Christian Friesen

Who’s your BaBa WaWa?

You all know Barbara Walters.

She’s on the View and has hosted many many interview show specials including years on 20/20.

Have you ever noticed how many people cry when they get interviewed by Barbara Walters?

Is it the tough questions?


I think it’s more than that.

Check out (or just take my word for it), this Oprah interview with Barbara Walters from 2004.

There’s a part at the end that is quite revealing:

Barbara: Sometimes it’s okay—and sometimes I can’t drive. Most of the time when I look back on what I’ve done, I think, “Did I do that?” And you know what I say to myself? “Why didn’t I enjoy it more? Was I working too hard to see it?”

Oprah: Because you were just going from one plane to the next.

Barbara: And worrying about the shows and getting them on the air—and then thinking, “Was it right?” What I’m trying to do now, before it’s too late, is to finally smell the roses. I know it’s a cliché, but I want to enjoy it. I want to get rid of the alarm clock every day. I’ve done enough.

Oprah: What you just said in that moment changed me. That resonates with me to the core, big-time. I got it. I’m trying not to cry. Everybody always ends up crying in your interviews.

Barbara: Time is what it’s all about. Look at all those pictures in the hallway. Look at what I accomplished. Yet I was always onto the next thing.

Oprah: Wow, Barbara. That was the most powerful insight you could have given me.

Barbara: Good. Then maybe I’ve changed someone’s life.

Subtle, but plain as day.  Oprah states, ‘everyone always ends up crying in your interviews’.

Why?  My own belief is that people know they are going to be interviewed by (or in this case interview-ing) Ms. Walters and they are already thinking about the deep issues, knowing that they will probably be discussed.

In a way, they are preparing themselves (consciously or subconsciously) to go ‘deep’ on an emotional level.

The reason the title is ‘who is your BaBa WaWa’ is two fold.  Firstly, the beloved Ms. Walters has a wonderfully mockable accent that has been parodied extensively and her name comes becomes Barbara (or BaBa)  WaWa on these sketches (think Saturday Night Live for example).

The second and much more relevant point to this discussion is that I’ve had to learn that I needed to find my Barbara Walters moment from time to time.  A place, a person, a time, a situation.  In other words, planning to meet person a or person b.  Planning to go to this place or that place, knowing ahead of time that those visits would be significant.  That…is a cathartic part of this journey.

And just to be clear, it doesn’t mean I am going on the View any time soon!  I’ll leave that to Bill O’Reilly….