The Black Snob

Politics. Pop Culture. Pretentiousness.

Barbara Walters Outs Herself As A Lover of the Light Brown

with 16 comments

Pre-taped episode of “The Oprah Winfery Show” with Barbara Walters as a guest. Set to air Tuesday, Walter narcs on herself as being a, ahem, “Negro-lover.”

In celebrity news that I didn’t know I wanted to know, ABC’s Barbara Walters decided to do a celebrity scoop on herself and divulge an affair she had with United States’ first popularly elected black senator, Edward Brooke.

In an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” scheduled to air Tuesday, Walters shares details of her relationship with the married Brooke that lasted several years in the 1970s, according to excerpts of the show provided to the AP.

… Walters said he and she knew that public knowledge of their affair could have ruined their careers.

At the time, the twice-divorced Walters was a rising star in TV news and co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, but would soon jump to ABC News, where she has enjoyed unrivaled success. She said her affair with Brooke, which never before came to light, had ended before he lost his bid for a third term in 1978.

On one hand, this is … surprising, I guess. On the other hand, who wanted to know this? I mean, really. This would have been a salacious career ender in the 70s, but it’s 2008. Being “down with the swirl” doesn’t pack the punch it used to.

Walters, reportedly, pushed Brooke to leave his wife and when he did, she was pressured by friends not to marry him as the scandal would ruin them both.

Naturally, Brooke hasn’t had much to say about being outed as a lover of Barbara Wah-Wah. I think his silence basically says, “I’m 88-years-old. Please stop calling.”

But if you want people to buy some books when everyone got sick of hearing about you 20 years ago, interracial love gone bad sells much much better than media doyenne dishes on her failed relationships with other white people that you’ve already heard about extensively.

It’s no Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, but hey, it’s news-ish, right?

Washington Post’s The Reliable Source has more info on the once-torrid romance.

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Written by blacksnob

May 2, 2008 at 10:04 pm

16 Responses

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  1. The only idea of black-white interracial relationships the media wants to hear about are the black man – white woman variety so the fact that there has been more press on this than it deserves doesn’t surprise me.

    Too bad she didn’t go for it though.

    I understand her wanting to not hurt her career but then I wouldn’t call decades of stupid celebrity interviews and the train wreck that is the View success.

    She’s talking about the affair because that’s probably the only thing remotely interesting about her decades in journalism.

    It’s sad.

    Baltogeek

    May 2, 2008 at 11:18 pm

  2. baltogeek: While Barbara Walters does grate my nerves, as a journalist I have to say she did have a very promising journalism career in the 70s and 80s, but she smacked her head on the network news glass ceiling pretty hard. The only spot left for her was news anchor and no man was willing to share an inch of his desk space with her.

    Which is the reason why she gave up fighting and settled for a career of soft-focus lenses and celebrity reporting.

    It’s also why she created “The View.” Which has always been an estrogen-fueled car crash.

    So she had an interesting journalism career, it’s just everyone knows about her battles against sexism as well as her mutiple marriages. “Jungle Fever in the 1970s” was (obviously) the last stone unturned.

    If she writes a second book I don’t know what she’ll write about. I suppose she could be a closet Lesbian. I mean, that wouldn’t explain her love for getting married to men over and over. But that’s something she could out herself for. Like if she, Jane Fonda and Katherine Hepburn got it on a few times. That would move some paper.

    The Black Snob

    May 3, 2008 at 2:31 am

  3. OT:

    Barack and Michelle – the full interview on MSNBC on Saturday Morning, May 3rd, 8 am EST.

    rikyrah

    May 3, 2008 at 3:41 am

  4. I work at a news station and the response was prettymuch the same. “Umm, okay.” LOL

    Undercover Dreamer

    May 3, 2008 at 10:17 am

  5. I keep trying to go and enroll in Black Snob Detox but here I am back for more of your contraband. I am going to seriously take a longer breather from your blog…like maybe ’til tomorrow.

    As for this woman here, Barbara Walters…I feel like she is a Jew acting like a Catholic in confessing. Clearly I don’t see her as really a eager friend of dark people. I think she tries to challenge herself to not be like “those racist people” she and other Liberal Elites swear they are nothing alike.

