-mail to FCC. You? –Too much of a team player to allow Opinion, facts, doing the right thing, journalism –even discussion –to interfere with making money?

State –federal –no-longer supreme courts –quashed, stripped out –Jamb-packed only with conservative/right-wing judges –now devoid of variety, backgrounds –any variance from ideological interpretations. –You had what to say? Too busy keeping your lips tightly zipped, hoping for another invitation to White House?

Billions of diapers, plastic water bottles, Styrofoam packaging choking landfills –take hundreds of years to breakdown, IF ever –makers of those, cars, drugs –thousands of toxic things poisoning the planet, advertisers on your little flog & tell hour. –But those worried about the planet –those views discussed –aired when? More Important: avoid any conflict –with the sweep of cash through the door –belonging to the makers, who air commercials of such during “your” piece of our air?

An employee told the public You & Co. did not ‘invite’ her to continue employment –an hour/two days before YOU said it –you moaning, whining in oh-so-dulcet tones –Whining and bitching because she beat you to it???

You hired: Meredith Vierira –intelligent first-rate reporter –with wit, personality, brains –class, to let everyone else have a turn at ‘shining; glimpse at life growing up child of a doctor in New England 1950’s, married parent with career, to lead that mess of an hour. Joy Behar, single person who brings the funny, glimpse into Italian family life, circa 1940s New York, 1950’s discrimination of women, life with long-term boyfriend. Star Jones: attorney, newly-married, contributing interpretation of law, growing up in large extended family in the South of 1960’s. –Each: views influenced by decade, environment.

Then: You hired a twenty-something person –so mind-bound to an ideology, a religion, a political party there actually is no reason for her to speak: makes no-nevermind What the Topic –her “views” predictable, extreme right-wing, biased, rigid. But with her every person unfortunate enough to turn on this view gets a two-fer: her recitation of Party Lines AND Lecture How to Live. How life is to be lived –loudly, even if others are talking, and Often, because twenty-something from small-town, primitive state Knows; not shy sharing. Illuminates? HOW does such a person get on your little mess of an hour? She brings What to the table? Budhist, Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran, non-believers shouldn't watch/should follow Immediately? YOU decided: you saw a wind blowing off a distant pool that ‘somehow’ doesn’t Have Enough outlet? –It was right time: to Pander to the rabid right? You: went right off the rails.

Then after journalist Vierira (wisely) quit, you hire a person who brings what to the table, besides her homosexuality and left-wing agenda? –Ability –to suck the oxygen/interrupt /talk louder than anyone else in the room –non-stop? With her the only time anyone else gets to talk, apparently: they are saying something flattering to/about her. How will such a skill set add to –conversation –discussion –anything? Whom do you & co. imagine will be market for right-winger, left-winger rant fests? Your judgment hiring such a skill-set? Is it supposed to amuse the few viewers still watching –to see extremists attempt to convince the other of something? What the hell were you thinking, hiring Either one?

What do You bring to the table? Hmmm…much-married, given to name-dropping, feigning modesty, lunching…not a reporter, not amusing, not a lawyer…economics –medicine –science? Nope. –Painter –biologist –poet –archeologist –historian –bond trader –gourmet cook –gardener? Naw, nope, nada. You’re just the discriminating Hostess with Mostest? –Only the well-done/quality booked? Any doctor looking for business slides a show of latest cosmetic procedures –guaranteed to get him a palazzo in Italy, glides right on in. –“Designer” desperate to keep from going belly up gets runway time to show off latest stupid rags, produced by which country’s children –you-can’t-be-bothered-to-verify.

Hell, anybody with a good publicist and a movie/book/CD to flog ‘somehow’ manages to get a seat, without Iota of quality or criteria applied. –‘Somehow’ even less difficult if tied/owned by parent Disney/ABC? The four co-hosts: forced to be polite in face of such marketing inanity. Has occurred to you –even once—only Good movies flogged, instead of whatever-drivel has littered once perfectly good raw film by Ms/Mr Famous?

