Just three days after Barbara Walters died at the age of 93, Megyn Kelly slammed her for being a bad parent.
In the days since Barbara Walters died last Friday at the age of 93, fawning tributes have been pouring in for her from members of the media. That’s why it came as a huge shock when the former Fox News host Megyn Kelly went a different direction and called out Walters for being an absentee parent just three days after her passing.
“What I saw was an incredible person professionally, but a woman who completely fell down on her mothering…”@MegynKelly and Dave @RubinReport on Barbara Walters' professional legacy, but personal failings.
— The Megyn Kelly Show (@MegynKellyShow) January 2, 2023
Kelly’s Tribute To Walters
During Monday’s episode of Sirius XM’s “The Megyn Kelly Show,” Kelly spoke to podcast host Dave Rubin about Walters, and she initially had positive things to say about the woman who created “The View.”
“There is no question that this woman was a trailblazer in news and accomplished feats that would never really be matched and could never be matched,” Kelly said, according to Mediaite. “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 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?” she continued. “And all of us who have come in her wake owe her a debt of gratitude on that front.”
Barbara Walters has died at 93, ABC News reports pic.twitter.com/662sP51uIB
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 31, 2022
Kelly Shifts To Attacking Walters
However, that’s when Kelly shifted to criticizing Walters for things that she’d read in her 2008 memoir “Audition.” After reading this book, Kelly could not help but think of Walters differently as a person.
“I actually read that book cover to cover. I read every word in it. And I was deeply disturbed by what I saw,” Kelly explained. “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 added. “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.”
Walters adopted her only child Jacqueline Dena Guber back in 1968 with Lee Guber, who she was married to at the time. In one section of her memoir, Walters wrote about calling up her nanny and telling her to turn on the “Today” show, just so Jacqueline could see her mother at some point in the day.
News journalist Barbara Walters has died aged 93. Her death was announced by her network ABC on air on Friday.
In 1976 she became the first female network news anchor, with an "unprecedented-at-the-time $1m annual salary."
She is survived by her daughter.
Credit: ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/4koZa6AR0k
— Apex World News (@apexworldnews) December 31, 2022
Walters ‘Loved Her Career’
“She loved her career, she thrived on it. It’s the same as Mike Wallace, who was a s**** 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,” Kelly said. “You have to work to find the balance. She never found it. She never found it.”
Kelly could not help but feel “sad” over this part of Walters’ life.
“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,” Kelly stated. “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.”
When asked if Walters ever showed any signs of guilt in her memoir for her poor parenting skills, Kelly replied, “My impression in reading the book was she was clueless about just how much damage she was inflicting on the child.”
Check out Kelly’s full comments on this in the video below.
Walters had been in declining health for many years, and she had not been seen publicly since 2016. It is believed that Jacqueline was by Walters’ side when she died last Friday.
“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones,” Cindi Berger, Walter’s publicist, told Us Weekly. “She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists but for all women.”
Kelly has always been someone who is not afraid to tell it like it is, and her critical comments about Walters so soon after her death just shows that once again. Whether you agree with Kelly or not, it can’t be denied that it took some guts to speak out against Walters when the rest of the media is fawning over her.