Tributes continue to pour in for pioneering journalist Barbara Walters who died last Friday at 93 years old after a decades-long career as a trailblazer who opened doors for women in what had previously been an industry dominated by males, although even she had shortcomings, one of which was pointed out by Megyn Kelly during her commentary on the passing of the iconic newswoman.
During Monday’s episode of Sirius XM’s “The Megyn Kelly Show,” the former Fox News anchor praised Walters for her transformational influence while being candid about her personal failings as a mother, citing details from the journalist’s own 2008 memoir as the basis for her opinion.
While conversing with podcaster Dave Rubin, Kelly first praised Walters, “There is no question that this woman was a trailblazer in news and accomplished feats that would never really be matched and could never be matched. Because she was the first, you know, the first to do so many things with ’20/20′ and ’60 Minutes’ and on and on.”
“She made it in a time when women weren’t being taken seriously and when it was very hard to be considered as a serious news person, right? And all of us who have come in her wake owe her a debt of gratitude on that front,” she said.
Kelly then said that details about Walters’ relationship with her adopted daughter from the 2008 book “Audition: A Memoir,” show that she wasn’t a great mother.
(Video: YouTube/Megyn Kelly)
“I actually read that book cover to cover. I read every word in it. And I was deeply disturbed by what I saw,” Kelly said. “What I saw was an incredible person professionally. And I would never take one moment of that away from her. But a woman who completely fell down on the job when it came to her mothering.”
“It was jarring to me, her admissions about her own mothering and also what her book said without her seeming to realize it about her lane there as a mom. She talked about how she adopted a little girl named — she named her Jackie after Barbara’s sister. And the daughter never saw her mother,” she added of Walters’ daughter who, according to the book, had behavioral issues.
Kelly then read an excerpt from the book of the absentee mom calling her nanny to have her turn on the television so that Jackie could watch her on the “Today Show” before going to school.
“‘I telephoned whenever I could, I told Jackie and I missed her and I loved her dearly and I asked the nanny to turn on the ‘Today Show’ before Jackie went off to nursery school so she could see her mommy in that strange land called China,'” she said. “‘Then I hung up the phone, felt even lonelier and went back to work.'”
“She loved her career, she thrived on it. It’s the same as Mike Wallace, who was a sh*tty father to Chris Wallace. And Chris and Mike have talked about it and written about it. But a great journalist, you know, and each of us that has a demanding career has to decide for him or herself just how much to give to each lane,” she said, likening Walters’ relationship with her daughter to that of the legendary “60 Minutes” reporter and his own son Chris, the longtime Fox News anchor who now works for CNN.
“You have to work to find the balance. She never found it. She never found it,” she said.
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