There may be no bigger hypocrite on TV than Barbara Walters. For years, she has sat back and allowed her panelists to rip Catholic priests and Catholic teachings. Never has she challenged them, and indeed she has often laughed with them as they mock Catholicism. By contrast, when her friend Bill Maher is criticized for calling Sarah Palin’s 5-year-old son “retarded” (the boy suffers from Down syndrome), Walters finds a way to exculpate him; Maher made fun of the special-needs child in a Las Vegas theater on June 8.
On the June 17 edition of “The View,” Walters said she did not believe that Maher’s “unfortunate” comment was meant to be “mean-spirited.” This is rather remarkable given that Maher has a long and sick history of mean-spiritedness. His weekly assaults on Catholicism, made on his HBO show, are proof of his viciousness. Furthermore, Maher has previously savaged Palin.
It seems that Walters’ problem has less to do with offensive remarks than it does with the person who makes them. When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut,” Walters saw no humor in it at all, and indeed expressed outrage. But when Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham a “slut,” Walters thought it was hysterical; she even feigned crying as she recounted the many times that her friend Joy Behar called her a “slut.”
Four weeks ago today, the 44-year-old daughter of Barbara Walters was arrested for drunk driving. If a “comedian” used this incident to ridicule her daughter in a public forum, no doubt Walters would take umbrage—rightly so. The last thing she would do is write it off for not being “mean-spirited.” Priests, it needs to be said, demand the same respect.
Contact executive producer, Bill Geddie: firstname.lastname@example.org