August 5, 2022

Taking the high road.

You've probably seen this 1977 interview before. This is a communications professor dissecting it:


Do you think he should have given Walters some credit for bringing out the best in Dolly? You could say that Walters behaved without vanity, lowering herself, to elicit what was a brilliant performance from Dolly. But that's not how the professor grades it.

43 comments:

madAsHell said...

I just can't listen to Barbara Walters.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I don't know how you have the patience to watch something like that--the prof, not Dolly, although I also don't feel much like watching Dolly right now.

Ted said...

It's interesting that this professor is suddenly "discovering" things to criticize about Barbara Walters' interviewing style. At her peak, Walters was the most famous and successful interviewer in the media, and was well known for getting big celebrities to talk openly about their feelings for the first time. Still, critics were constantly making fun of her questions (for example, she once asked Katharine Hepburn "What kind of tree are you?"-- although that was actually in response to Hepburn comparing herself to a tree). And, of course, comedians mocked her vocal inflections, as when Gilda Radner frequently appeared as "Baba Wawa" on "Saturday Night Live." But there was clearly a point to her interviewing technique, which was to bring out more of the interview subject's inner life than they were used to revealing.

Does the "expert" in this video know any of that? This strikes me more as a communications professor trying to justify the existence of his field of study, without having any understanding of the context of what he's watching.

rcocean said...

Barbara walters. Is she dead yet? The last time I saw her, she was grilling some babe who wrote a book about being JFK's mistress, 50 years ago. HOW DARE YOU, was bab's reaction. NOT, why JFK was committing sexual harrassment, and how brave of you to come forward.

IOW, just another Leftwing phony. Dolly Parton is a treasure. I suppose we can give credit to Walters for making her look good. Just like the Wicked witch of the West, made Dorothy look good.

Joe Smith said...

Dolly came from verrrry humble beginnings, and the big hair, etc. is shtick.

She is also very smart.

I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about her.

Robert Cook said...

"Do you think he should have given Walters some credit for bringing out the best in Dolly?"

No, not in the least. Parton would have been at her best whatever questions were put to her, so why not ask substantive and respectful questions? Walters was engaged in shoddy tabloid "journalism" for the sake of trying to elicit newsworthy reactions from Parton. She asked only about Parton's presumablY "hick" accent, apparel, and grooming. What relevance or importance were any of these questions to Parton's career as a successful songwriter and singer?

"You could say that Walters behaved without vanity, lowering herself...."

Nope! Walters was not lowering herself in any way or behaving without vanity. She was engaging in condescending low blows, couched in a falsely "humble" manner, questions that were shaped to appear to be trying to get at the truth of Parton's life and personality, but were really cheap and trivial questions about Parton's "hillbilly" background, her "full form" (like...who gives a shit?!), and her big blonde wig. She was treating Parton as an exotic "freak" from the sticks.

Trashy, trashy, trashy!

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah Barbara Wa Wa. I think the communications professor was fair in his analysis. Even a .300 hitter strikes out 70% of the time--and Walters, despite her reputations comes across as below the Mendoza Line. For you non baseball fans that's someone with a batting average of less than .200

But what struck me in the interview was Dolly's statement that many of the people in her home area didn't have much education, but they were very, very intelligent.

And that strikes me as true. One of the smartest people I ever met was from rural Tennessee. She dropped out of school in the 8th grade, and her early life was pretty hard scrabble. She spent some time as a legal secretary (go figure) and then ran a small business and invested wisely. She knew and understood people and had what's called "common sense" by the bushel basketful. That was quite a contrast with some of the educated fools with law degrees that I met in my career.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Reminder how much I detest Barbara Walters. She gave birth to Joy Behar and Whooppi the leftwing mean grrrl club.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

"Barbara Walters' questions were meant to antagonize." Indeed.

Behold - the corrupt elite leftist media. Barbara lead the way!

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Painful to listen to Barbara Waleters(D) - she sounds like a total bitch.
and it's true - Barbara gave birth to the most vile and toxic talk show on TV - "The View"
Joy Behar+ Whoopi goldberg mean grrl toxic, insulting, vapid, filled with anger and peppered with lies from democrat party operatives who run the show.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

That interview should have ended Barbara's career. What a JOKE!
That anyone anywhere considers Walters to be a respectful jounolist? again - what a JOKE!

paminwi said...

Dolly rocks! She has for a very long time.
If you ever visit Nashville I highly recommend the Studio B tour where you learn a lot about Dolly and how the male dominated singers & studio execs tried to push her around. She stood strong against them. The biggest (IMO) when she told them she would never sell the rights to her songs. They, of course, called her a fool and look where she is today!
And my grandchildren are lucky enough to participate in her Imagination Library program! Another example of who Dolly really is!

Quaestor said...

"Do you think he should have given Walters some credit for bringing out the best in Dolly?"

Quaestor has nothing to say that Robert Cook hasn't already said.

"You could say that Walters behaved without vanity, lowering herself, to elicit what was a brilliant performance from Dolly."

Cook has that one covered, too.

"Trashy, trashy, trashy."

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

MadisonMan said...

Dolly Parton is a genius. That is all you need to know in interpreting this interview.
I wonder if this Professor has ever seen Gilder Radner skewering Baba Wawa.

