Saturday, May 17, 2014

May 17th Challenge

Hi it’s Christina –

Good Morning! What a GLORIOUS day. The sun is shining, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. For the first time in nearly a week, I feel human again. As I said, all I needed was sleep, and between yesterday’s nap and then sleeping in today, I think I’m finally good.

I was not going to attempt this with a sleep deprived brain, so this blog subject is a day later than I had anticipated. However, by blogging about it today, I can include the link so you could see snippets, because you were probably at work yesterday when the show aired, and would have missed it anyway.

Yesterday, an icon and a trail blazer in broadcast media, bid a final goodbye to a fifty plus year old career in Journalism. I doubt it was her initial intent, and I’m sure she was simply following her own dream, Ms. Barbara Walters opened the door for women, both as journalists and as news anchors. Although there have been countless times when she was not my favorite person in the world, I still respect what she has managed to accomplish over her long career.

Barbara Walters was born on September 25, 1929, to Dena Seletsky Walters and Lou Walters, in Boston Massachusetts. She was a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, New York, with a degree in English, in 1953. After college, she worked for a short time as a secretary, and then as an assistant to the publicity director at WRCA-TV, an NBC affiliate, thus starting her life in journalism.

In 1961, she started as a writer and researcher for the Today Show on NBC.
Within three years, she became a staple on the Today Show, sharing camera time with Hugh Downs and Frank McGee, even though she was relegated to “the backseat” when interviewing the “serious” guests, only her male counterparts were allowed to ask the hard questions.

In 1975 she won her first Daytime Emmy Award, and in 1976 she was offered an unprecedented million dollar salary by ABC and asked to be the first female co-anchor of an evening news program opposite Harry Reasoner. Mr. Reasoner was not pleased with ABC’s decision, a co-host making twice his salary and a woman to boot, and he failed miserably at hiding his displeasure, not that he even attempted to conceal his loathing. He was patronizing, belittling and took every opportunity to discredit her abilities as a journalist, something he obviously believed was not an arena for women.

The show flopped. She flopped, and ABC released her from her contract, but Ms. Walters did not go away quietly. She became a part-time correspondent for 20/20, and then in 1984 became the show’s co-host with Hugh Downs. Then in 2004, after twenty five years, she said goodbye to 20/20, but not to TV. She continued to do her “specials”, which she had been doing since the 70s, and she also focused on her brainchild, The View.

Over her half century career, Ms. Walters has interviewed every President and First Lady, “from John and Jackie to Barak and Michelle”. She has interviewed Kings and Shahs, communist leaders and terrorists, actors and religious leaders. From Fidel Castro to the Dalai Lama, Ms. Walters has covered them all, and has traveled all over the globe in order to do it. She interviewed President Nixon after the Watergate scandal, Christopher Reeve after his paralyzing accident, and even the infamous Monica Lewinsky after, well…you know. She has won countless awards, accreditation and acclaim; but the most important legacy she has left behind is, now, when you turn on your evening news, you don’t even bat an eyelash when you see a female there delivering the story to you.

Although I doubt we would ever be 100% in accord, Ms. Walters, I wish you the very best. At age 84, your retirement is well earned. God’s speed and God bless.

I hope you have an exceptional day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

Late again…

I try. Honest I do, but I swear sometimes the cosmos are acting against me. It doesn’t matter if I leave on time or even fifteen minutes early, inevitably, I will be late again. I really don’t understand. These things just don’t happen to normal people.

Oh, I’m sure, misplaced keys or the car wouldn’t start, have made thousands, nay millions of people late, but a derailed subway car in the middle of the road? Or, how about a long horned steer running a muck? I know, the sinkhole excuse is sure to fly…right?

Let me tell you, the invention of the camera phone, was the best thing since sliced bread, because even I was finding my excuses hard to believe. My boss thought I was making up the reasons behind my tardiness and was getting quite annoyed. Then I started snapping photos to prove to him what I was saying was true.

Believe it or not, the above was true. A subway car was being towed on Route 31, and somehow it fell off the flatbed, and another time a giant long horned bull was running in between stopped cars. There were incidents with bears, double flat tires, various car accidents (not mine), weather related disasters, triple detours. It ended up becoming a standing joke. I’d walk in late, not say anything, just bring up the photo on my phone.

Your Next Challenge is:

You will never believe what I found in the back yard

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.