Monday, May 12, 2008
barbara w - audition

If I see one more program with Barbara Walters, I am going to scream! Listen, I appreciate that she is a "pioneer" and that she has accomplished incredible things in television since the 1960's and that she broke ground for women in television like no other person.....but, but, but.....I have never seen such shameless self-promotion for a book, in my life!Not only does she have the forum of "The View", which is on five days a week and no matter what she says, this is her show---(She says she doesn't hire ands fire, but it was Miss Walters who asked Rosie O'Donnell to be on "The View", no one else)----and they have been talking about her book for weeks and weeks, almost every day.This past week, Barbara was on Oprah for the whole hour on Tuesday! She was on I-Don't-Know-How-Many-Other-Shows all week, (Including a 'special' hour on Wednesday night, pre-empting "Boston Legal" to promote her book, "AUDITION"....) and, up to and including the ladies of "The View" devoting a whole segment to Barbara on Friday morning, as if SHE was a guest from somewhere else, and talking about the book and showing the book ad-nauseum for the two segments before that.....And then Friday Night, she was on Letterman, too----plus all those 'entertainment' shows each night....I swear, I feel like I could discuss her book at this point as if I wrote it....!Enough already! Enough. Oh, and on "The View" they said something about the fact that they were going to talk about Barbara's book, all month long! Pulllleeeeze! I'm begging you----STOP! I must say, David Letterman gave me a good laugh the other might---When Barbara said for the 80 millionth time..."I was a failure on the Nightly News At ABC--I thought I was finished....etc., etc., etc......". Letterman said in a very loving good humored way...."Oh stop whining...!" It was a great moment. And she laughed, herself, though who knows how she really felt.
And, by the way, for those of you who live in other parts of the country other than New York City, Barbara will be coming to a book store, 'book-signing' in your hometown very soon! This is already a blockbuster book, and good for Barbara Walters. I just find it very interesting that the release of her book and the Television Time known as May Sweeps, all coincided at the same time. Everything today is about "promotion" self, or otherwise---something like this is not by chance, believe me!
Let's just take the ABC Network for example. Every one of their shows has had someone appearing on "The View" for the last few weeks. I guess it is all about "selling" whatever. Ratings and all that. But, I begin to feel like I am watching one very very long commercial on all these shows. "Regis & Kelly", the same thing. And who knows how many other shows of that type.....it all seems to be one loooooong commercial, culminating in The Barbara Walters Blitz. And that is just what it is: A Blitz.

I wish her well, even though she doesn't need my wishes....! It has been interesting to watch Barbara Walters rise to being the top TV interviewer/journalist of the last four decades. Many many moons ago, I was on NBC's The Today Show when "Spoon River" was on Broadway. Hugh Downs was the main man back then in the fall of 1963. He had come to see "Spoon River" just as an audience member and had loved it so much that he wanted to have our 'ensemble' cast of six on The Today Show. Back in those days they gave people half-hour segments....none of this 5 minute hurried stuff they have now. Indeed, they gave us a half hour and it is what made "Spoon River" a "hit". Barbara Walters worked as a writer on The Today Show back then. I don't recall how come I was sent to her little cubicle of an office, but I was. She asked me lots of questions, including if I was related to Joe Hirshhorn. I said reluctantly, 'yes' that I was one of his children. Barbara was propelled with interest. She said..."We should have you on and talk about that.....!" She was like a rocket! She quickly left the room going---I had no idea where.....My heart sank in a way. Whatever I had achieved with "Spoon River" had nothing to do with my father and I did not want to be known as Joe Hirshhorn's daughter......Barbara came back and said, "We'll be in touch about that!" I just remember thinking what an ambitious young woman she was and it was kind of overwhelming. And, in fact, after that day and our appearance on The Today Show, I never heard from them again, which was just fine by me. I only tell this story because I never forgot the incredible intent of Barbara Walters. The determination. The feeling that she was driven. And she not only succeeded but she triumphed in a huge way, blazing the trail for all the women in television that came after her....! And they all give her the credit she deserves, I must say. But make no mistake. You cannot achieve what she has without having a very driving ambition that transcends everything else. She was 'the first', and all that goes with that distinction.
In her book she reveals some interesting secrets about her love life. By this time I'm sure you've all heard about this or read about this......The Oprah interview , by the way, was the first of these appearances. A testament to Oprah's power position. She got 'the exclusive first' of these appearances. Sweeps Week started on Oprah's ABC Show with her two day blockbuster interviews with Tom Cruise, a week a go Friday and then continuing with Cruise on Monday of this past week, with Barbara's exclusive following on Tuesday. Oprah said on that Wednesday Night 'special' about Barbara W. on ABC... (Are you getting the picture here? It is Sweeps Week for all The Networks....) Oprah said, there wouldn't be an Oprah if there hadn't been a Barbara....! Indeed. True. Diane Sawyer on ABC's Good Morning America said the same thing this week when she interviewed Barbara.....More Truth.
It will be interesting to see what other shows Barbara Walters will appear on telling the same story's , which, by the way, are beginning to sound 'canned', if you know what I mean. Like I said, I feel like I could promote her book at this point. And here is the irony of all this. I pre-ordered the book through Amazon and it arrived on Wednesday, the day after it supposedly went 'on sale'. I thought, this will be an interesting book and this woman was a great pioneer, etc. Well, at this point, I hardly feel like I need to read it! I've heard just about everything there is in this book, already!Well, I know that is not exactly true. The book is 592 pages long, plus the Index, bringing it to 612 pages, so obviously there is a lot more she has not said yet on these shows. But I think if I see that Barbara Walters is going to be on any other shows, I will not watch them. Each of these interviews is pretty similar, though she has saved certain questions for certain people. Still.....it is, as I said, enough already. I mean, the book is already a Best Seller. I think if I were to interview Barbara Walters this is what I would want to ask her: Just how much more success do you need, Barbara?






