Zap2it: With such recent matters as Mitt Romney’s decision not to appear on the show, and your comments about Donald Trump‘s $5 million offer to President Obama to release certain documents, what’s your view of “The View” staying so newsworthy?
Barbara Walters: When this program was put on the air 16 years ago, Roone Arledge — who was the president of ABC — did not want me to do it. He thought it would lessen my reputation, and they never thought it would make it. It did not get the promotion that some other ABC shows got; they just sort of snuck us in, and I spent a lot of that first year calling different stations.
The Philadelphia affiliate didn’t carry us, the Boston affiliate didn’t carry us, the Washington, D.C., affiliate didn’t carry us. And we never thought the show would last, and you still don’t see a lot of promos for “The View.” We’re the stepchild, and yet … 16 years?
Zap2it: What do you think the most successful factor of “The View” has been?
Barbara Walters: The ability to pick women who are appealing and edgy, and I’ve been watching other programs copy us. We have very intelligent and interesting and rather quirky women, and we stay on top of issues.
We don’t mind doing politics in the daytime, we don’t mind doing very provocative subjects, and we don’t mind arguing. We’ve had some arguments on the air, and there aren’t a lot of shows where the women feel at ease enough with each other for that.