OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly tore into the late Barbara Walters in a recent episode of her podcast “The Megyn Kelly Show” over what she said was her dismal parenting. In her diatribe, in which she shredded the pioneering journalist, Kelly also shared some stunning information about her former Fox News colleague Chris Wallace.
“There is no question that this woman was a trailblazer in the 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 said to fellow podcast host Dave Rubin.
“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,” the host said.
Kelly spoke about Walters’ 2008 memoir “Audition” in which she made claims about her lack of parenting.
“I actually read that book cover to cover. I read every word in it. And I was deeply disturbed by what I saw,” the host 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,” Kelly said.
Kelly spoke about Walters saying that her daughter had behavioral issues and that she told her nanny to put on “The Today Show” so that her daughter could see her on television.
That was when she talked about Wallace’s relationship with his late dad, famed journalist Mike Wallace.
“She loved her career, she thrived on it. It’s the same as Mike Wallace, who was a shitty 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.
“You have to work to find the balance. She never found it. She never found it,” the host said.
“And to me it was a sad story about the sacrifice of what truly matters for, I think the ultimate artifice of fame, money, accolades, and not even — not even that much friendship and beloved colleague situations. Because I happen to know, you know, Barbara Walters wasn’t that close with a lot of people, even on the job, you know, she was built to do one thing, great interviews, and she f***ing nailed it. But this other lane is hugely important and it was neglected,” she said.
Rubin asked if Walters had made any type of apology at the end of the book.
“My impression in reading the book was she was clueless about just how much damage she was inflicting on the child,” Kelly said.
“Wow. Wow,” Rubin responded.
“You know, no one made you go adopt this child. You did. Or in other cases you had the child. And I’m not — this is not a bash on working moms and dads. I am one. You are one. It’s — you can’t never be present. You can’t never be present,” she said.
On New Year’s Eve, Walters’ spokesperson Cindi Berger issued a press release announcing the passing of the journalist and television host.
“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists but for all women,” she said.