–You stand for nothing –perched on the edge of your seat –breathless with anticipation –posing Deep Probing Questions –waiting breathlessly, for answers from Ac-Tor of the minute. One of the people you hired: once thought it would somehow be amusing to book a real twit, who thought it would be amusing to showcase cocktails –procuring one for color, a martini of alcohol mixed with medicine –because Pepto Abysmal is pretty pink. Where do you get off thinking such people have any value to viewers? Meredith Vieira had the integrity to spit it out, say aloud “this is awful.” Awful? Like labeling the Grand Canyon: ditch.

First year or so, topics discussed at the beginning of the show, relevant, of weight; stimulating conversation. Then your use of Our real estate veered sharply –into the depths –where yellow journalism, gossip and trash is placed. What’s on the cover of a rag –Topic A, on your show of rancid shows; latest amateur wannabe singer –oh, yes, deep examination. But: opportunity to educate –how to invest/ save/create a smart pension? –environment –how to restore political balance? –bills on the House or Senate floor that week? –natural remedies/alternatives to slash & burn methods for breast/cervical/prostate cancer? –spirituality? –how to live rich life? No time, those views: You & Co. too busy throwing up view on tech toys, clothing, any pricey “interesting” new thing that wants flogging, filling up hot air –making money for You/network.

Did you hire consultants –who said version of ‘women don’t care about important subjects’ –and believed them? Though much-married makes you a-typical, you seem to be product of long-dead, thankfully, era when it was projected women were only interested in fluff and lunching. GET A CLUE: women have Always worked –hard –inside, outside of wherever they live, one way or another; usually at two careers; care deeply about many things. Do Explain That to near-hysterical director/camera operator who makes the mess un-watchable: sooo fearful a Real Point About something will make the show “dull” –they chop/cut –every quarter second, non-stop, until anyone who actually Looks at it soon cross-eyed or dizzy as camera whips from face to face to crossed dangling legs to tacky dated cheap set.

Where was your judgment –class –brains: when you asked a sexual question of journalist Charles Gibson so Inappropriate –so low-life –he walked off the dais and, body language transmitted, did not want to return, didn't for several seconds.

But: An employee whom “consultants” decided wasn’t pandering enough to any viewers still watching that mess –should be 86’d? –You believe them? –You/‘consultants’/network didn’t like her wedding chatter? Or: didn’t like her getting free stuff because of the chatter? Uh –you, the network Don’t put up the whole show so you can sell drugs –cars –diapers –tech toys –to get money?

According to media reports: a contract was not forthcoming –in December. If true: that means for Half a Year she has had to keep quiet, while pretending interest/enthusiasm –do the job for six months Knowing she was fired. But YOU are “upset” she finally said so –TWO DAYS before You could? She announced what was coming –two days before You could ax her –pissed you off? Get a Clue: every person ever fired Applauds her. She announced she was leaving –on her five minutes –with dignity. She stood up for herself.

You: admired, once, by millions of girls, growing up in tumultuous times, wondering where they would fit in the world; watching first female video news anchor on national news show. You were given gifts, finite amount of time on the planet, as everyone. What have you done with them?

What is it you “agreed” to be “honored” for on a Los Angeles sidewalk? –Whining –about the exit timing of already-fired employee? Utterly tacky. You have embarrassed yourself. Are viewers capable of changing views? Yup. Harry Reasoner –on you –now viewed differently: He was right on. Stuff you do around Academy Awards time so trite the only thing missing: a hat. You can flog impending arrival of left-winger with an agenda 24/7: that will only further prove your shortages.

You have acended/decended into the ranks of George Hamilton: famous for being famous, but for What? OUR airwaves: too valuable for your ilk. Step aside or at least: shut up. If you aren’t part of the solution: get out of the way –you’re blocking our view. This author will continue to join many others –elsewhere.

Except for one day during Vierira’s last week, this author admits: after not watching for years, happened to turn on TV, saw segment of Star Jones announcement, Barbara Walter’s face. “The View” –panders, deals in drivel; utter waste of air, your time. Read a book, do your work, find something stimulating; avoid dated narcissistic flogging hour view. As Star Jones learned: that view isn’t healthy.

Tag: “The View” ABC, attorney Star Jones, reporter Meredith Vierira, journalism infused with celebrity, Hollywood Walk of drivel, right-wing manifesto air time pandering, passé view of women, FCC, left-wing pandering, Barbara Walters, Disney

[Having both computer and connection problems; Hope this gets posted, stays up; thanks for returning; hope to resolve soon.]

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