Shame on ABC and Barbara Walters for Undermining Amal Clooney

Barbara Walters committed the unthinkable and the unforgiveable on primetime American television Sunday night. During a two-hour special on ABC counting down her “10 Most Fascinating People of 2014,” she handed the top spot to Amal Clooney.

Now that doesn’t sound bad at all, especially as I’ve openly lauded Amal for her outstanding professional triumphs, her dignified aura and how she carried herself during her courtship to self-avowed Hollywood bachelor George Clooney. In fact, I’ve been caught many times scouring the Internet, yearning to know as much about Amal as possible, because I sense an uncanny connection with her upbringing and parcours.

So why am I furious that Walters placed Amal at the head of the pack? Because she did so for heinously wrong reasons. Indeed, Walters was quite clear that Amal’s marriage to George was “one of the greatest achievements in human history.” She then proceeded to name all the ladies Clooney dated openly in the decade before he met his wife.

Walters went on to gush about Amal’s attractive and feminine attire, comparing her to “Jackie Onassis, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton.” Seriously? First off, Amal married neither politician nor royalty. Second, the woman may dress formidably (Lebanese women are renowned for their heightened self-grooming), but that shouldn't land her a spot in the “Most Fascinating” of any category. Sorry, Barbara: your clothing criterion is unacceptably vacuous.

Here’s the most ridiculous part of the segment. Walters didn’t even manage to secure an interview with Amal, so everything she said took on a fairytale spin. In fact, she dubbed Amal the epitome of “perfection,” insisting that we—the public—find perfection and hence Amal irresistible. She tried to convince us that there is a perfect someone out there for each one of us, even if we reject the institution of marriage just as George Clooney once did.

How Walters reconciles premises with conclusions is wholly unscientific and would pain a philosophy professor to hear. Shame on her for such garbage reporting.

ABC, you would do better to screen your top journalists before they go on national air and start spewing nonsense.

And Amal, you’re undeniably fascinating, and no one can ever undermine your accomplishments no matter who you swore your love to.


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