More To Come........












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39 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Barb should take a clue from you; giving us amazing stories from your life every now and then. It keeps me wanting to read MORE next time. Love your modesty and storytelling ability as well as photo sessions of all nature's beauty. Nothing worn out here! Please keep it up.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 12:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh you poor Americans. Barbara Walters annoys me! Me from Australia. I really pity you all having her on all those shows - talk about overkill.

What's your opinion on her now, after reading her novel? And here I am all smug with the Gordon Ramsey's autobiography which hasn't been released in Australia yet so no overkill....

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 1:58:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

It sound slike your TV stations are saturated with her. I know that would drive me nuts but happily we are Barbara free over here in the UK. It seems to me that her incredible story is getting 'lost' in all the marketing and interviews and is losing it's impact. But then if you measure success in sales figures what does it matter I suppose?! It's a shame, it all seems so tacky.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 3:30:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh Naomi, lol, you make me laugh! Yep, this woman needs to get off the junket treadmill, and fast, before we all run for the hills (no pun intended btw!!!). Overkill for sure.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 4:18:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hmmmm.....too much 'airtime' on herself huh? I watch her on TV practically every night when I was in America so it was a good 'break' when I get back heheheh....

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 4:27:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

There tends to be an inclination among the rich and famous to magnify their achievements as well as there flaws for public consumption. Thus, is someone like Letterman forced to bring Ms. Walters back to Earth with his "Stop whining" comment.

I wonder whether many of these people secretly realize that in the great scheme of things, they've not really done that much of significance and therefore, they try to make their own lives appear heroic in order to make themselves feel better.

Cheers.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 4:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The late, great Gilda Radner did her shtick as "Baba Wawa" on SNL.
I wonder what Gilda is saying these days from her vantage point up above.

(BTW, it sort of blew me away this week to hear about Barbara's affair with the senator...she digs up other people's dirt usually. Yay, finally some of her own!)

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 5:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Amen, sistah! I have less than no interest in BW's book. "The Soup" did a hilarious send up (The Barbara Walters Sex Tape). If you have E!, try to catch it. They rerun the show all week.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 5:16:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

And I thought I was the only one who has had their fill of BWs' appearances. I don't even watch O's show anymore, I find it just to much craziness, for lack of a better word.

I remember the entertaining shows such as "Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, and the Dinah Shore shows. In my book, that was entertainment, a little talking, some singing and just a lot of fun. And what fun the "Dean Martin" TV show was!! Well, now I've given away my age;)))

Enjoyed your comments about BW and her book and always enjoy reading your commentaries.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 5:36:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I agree, Naomi. I don't watch the View or any other daytime shows now - maybe Oprah once/twice a week or so. I like Barbara and always have, but you are right that she is a shameless promoter (of herself). I will not read her book, simply because it doesn't interest me.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 6:31:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Good Morn.:) Thank you for sharing your thoughts, regarding, Barbara. But sadly, its all about money these days, and lots of it.Yes, she did, thank you. But also it's someone behind the photo's, that are directing her, and the problem is she is listining. At her age she should know better. But sadly, television in general, stinks, and what kind of garbage, they are feeding us nightly. Am so sick of relatly shows, there are very few exceptions. I do like the Amazing Race, and Dancing with the Stars, but even both of them get old. I do not watch much TV, but my husband resorts to Mash reruns, and GunSmoke, and then yaps at the tv, when they move things around on him. Every time there is a program, we both like watching, it ends of getting cancelled. No one have ever asked us what we like to watch on television. Can you imagine? Thanks for letting me voice my thoughts. Please excuse, spelling. need a spell check attached. So, dummys like me:)Have a great day.pat

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 7:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I only saw the Oprah Show. A part of me wondered about having your life so open to so many like that. She says she's not auditioning any more, but she hasn't seemed to mellow out, not yet.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 9:08:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I have to agree with you lol.. you almost don't have to read the book lol.. too funny. Eventually, I know I will get this book when it all dies down ..