    I mean she hired the very pompous Star Jones and fed her ego that created the monster of Star Jones when Star did not have to end up this way. Star was a country girl ashamed of it and wanted to play the loud-mouth aunt of the Black Community that “should know better” but continued to embarrass us of her lack of humility to know when to stop pushing off such gregarious behavior.

    Then Barbara fired her. That was fucked up friendship recoded as a business move. She facilitated all that ended up doing Star in to make Star the laughing stock now.

    I always wanted to like Star but she behaved like a clique-ish Black Girl that wanted to run the school, the hood, the plantation, etc. She never pushed true sisterhood and I saw the missed opportunity because she only pushed “look at me and my girlfriends”.

    I think Divine Revelation gives all of us opportunities to be the difference but sometimes we choose to do it “our way”. I see that is Star’s lot. I wonder when she will learn she was chosen to lead but not the cheap ways she keeps trying to do it.

    Trying to one-up Barbara Walters is not it. Who cares about Barbara Walters, really? (Oh…maybe the NY society crowd)

    Andrea

    May 3, 2008 at 11:39 am

  6. Blacksnob, I know about the glass ceiling and the women who ran face first into it.

    I know that she along with many other major female journos of that era wanted that coveted nightly news anchor spot and were denied harshly.

    But I guess my criticism is what she chose to do instead.

    She didn’t have to go in a direction of being the interviewer celebs went to when they wanted to get their blubber on but she did.

    I guess it’s hard for me to respect that since if she really wanted to be a hard hitting journalist there are other routes she could have taken.

    It’s a pet peeve of mine when folks face that kind of crap they use it as an excuse to completely sell themselves out for bullshit.

    I think of someone like Helen Thomas who I’m sure when she joined UPI in 1943 had to face her share of stupidity as a women and for not being white and didn’t let that stop her.

    That’s a woman whose life deserves some reflection.

    Baltogeek

    May 3, 2008 at 12:48 pm

  7. andrea: I wasn’t a huge fan of hers but I was definitely on “Team Star” when she was being forced off the show. And I didn’t understand the obsession with her gastric bypass surgery. Everyone seemed so angry that she wouldn’t openly admit to it. Can’t a bitch keep some shit to herself? Damn.

    And Barbara is developing a history of dumping people for being drama queens when the whole purpose of “The View” is that they are all drama queens. Rosie O’Donnell is kind of crackers but I think Barbara played her salty too.

    baltogeek: No doubt. It’s true she could have kept slugging, a la Diane Sawyer, Leslie Stahl or Connie Chung, but she didn’t. So I understand your point. Many women do choose to remain serious journalists even after they are rejected by the male establishment.

    The Black Snob

    May 3, 2008 at 2:08 pm

  8. rikyrah

    May 3, 2008 at 7:49 pm

  9. Okay…I need help. I didn’t go to Six Flags or Black Snob Detox. I did go to Target and my nose starting running and eyes itching (not because I forgot to take allergy medicine but because I was coming down off of your blog).

    I need it! I gotta have it!

    Well now I am in the house nursing my itchy eyes, ears, and throat with some sinus tabs. When will this pollen stop taunting me?

    So I’m back but I guess you really are taking a vay-kay.

    I wanted to say…I think they prodded Star about her surgery because she was so open (too open). She went swimming with sharks with her period on.

    It’s like Gwyneth Paltrow tried to warn Jennifer Aniston to keep her mouth shut about her life. And now…look who is on the cover of Vogue admitting to post-pardem depression? I think however the media knows to stay away from Gwyneth because she seems to have tame them instead of them preying and gaming her.

    But yeah…if you start with them and use them, then they keep coming like a stray cat. You never feed a stray unless you want him to never leave.

    You know what I used to do and I was told by writers that I had to be more like bleeding prey or sensational. I wanted to be neither. I didn’t want to be opportunist for attention. So many young Black people that went to school for marketing are really driven by manufacturing buzz or rather, they want to do that in life. They grew up since arriving in the 80’s only knowing hype as authentic relevancy. Organic matter is boring to them. They respond to baited fodder.

    So many Black New Yorks live on this idea of perpetuating this vibe as part of them being part of someone or something that could make you or someone. They really are on this kick about manufacturing power out of hype. I think that since the music industry is limping now, they are having to reassess that they the trend of 80’s and 90’s interest in sensationalized view of Blacks in vogue, they are finding themselves in a space that renders them to question what matters anymore.

