‘Warrior Queen ' Barbara Walters was remembered by Christiane Amanpour as someone who ‘did not suffer fools easily'

‘Warrior Queen ' Barbara Walters was remembered by Christiane Amanpour as someone who ‘did not suffer fools easily'

Updated on January 03, 2023 23:24 PM by Michael Davis

In an exclusive piece, CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour pays tribute to her mentor and friend Barbara Walters, who passed away on January 30 at the age of 93.

There can never be another Barbara Walters because of the impressive and huge amount of work she has accumulated. She will always reign supreme in our industry as broadcast news' queen. She paved the way and was a pioneer.

When she became the first female to co-anchor a network nightly news broadcast, it is alleged that at least one of her male coworkers called her employment "a gimmick."

Well, Barbara Walters was still making everyone seem bad decades later and proved she wasn't a gimmick.

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I had the utmost regard and affection for Barbara. She served as my first source of motivation, even before I knew I wanted to become a journalist. Since I was raised overseas, the ones I watched weren't simply her fantastic Hollywood interviews or her ones with presidents and first ladies. Rather, they were the international scoops. In particular, her outstanding joint interview with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin following Sadat's historic visit to Israel in 1977, when he was the first Arab head of state to do so. It was thrilling to see Barbara pull off that exclusive. Later, I came to the conclusion that's the kind of work I want to undertake.

I eventually got to call her a friend, which was great. She served as a mentor and provided sage advice. I ran across her both at work and out in public. She was requested to roast me at a Museum of Broadcasting event, which is one of the occasions that jumps out to me the most. I was overjoyed when she not only agreed but gave this extremely kind, funny, and brave roast. I thought it was amazing that Barbara Walters was helping me out!

She was not someone who was readily amused. I adore how fiercely competitive she was all the way to the end. As she stated, "I want to walk away while I'm still doing good work," and I believe that's precisely what she did, she didn't retire until she was well into her 80s. It is a remarkable feat that she launched and improved The View as she approached her 70s. There were so many copies of it.

Just as Barbara herself produced numerous would-be successors, she retained the throne.

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Barbara was obviously someone who inspired a lot of resentment and backstabbing, but that's how the game works. That is the load you carry when you are the first, the most noticeable, and frequently the only person. It was amazing to see how she overcame her little pronunciation issue, which Gilda Radner mocked on Saturday Night Live as "BabaWawa," to achieve and conquer!

I believe she was aware of her responsibilities as a pioneer and a warrior queen. Even when she posed strange questions, such as what kind of tree Katharine Hepburn would prefer to be, it all generated conversation starters. She looked at the part, moved like the part, and even spoke like the part. Her superpower made her indispensable in the public sphere for many years.

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