Barbara Walters tired of celebrity interviews

Fri Dec 7, 2007 6:36am EST
 
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Barbara Walters, famed for celebrity television interviews that often draw on-screen tears, says she's tired of Britney, Paris and the tabloid trend she helped create.

Walters, a pioneering journalist who became the first female U.S. network news anchor 30 years ago, has interviewed every U.S. president since Richard Nixon and other heads of state. More recently, she has been credited and criticized for soft interviews that elevated celebrity news above all else.

Now, before her annual show, "The 10 Most Fascinating People," airing on ABC on Thursday, the 78-year-old television journalist said she wants to focus on other topics.

"I am not going after the tabloid stuff, I don't do it," she said in an interview.

She said her latest special did not consider Britney Spears or Paris Hilton, abandoning the "week in, week out, competition for getting the next name, the next person out of rehab."

Instead, expect to see former President Bill Clinton, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, two founders of the Internet network "My Space," and controversial radio host Don Imus.

After years of chasing exclusives on her old ABC newsmagazine show "20/20," Walters says she is tired of trying to compete with the tide of celebrity news.

"It seems to permeate most of the tabloids and the magazines and now you have six or seven entertainment programs," she said. "You didn't used to have that.   Continued...

 
<p>Monica Lewinsky (R) poses with television personality Barbara Walters in an undated publicity photograph for the ABC News program "20/20." Walters, famed for celebrity television interviews that often draw on-screen tears, says she's tired of Britney, Paris and the tabloid trend she helped create. REUTERS/Handout</p>