Greg said...

What Robert said.

Michel said...

Do you think he should have given Walters some credit for bringing out the best in Dolly?

No!

Quaestor said...

"...people make fun of you..."

I'm Baba Wawa.

The real Baba Wawa is easily fooled.

Narayanan said...

You could say that Walters behaved without vanity, lowering herself, to elicit what was a brilliant performance from Dolly.
==========
who is the 'you' being referred ?
is Professora saying 'with vanity' would be /higher self/ for Walters?

need help with my reading skills

exhelodrvr1 said...

Walters is a hack; Dolly is an exceptional performer and an exceptional person.

Narayanan said...

walters could have said 'bless her heart' and all hicks would have known what she was doing

Earnest Prole said...

A journalist's job is to get people to say interesting and revealing things; by that standard this interview is masterful. Sometimes an interview reveals something about the journalist as well, that they're biased by their politics or social class. There's nothing contradictory in those two sentences.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Baba Wawa was a better interviewer than Barbara Walters.

Narayanan said...

walters needs to be able to go back to her cocktails parties and her style of questions is designed for that.

Parton would never be invited to those parties!

stutefish said...

Ah, the "I was being an asshole on purpose to inspire you to rise above such petty meanness" excuse. And I thought "it was just a prank, bro!" was the lowest depth to which such trolls could sink.

Sebastian said...

"You could say that Walters behaved without vanity, lowering herself"

You could say Walters behaved herself with the usual condescension, a woman already so low in manners and character that she could not possibly lower herself further.

But the interview nicely illustrate the class of the deplorables, even as we are patronized by our inferiors.

Amexpat said...

Roy Cohn proposed to BW and was a lifelong friend. Nuff said.

AZ Bob said...

How about this for context. Three years later, Dolly became a super star with 9 to 5. She's been a class act her entire career.

Walters wasn't trying to bring out the best in Dolly. She was snubbing the people in the fly-over states.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Dolly is charming and lovely. Always.
Barbara asked vapid condescending questions.

Narayanan said...

very a propos ?
if you want the listener to not be offended the speaker has to mean good

I am seeing on chinese drama sub-title === wonder how it sounds in Chinese

mezzrow said...

"You could say that Walters behaved without vanity, lowering herself"

A certain kind of person could see it that way. I couldn't say that, myself.

Dolly is and was a spectacularly intelligent individual. I'd like to be in the timeline where she's President instead of others we've seen. She's too damn smart to want the job in this one. Our loss.

Narayanan said...

from the color of the comments : Kudos to Professora for nice bit of troll-Meisterin-ing

cassandra lite said...

I've watched the Dolly documentary twice in the last month with the nagging regret that for whatever reason I wasn't interested in her in c. 1977. That is one smart, talented woman who always takes the high road.

I also watched the Shania Twain doc. Interestingly, it's clear that both women know their own talent, and both women hold a little back from the public. Very appealing quality.

Howard said...

Althouse is the brilliant performance artist by giving her deplorable clientele an opportunity to wallow in their inferior victimized whinging self pity from being picked on by the msm elites via Dolly Parton as their proxy.

Be sure to order cheep dum dum suckers from a fly-by night dropshipper through the Althouse Amazon Porthole.

baghdadbob said...

"Do you think he should have given Walters some credit for bringing out the best in Dolly?"

No, Walters' questions were in bad faith. Dolly's ability to navigate the passive-aggressive trap questions is to her credit, but Dolly is a brilliant entertainer, writer and businesswoman regardless of the circumstances.

On a semi-related note, we just saw B.J. Novak's film "Vengeance," a brilliant dark comedy with a thread depicting East Coast intelligentsia's prejudices and misconceptions regarding country-folk, in this case rural Texans.

daskol said...

Without saying it, Dolly smiled one long "bless your heart" back at Walters, who is definitely more vain than Dolly.

Yancey Ward said...

They are real, and they are spectacular!

Yancey Ward said...

I agree with the Youtube guy- this was a very bad faith interview by Walters, unless all the questions were pre-reviewed with Parton, which isn't impossible.

But, yes, Parton was magnificent here. A truly formidable woman.

Smilin' Jack said...

“You could say that Walters behaved without vanity, lowering herself, to elicit what was a brilliant performance from Dolly.”

Walters didn’t lower herself. She really was that low.

Paul From Minneapolis said...

Howard? Are you alright?

Tim said...

Walters deserves NO credit for "bringing out the best in Dolly". Walters was her normal, nasty self. And Dolly was her normal, classy self. Walters was never the star the network tried to make her, and was never as popular as they tried to make her out to be. The interview was telling however. Which one would you want to be friends with? And I can tell you, it was not an act for Dolly. That is who she is. Come down to Tennessee and ask any of the thousands of just plain people she has interacted with over the past 50 years. Always gracious, always classy. Even when being bothered in a restaurant, which takes real loving kindness.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Howard - did you even watch the video?

Robert Cook said...

"Roy Cohn proposed to BW and was a lifelong friend. Nuff said."

As an inquiring journalist, Walter should have had him on tv to ask why he proposed marriage to her even though he was a homosexual.

Mcbean. Coco Mcbean. said...

You doing ok Howard?