Barbara Walters broke news on her ABC daytime show “The View" yesterday when she told the world that her dog Cha-Cha said “I love you” to her in the company of her long-time (and presumably sane) housekeeper. Walters began her proclamation with, “I’m a very sensible person and you’ve known me for many years. I do not exaggerate. I try not to lie…” And it ended with her mimicking those famous words of affection in dog-speak.
Let me clarify – the news here isn’t that there is a dog that speaks perfectly legible English phrases. Although, I suppose intelligently speaking animals might be news if it weren’t for a very lovable horse named Ed. (Which also begs the question: How did little Jimmy really know what Lassie was saying since she did not have the linguistic abilities of Cha-Cha?)
The news here is more of an industry-related tip of the hand. It was a defining moment in her television career for which there may be no return. I believe the “The View” – that warm and fuzzy show co-hosted by four popular women – has officially “jumped the shark.”
The term refers to one of the final episodes of “Happy Days” wherein the Fonz actually jumps over a shark while waterskiing. The effect of the ridiculous scene was to cause the American viewing public to tune out for good.
Now in it’s 10th season, “The View” may or may not survive the Barbara Bark Episode as I am now calling it. (Walters ended the show today by saying she would “go home now and teach my dog to say: take a little time to enjoy The View – rrruuffffff!”)
But one thing is certain – If my dog, Elvis, ever rears back on his hind legs and blurts out a few stanzas of “Love Me Tender"… I’ll never tell another soul!