BARBARA WALTERS: I was talking to David Letterman and he’s leaving too and we both said we don’t want to. But you know what? It’s going to be fun.
On Friday, Barbara Walters will sign off from her ABC daytime show The View for the last time. In 1999, nearly 50 million people tuned in to see Miss Walters question Monica Lewinski about her relationship with President Clinton; more than had ever watched a news program before or since.
BARBARA WALTERS (1999): You never thought that this was something that was serious or incriminating.
MONICA LENWINSKY (1999) : Of course not! It wasn’t an issue. I was never going to talk about this relationship.
BARBARA WALTERS (1999): Why did you tell Linda Tripp about this dress?
MONICA LENWINSKY(1999): Because it was funny! It was funny.
BARBARA WALTERS (1999): And then she told you, “Save this dress.”
MONICA LENWINSKY: Yes.
Throughout her career Miss Walters interviewed world leaders and every American president and first lady since Richard and Pat Nixon.
BARBARA WALTERS (1985): When you see how Americans today distrust their leaders, when you see cynicism instead of hope and instead of will, don’t you feel responsible?
RICHARD M.NIXON(1985): Well, I certainly feel responsible for some of the developments that have occurred. Uh, for example, for what has happened with the CIA. It was an overreaction to Watergate.
BARBARA WALTERS (1977): Is it true that we are the first Americans to cross the Bay of Pigs in 16 years?
PHIDEL CASTRO(1977) : As far as I remember this is the first time.
PHIDEL CASTRO (1977): I have nothing to hide. If you ask us if a paper could appear here against socialism, I can say honestly “No, it cannot appear. It would not be allowed by the court, the government or the people.”
BARBARA WALTERS (1977): Why?
BARBARA WALTERS (2002): You still do not have freedom of the press. You do not have… your newspapers, your radios, television, everything is controlled.
PHIDEL CASTRO(2002): Yes, Barbara, it’s very difficult to persuade you.
BARBARA WALTERS (2001): I’m going to ask you a terrible question. Did you ever order anyone killed?
VLADIMIR V.PUTIN (2001): Nyet (no)
BARBARA WALTERS (1989): What do you think is the biggest misconception about you in our country?
MUAMMAR EL-QADAFI (1989): The American Administration would give much regard to the interests of the Zionists who control the press media. The Zionist influenced press media as well as the American Administration, of course, when they want to introduce me to the world and to the American people. Surely they will shoot pictures of me next to skulls, to dead bodies and they’re not reflecting the true picture of me and of course the ordinary American citizen doesn’t know anything about the facts.
BARBARA WALTERS (1989): Your misconceptions about us are as great as our misconceptions about you.
And she turned the celebrity interview into a kind of art form. She landed the big names using her unthreatening reputation but she was probing enough to retain her journalistic credibility.
BARBARA WALTERS (1998): Does he hit you?
MIKE TYSON AND ROBIN GIVENS (1998): He shakes, he pushes, he um…he swings. He…sometimes I think he’s trying to scare me.
BARBARA WALTERS (1997): How do you feel when they call you …
MICHAEL JACKSON (1997): Yeah, Whacko Jacko .Where does that come from? What English tabloid? I have a heart and I have feelings. I feel that when you do that to me. It’s not nice. Don’t do it. I’m not a whacko.
And she didn’t shy away from unexpected subjects either.
BARBARA WALTERS (1992): What do you say to people who say, “Dr. Kevorkian, you are playing God.”
JACK KEVORKIAN (1992): Well so is a doctor who takes a heart from one body and puts it in another, doesn’t he? A doctor always plays God even when he gives you a pill because he’s interfering with a natural process.
BARBARA WALTERS (2013): You have been half-naked almost this whole year it seems to me.
MILEY CIRUS (2013): It’s getting cold now, so I got to wear a button up.
BARBARA WALTERS (2013): You’re wearing a little silk shirt. Do you want to be naked?
MILEY CIRUS (2013): I don’t always want to be naked. Once I came out on stage…and I came out, I was in a full Mark Jacobs dress, completely covered and they wrote “Miley is boring. She doesn’t get naked and she’s boring”. No matter what I do.