I think all actors and all creative people always need that praise that what they do is worth something.. and most especially to feel they are not forgotten.. however, I doubt Barbara will be forgotten anytime soon! :o)

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 9:51:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Great rant, Naomi! Loved it.
It's so true, those already rich and famous will try to squeeze a little more money out of the machine.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 10:29:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Yes, I have to agree - it has been a daily dose of Barbara Walters - and sometimes even more than once a day!!!

I, too, appreciate what she did - but, damn, enough is enough. I don't want to hear everything before I read the book! It's like going to the movie before sitting down with the hardback in your hands!!!

And, being May sweeps it is a bit much...

You know - I don't enjoy tv any more!!! I like very few shows...I am home all day long and I don't even turn it on until 5 or 6 for the news...

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 10:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I have read about the book but don't watch regular tv; so haven't seen her at all. I think I have seen The View twice if that. I had not been decided on whether I wanted to read her book; so will be interested in what you think about it when you are done-- assuming you do read it eventually :)

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 3:04:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Who is going to want to buy her book after all of these interviews....How many more secrets could she have? She is an ambitous woman, but enough is enough. Great post, Naomi

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 4:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Well, since I haven't watched a lot of TV lately, I've missed out on the Barbaramania. I think I caught up nicely here on your blog, Naomi. Thanks for the warning! :)

She's a highly talented woman, no doubt about that, but I agree, she's a bit overexposed. I would love to read her book at some point. I'm sure there are some little secrets in there we don't know about, and it will be interesting to learn more about the force that pushed her to the top. I know nothing about her past, except for what she's done on TV, nothing about her personal life.

I like the pics you posted of Barbara through the years. It compliments the post nicely.

BTW, I don't like how she focused on your father rather than on you and the reason you were there, but that was just her thinking ahead, I suppose, planning her next move. Let us know how you like the book.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 6:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I'm right there with you, Naomi! If I see/hear one more "shameless" plug about her book, it will be too soon.

It is absolutely oversaturating the airwaves. As for it being a Bestseller - I believe that happened purely by all the plugging on various shows.

Now she will be doing book signings and we will still never hear the end of where she will be signing next.

I viewed the YouTube video with Hugh Downs and found it very interesting. Of course, leave it to her reporter nose to associate your last name with someone whose name she knew. I'm glad you weren't pursued on that later on. At least you were saved from going through that part.

I hope when I WRITE MY BOOK that I get as much if not more exposure than she does! When my agent books me for appearances and book signings, I am telling her to put the View at the top of the list and book me for at least 15 minutes!! LOL

I've got a long ways to go before that book is done! :-)

As for her book, reading an excerpt of it is about all I could take. I'm not interested in reading it and like you, don't think there would be anything I haven't already heard through the airwaves already.

Anne

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 6:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I would rather look at a thousand of your postings of flora and fauna- they inspire and uplift- than one interview of Barbara Walters. It seems rather pathetic to see her pandering like an over-aged Paris Hilton that fails to understand that she is old enough to know better.
The few promos I ran across led me to think of humility is a virtue BW has forgotten (assuming she ever knew it). Also- discretion. She may have opened doors with her career- but everytime someone in the press reveals what was best a secret- she makes it harder to get a good lead. Since she decided it was okay to "out" the married Senator she had an affair with. Okay- here's what I think. She's saying she was willing to sleep her way to the top. And her lack of respect for the privacy of his family- she was willing to throw them under the bus for her own vanity and a couple bucks.
She had the opportunity to be a role model and she turned it down so she could make more money. Not impressive.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 10:49:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I think I get it and it makes sense to me. She's almost 79. She's a New Yorker through and through. New York is a crazy expensive place to live and she's probably ready to retire. She's just building the great big nest egg she will need to live in NY in the style to which she is accustomed. It makes perfect sense to me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 1:06:00 AM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

They simply don't understand about overload and that endless self promotion can result in utter boredom or distaste.
As for that driving ambition - as you may imagine I came across it both on the stage and in literary circles and I found the ruthlessness involved deeply unattractive. That's not to say I approve of being a shy little violet. Just that one should moderate the self hype.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 2:10:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Mar
had this to say:

No comments, Naomi!!
:)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 5:19:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I've never cared for B Walters, even her voice annoys me, I just flip the switch when she comes on TV. (Which isn't all that often here in Canada)

I was just reading through all your comments.... does anyone appreciate Ms Barbara's talents? It seems not.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 5:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I agree with you! Enough is enough! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 8:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I agree... she is ground breaking and all but gee... isn't she sick of hearing her own voice yet???

