Friday, June 15, 2007

Barbara Walters, Paris Hilton and the Pope

It’s good to see younger people get ahead. Today Barbara Walters, a friend of mine for 50 years, got her gold star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

At the ceremony were the mother and sister of Paris Hilton, the latest of the world figures Barbara has befriended and inspired. By now everyone in the civilized world knows about the phone call during which the young Ms. Hilton, revealing that she hasn’t looked in a mirror since going to jail, told Barbara, “I used to act dumb. That act is no longer cute. Now, I would like to make a difference. God has given me this new chance."

Barbara has always had this effect on troubled celebrities. In 1999, when she asked Monica Lewinsky what she would tell her children about her unfortunate relationship with Bill Clinton, the former White House intern thoughtfully replied, "I guess 'Mummy made some mistakes.’”

Empathy has been the key to Barbara’s success since we first worked together in the late 1950s. She always knows the perfect question to ask. Once there was speculation about how she would get the Pope to open up:

“Tell me, Holy Father, have you ever regretted not having children of your own?”

No comments: