Thursday’s episode of “The View” offered a precious glimpse into newswomen’s souls.
Before Meredith Vieira announced on-air that she was forsaking the female chat fest for “Today,” Barbara Walters — “The View’s” matron saint — buried that blazing headline by paying tribute to … herself.
While the media was still buzzing about Katie Couric being named the first solo female anchor of a nightly newscast, Walters was intent on reminding us whose well-coifed talking head got there first. Not only did Walters host “Today” before Couric (and for 13 years, no less), she was the first female anchor, albeit alongside stuffy Harry Reasoner.
What’s more, added Babs, there were days when Reasoner called in sick. And guess what happened then?! Walters anchored the news on her own! Cut to the clip! Sure enough, there was Walters, some 30-odd years ago, flying solo in the anchor chair. Take that, Katie.
Oh, and by the way, wrapped Walters, we have a very special announcement — after the break.
Back from commercial, Vieira was given the floor. She expressed a heartfelt goodbye to viewers and her “View” sisterhood, announcing that hers was the next bottom to fill the “Today” co-host chair.
She tearfully explained that although growth is good, right now she’s feeling growing pains.
When Vieira finished, co-host Joy Behar jumped in to let her know she was miserable that Vieira was leaving — kind of like the way someone’s miserable when a prettier and smarter friend says she’s transferring to a better college.
I mean, c’mon — outside of occasional co-host Walters, Behar’s left in the short term with freakish Star Jones and reality cast-off Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Ouch.
Joy’s joyless moment sparked no sympathy from Barbara.
“You always have to talk first!” snapped Walters, only half-kidding. Behar had robbed Walters of her matron saint privilege of being first to comment after Vieira’s on-air resignation.
But the funniest bit may have been when Vieira asked Walters if she had any advice for hosting “Today.”
“Well, it is a bit different arriving at 4:30 in the morning,” replied Walters.
“And sober!” cracked Vieira.
I do give Walters credit for having the chutzpah to remind everyone whose high heels blazed the trail, even though there were some cringe-worthy moments. It’s just slightly absurd that after numerous awards and millions of dollars, talented grown-ups never lose the capacity to revert to good ol’ high-school rivalry.
But, as Walters must know, it sure does make for great television.
Aniston's Good PR Isn't Money in the Bank
Much has been made about how Jennifer Aniston is winning the PR battle against her ex-husband Brad Pitt — but at the box office, she’s losing the war.
Aniston’s carefully crafted post-Pitt PR has mainly consisted of a Vanity Fair cover story — in which she refused to Brad-bash, opting for the woman-scorned approach — and an “Oprah” appearance in which she didn’t say much of anything.
Talk to women — and even men — everywhere and they’re sympathetic to Jen. I’m shocked at how often people ask me if I think she’s going to be OK.
Not to sound callous (because divorce is certainly painful), but I usually respond by saying that the woman who made $1 million an episode on “Friends" is thin, beautiful and has access to every major hunk in Hollywood (including current beau Vince Vaughn) is probably going to be fine.
Still, here’s the rub — while Jen has folks’ compassion, she doesn’t have their cash.
Aniston has released two films post-divorce: “Rumor Has It,” which pulled in a paltry $43 million, and “Derailed,” which fell off the tracks at $36 million. Granted, neither film earned stellar reviews.
So it will be interesting to see how her latest film fares. “Friends With Money” opened this weekend to generally good notices, and although it is a “small” film — in limited released from Sony Classics — one wonders whether it can bring Aniston a step closer from TV star to bona fide box-office draw.
On a side note: While public sentiment turned against Pitt for running off with “homewrecker” Angelina Jolie, no one could resist watching two hot movie stars get it on. “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” snared $186 million this summer — making it one of the biggest hits of the year.