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 9:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Never heard of her.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 11:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Her voice kills me. I can't watch a show that she's on.

Maybe I'll catch the book when it hits the bargain bin at the bookstore.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 1:47:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I forgot to say that I used to love watching Saturday Night Live when they would do their Barbara Wawa sketches....They were so on target...Those were the days.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 3:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You crack me up!
It's like you had a real interest in her book which is why you pre-ordered it. Now, after seeing the overkill in promoting it, you are not so interested.
I find that to be funny. There may be people who DON'T buy the book because they are sick of hearing about it. I'm sure, like you said, it will be a big success no matter.
She is worthy of praise for her accomplishments, but it's hilarious how you write about how sick you are of seeing her and hearing her... enough already!
I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Naomi.
Thanks for a good chuckle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 6:24:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Overkill, Barbara needs to learn that word! I agree with you my friend, I've had enough of Miss WaWa!

Hope you are doing well!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 6:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I was always annoyed when BW was belittled and ridiculed for her speech problem which is so hurtful for people, especially young children. Our culture seems to have little tolerance for anyone whose speech varies from a notion of what's normal, often concluding the individual is also mentally deficient.

That said, I couldn't agree with you more about being overloaded with her book promotion. I think I'll wait until it goes to paperback and ends up on the "buy one, get a second for half price" table at my bookstore.

I did order an advance copy of blogger Mary Lee Coe Fowler's "Full Fathom Five" released the end of April.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 3:24:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Ms. Walters is a Disney property.

Think of her as a geriatric Hannah Montana!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 1:50:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

LOL, I just finished an upcoming post about her. I am only 51, but I feel like I had heard most of the book's content already. She made her story sell by being journalistically (yep) discreet; so now it all appears unseemly and out of character. But I WOULD prefer to hear the secrets from her than others. Unfortunately, this taints good journalism again. (Not that The View helped.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 11:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi!! I am late getting here, but I enjoyed hearing what you had to say about Barbara!! I'm glad I don't watch those shows because I'd be sick of hearing it too. I'm sure she doesn't need the money from this book but she is ambitious for sure!

Maybe you'll learn some deep dark secrets in that book!!! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 3:48:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I have seen her in a few interviews & saw her on Larry King for a few minutes, but bowed out. The feeling I take away from all of these interviews is that she needs to feel young. She feels the need to stay at the top of her game, you know, not relax & fade into the pastures (there is some saying like that). For some reason, I see it as more of an insecurity issue.
I heard her speak with regret about leaving her sister at the hospital & her sister died shortly after. And when Joy Behar asked if she'd do anything differently, she said, "No." I was speechless. Despite all the success in her life, I would think she'd at least have stayed with her sister at the hospital. Perhaps I misunderstood, but I don't think so.
Good review. I'm not sure I'll read her book, too long for me.

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 10:02:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

While I can understand your frustration, as an author with a novel due for a Spring '09 release, I also know that promotion is everything. Bottom line....it's all about the sales. And self-promotion now a days is really mandatory.
Thing is...I don't have the clout that Walters has, so she gets into this publishing game 100 miles ahead of the rest of us "unknowns." Hey, guess that's the way this business goes.
I've always liked her and admired her as a woman. And I'm really looking forward to reading her memoir. However, think I'll hold off till it's out in paperback.
Great blog, Naomi!
Terri
http://www.islandwriter.net

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 8:18:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hahaha - laughing out loud in agreement and delight - oh, how I've missed visiting your blog!

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 10:55:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Barbara Walter's life was influenced greatly by her older sister and she's written a beautiful memoir about her life. I read another memoir of a life influence by a sibling that I recommend highly - I actually liked it even more. The memoir is ""My Stroke of Insight"" by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Dr Taylor became a Harvard brain scientist to find the cause and cure for schizophrenia because her older brother was a sufferer. Then, crazy as life can be, Dr. Taylor had a stroke at age 37. What was amazing was that her left brain was shut down by the stroke - where language and thinking occur - but her right brain was fully functioning. She experienced bliss and nirvana and the way she writes about it (or talks about it in her now famous TED talk) is incredible.

What I took away from Dr. Taylor's book above all, and why I recommend it so highly, is that you don't have to have a stroke or take drugs to find the deep inner peace that she talks about. Her book explains how. ""I want what she's having"", and thanks to this wonderful book, I can!

Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 9:00:00 PM PDT 

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