She Was The Only One Allowed Inside This Boys Club — But She Sure Left The Door Unlocked

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Barbara Walters recently retired after 50 years in the news business, and Oprah showed up to her farewell party. Shortly after that — my emotions showed up, too.

6:00 through to the end is such a moving, beautiful visual of what it means to be the first in the door — and what it really looks like when people get to walk on the trail you blazed. Don't miss it.

Transcript:
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Woman: But they're not the only ones on television who say they owe a huge debt to Barbara. Here's another. Please welcome Oprah Winfrey!

Oprah Winfrey: Of course I'm here. Of course I'm here. Of course I'm here. I had to be here today Barbara.

Woman: Barbara is so shocked.

Oprah Winfrey: I had to be here for your last show to celebrate you because of what you have meant to me. You have literally meant the world to me. The truth is, there are so many things I want to say, but there just isn't enough time to say it all. Like everyone else, I want to thank you for being a pioneer and everything that that word means. It means being the first, the first in the room, to knock down the door, to break down the barriers, to pave the road we all walk down. I thank you for that. And I thank you for the courage it took every day to get up and to keep doing it during the days you'd walk into ABC World News Tonight and your co-anchor didn't want you to set there. I thank you for the courage it took to keep getting up every day and sitting in that chair. And I thank you for the stamina. Anybody who works in this business knows that what do we got that they ain't got? We got stamina. The stamina that it takes. Because you're really the reason why we're all here. You're the reason why I wanted to be in television. And as you embark on this next chapter of your life, I wish for you all that you also wish for me at the time. You said, "I want you to take a little rest!"

Barbara Walters: I do, I say that all the time.

Oprah Winfrey: Not only do I want you to rest, I want you to have everything that your heart desires. You deserve it. Everything that your heart desires.

Barbara Walters: I didn't know that you would be here today.

Oprah Winfrey: Of course I would be here.

Barbara Walters: I am so moved. She used to imitate me when she tried out for jobs.

Oprah Winfrey: I did.

Barbara Walters: I'm responsible for the whole thing.

Oprah Winfrey: All right, this is the last time I'll tell the story. That when I auditioned for my first television job I walked in not knowing what to do and so I pretended to be Barbara Walters.

Woman: I love that.

Oprah Winfrey: I pretended. I sat like Barbara. I crossed my legs like Barbara. I tried to talk like Barbara. I had Barbara in my head for about a year until one night I mispronounced Canada and called it Can-ah-da. And that was not what Barbara Walters would do, and it was the first time I had a breakthrough to start being myself. But you paved the road to let that happen for me. So I wanted to show everybody a clip from tonight's prime time special, Barbara Walters: Her Story, airing tonight on ABC from 9 to 11 pm, as she looks back on her career. Here's a taste of what we can expect to see.

Newscaster: Barbara Walters, who has been on the NBC Today program for thirteen years, signed a contract with ABC Today.

Different Newscaster: Her contract, for a rumored million dollars a year, specifies that she will co-anchor the ABC daily news, along with other network appearances.

Interviewer: Why did you leave NBC for ABC?

Barbara Walters: I'd like to say they made me an offer I couldn't refuse, but here was my chance-- historic, they told me-- to be the first female co-anchor of a network news program.

Interviewer: How big a deal was that in 1976 to have a woman co-anchoring the network news?

Barbara Walters: In those days? Nobody thought it was possible.

Voiceover: Harry Reasoner. Barbara Walters. Bring you the news.

Harry Reasoner: I have a new colleague to welcome. Barbara?

Barbara Walters: Thank you, Harry.

Man: How many of you watched Barbara Walters last night on her initial? She started. Hm, that'll make Barbara really happy. A million dollars and two guys going...

Voiceover: Your co-anchor Harry Reasoner wasn't thrilled about sitting next to you. Was it because you were a woman, or because he didn't think you were qualified to sit next to him?

Barbara Walters: Harry Reasoner did not want a partner. If he did want a partner, he certainly didn't want me. He didn't want someone without that, quote, 'hard news background' and he certainly didn't want a woman.

Harry Reasoner: By noting that I've kept time on your stories and mine tonight, you owe me four minutes.

Barbara Walters: The news business was a man's business.

Man: Take three, cue Barbara.

Barbara Walters: Good evening.

Barbara Walters: He was insulted. He thought he was being degraded. Harry could never really accept me.

Harry Reasoner: Thank you very much, Barbara, good night.

Cupid: I have to shoot an arrow into Barbara Walters.

Man: Awww, you're making her fall in love with Harry Reasoner.

Cupid: No, Harry just paid me to shoot her.

Interviewer: People did not watch you on the ABC evening news. Did you take that personally?

Barbara Walters: I remember reading the headline in one of the papers: Barbara Walters, Failure. I felt I was drowning without a life preserver. The million-dollar contract was not just for me to do the news, but also for me to do a series of one-hour prime-time specials.

Voiceover: The Barbara Walters Special.

Barbara Walters: The specials saved my life.

Barbara Walters: Good evening, I'm Barbara Walters.

Oprah Winfrey: Wow. Well, as everybody has said, you've been a trailblazer in broadcast journalism, shattering the glass ceiling for so many women and for so many yet to come. Many of the incredible women that have been influenced by you-- and we all have been influenced by you-- are here for you today. And we all proudly stand on your shoulders, Barbara Walters, as we honor you. Please welcome Diane Sawyer, Ryan Roberts, Laura Spencer, Elizabeth Vargas, Amy Robach, Deborah Roberts, Juju Chang, Katie Couric, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Tamron Hall, Maria Shriver, Cynthia McFadden, Meredith Viera, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Jane Pauley, Gayle King, Elizabeth Hassleback, Gretchen Carlson, Lisa Ling, Deborah Norville, Paula Zahn, Connie Chung, and Joan Lunden.

Barbara Walters: I just want to say, this is my legacy, these are my legacy. And I thank all of you.

Woman: We would like to thank Oprah Winfrey and all of these incredible women on stage with us right now. When we come back, Barbara has the last word.

There may be small errors in this transcript.
About:

This clip is from Barbara Walters' retirement and farewell party on "The View." I know it’s cheesy, but my favorite thing about Barbara Walters is how classy and focused she was on just being Barbara Walters even when the whole world (from "Saturday Night Live" to her co-anchor Harry Reasoner) was making fun of her! She was just like, "I’m doing my thing, guys. I'm working." 50 years later (50!!!), she’s still doing great work. I wasn't even that huge of a fan before seeing this, but man — I get it now!

Also, I don't think I'll ever watch "Anchorman" in the same way again.

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