    No one is interested in the Black star anymore. Even Blacks are bored with ourselves. We have dumbed down our standards that we are extinguished. Our fire, our culture of intellectualism is endangered. We are like a rubber-band that has no more spring…no recoil…all stretched out.

    We need a rebirth. A renaissance. Reconnaissance.

    Andrea

    May 3, 2008 at 10:27 pm

  10. Well, no wonder ol’ granny was pushing up on Michelle’s husband when he was on the view last month. Barack looked too uncomfortable.

    Anonymous

    May 4, 2008 at 1:21 am

  11. Thank you for answering the question of what her motivation was for releasing this info.

    Andrea, what about people like Beyonce nem that don’t discuss their private life but still have the media on them like white on rice?

    I agree there needs to be a revival of the arts in the black community. Who’s with me on moving to Harlem and channeling Langston and Zora and Alain and them?

    Fantastically Misunderstood Me

    May 4, 2008 at 3:28 am

  12. i could’ve lived my entire life and been ok to not know baba wawa had an affair with edward brooke…it doesn’t make her any more interesting to me and for the life of me, i cannot understand how and why “the view” is still on the air..

    and i concur the black art revival is sorely needed…now! i’m in boston, but i can be in new york in 4 hours…

    starrie

    May 4, 2008 at 4:54 am

  13. anonymous: LOL. I think everyone except Whoopi, the most butch woman on The View, was in thrall with Obama. (Also, Whoopi is pro-Clinton, so that was probably also a factor in her lack of interest.)

    andrea and fantastically misunderstood me: I think black celebrity culture is both followed and not followed at the same time. Black stars often can move more freely in society because gossip on them does not come with a price tag. The hype machine focuses on “bigger” white stars because they move more paper.

    But that isn’t true for all black celebrities. Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Halle Berry and Will Smith all have to deal with a paparazzi presence as well as OJ Simpson, Naomi Campbell and Whitney Houston.

    Basically black people who have truly “crossed over” so far that white America has fully welcomed them into their homes and spends money on them. All seven of those people are famous or infamous with white Americans because of what they represent.

    But yeah, most folks aren’t studying black celebrities. Although the young are very obsessed with gossiping about which rapper is gay, which actor is gay, the exploits of various rappers, Ray J’s sex tape and Brandy committing vehicular manslaughter.

    I also agree there needs to be a revival of black art and fine literature. There should be more celebration of creative thought and ingenuity, what we used to have before our culture was turned into a commodity and boiled down to it’s most caricature driven, buffoonish stereotypes.

    starrie: I never understood “The View’s” popularity either. I remember watching it sporadically the year it debuted because I was jealous of Lisa Ling. Here I was, slugging it out with some crappy media job making next to nothing and her second job in the industry was with a nationally televised talk show.

    I was always a little bewildered how some folks were on some secret inside track and I was in Missouri fighting for scraps with all the other upstarts.

    That said, although I was jealous of Ling, who was grossly overrated at the time BTW (she’s since improved as a journalist), I though The View was a pretty crappy show. I did not enjoy listening to four women (five when Barbara showed up) argue over one another. I didn’t understand WHY this gyno-centric show had to appeal to our inner pink fluffy bitches. It’s like no one is capable of making something for women that doesn’t smell like potpourri and deodorized Tampax.

    The Black Snob

    May 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm

  14. @blacksnob..”It’s like no one is capable of making something for women that doesn’t smell like potpourri and deodorized Tampax”…lol

    the only folks i know who admit to halfway watching “the view” happens to be gay…

    and deodorized tampons…why? that just screams you’re on your period to EVERYONE…

    starrie

    May 4, 2008 at 9:28 pm

  15. new subscriber! love your blog!

    yummy411

    May 4, 2008 at 9:40 pm

  16. starrie: I too don’t get the scented “feminine hygiene products.” Even as a tween when I started my period I would be HIGHLY upset when my mom would accidentally buy the scented maxi pads. I hated their scent. I hated smelling like anyone other than soap and lotion. And I hated the fact that scented maxi pads only made the smell worse.

    yummy: Welcome aboard! Glad you like the blog.

    The Black Snob

    May 4, 2008 at 11:02 pm


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