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The long, gross career of Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters has announced her retirement from journalism, a profession she claims to have been practicing for more than 50 years. Walters, the former co-host of the "Today" show, ABC World News, "20/20," and current co-host of "The View," is a national icon and a pioneer, and probably as responsible as any other living person for the ridiculous and sorry state of American television journalism. She has announced her retirement a year in advance, so that a series of aggrandizing specials can be produced celebrating her long and storied career. So let's get things started off right, by reminding everyone how her entire public life has been an extended exercise in sycophancy and unalloyed power worship.

When she's not interviewing famous people, Walters is partying and vacationing with and occasionally dating them. Former relationships (dutifully recounted in her boldfaced-name-heavy memoir) include Sen. Edward Brooke, former Bear Stearns head Alan Greenberg, and Alan Greenspan, who I guess has a type. She's buddies with war criminal and society fixture Henry Kissinger. She's old friends with make-believe TV tycoon Donald Trump. She testified at the Brooke Astor trial, because Astor was, of course, a close friend.

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