By Michelle Malkin
© 2005 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Have pity on Barbara Walters. Barbara Walters is, after all, Barbara
Walters. And Barbara Walters should not be made to suffer the gross
indignity of flying in first class while a common woman breast-feeds
Barbara Walters for those few of you left on the remote islands of
Fiji who don't know who she is is a world-famous, Very Important
Person. She has, according to her official bio, "arguably
interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in
history. She is so well known that her name and a brief biography is
(sic) listed in the American Heritage Dictionary."
Barbara Walters is the prolific profiler of Hollywood stars. She and
she alone possesses the papal-like power to anoint the world's "Most
Fascinating" celebrities and render the rest to the basement of
dullard-dom. Barbara Walters has interviewed "such world figures as
Russia's Boris Yeltsin, China's Premier Jiang Zemin, Great Britain's
former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi and
Iraq's President Saddam Hussein." And every American president and
first lady since Richard Nixon. And Fidel Castro. And, uh, Monica
So when Barbara Walters gets on an airplane accompanied by her
hairdresser – what world-famous, Very Important Person doesn't? –
you can imagine the distress of being seated next to an ordinary mom
who had the nerve to nurse her child in Barbara Walters' presence.
The nerve! (Or, rather, the newve.)
"It made me very nervous," Barbara Walters complained last month
on "The View," her ABC morning talk show hosted by a klatch of
elitist women posing as your chatty best friends next door. (If,
that is, your door happens to be located in Manhattan or the
Hamptons or Beverly Hills.)
Barbara Walters attacked the offensive nursing mom further: "She
didn't cover the baby with a blanket. It made us uncomfortable."
How dare that hungry baby make Barbara Walters and her hairdresser
feel "uncomfortable"? Selfish child. Don't you know who Barbara
After being forced to endure the insufferable sight of a woman
providing nourishment to her child, the feminist icon Barbara
Walters – winner of the International Women's Media Foundation's
Lifetime Achievement Award, the Women's Project and Productions'
Lifetime Achievement Award, and the N.Y. Women in Film and
Television's Muse Award – reportedly pronounced it "gross and
Alert viewers of "The View" note that Walters' co-hosts have
expressed similar disdain for nursing women on prior shows with Star
Jones Reynolds making puerile faces when the subject arises.
As you may have heard, 200 women from across the country and from
many different backgrounds held a highly-publicized "nurse-in"
at "The View's" studios last week to protest Walters' breast-feeding
bigotry. I'm not the biggest fan of the radical "lactivists" – the
whole La Leche scene is a bit too much for me – but having breast-
fed both my children (one for 13 months, the other for six), I
completely sympathize with their outrage at Walters' remarks.
Nursing a child takes time, dedication and selflessness. No mother
should be made to feel ashamed of that.
Which reminds me: When millions of parents complained about the
outrageously inappropriate exposure of Janet Jackson's breast during
a sexually explicit Super Bowl performance last year, they were
immediately branded as "prudes" by elite liberals in the media. Why
aren't those same supposedly progressive commentators bashing the
ridiculously priggish Barbara Walters and company now?
Barbara Walters, naturally, cannot comprehend what all the fuss is
about: "Nobody here is against breast-feeding," she says with
condescending bewilderment. It's all a "misunderstanding." She is
now reportedly blaming her hairdresser for the mess. And she has
comforted herself by retreating into her sycophantic coven. New
mother and "View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was wildly applauded
by Walters' coterie when she announced she was giving up nursing her
newborn daughter and switching to bottle-feeding.
No doubt seeking approval from her world-famous, critically
acclaimed mentor (who are we to argue with a woman who is listed in
the American Heritage Dictionary), the young Hasselbeck confessed on
the show that she was "uncomfortable breast-feeding in general."
Working around the nose-crinkling Barbara Walters and her squeamish
hairdresser, who wouldn't be?