According to Barbara Walters on Tuesday, prostitution is "sort of in the realm of normalcy." The View co-host and longtime ABC journalist was attempting to differentiate Eliot Spitzer's call girl scandal and Anthony Weiner's sexting controversy.
Walters insisted that Weiner's actions were "somewhat deviant behavior." Shocking her co-hosts, she said of prostitution: "I don't know how to put it. I said that's sort of in the realm of normalcy." She quickly added, "Because it's not kinky. It's wrong, but it's not kinky. Weiner's is kind of 'what? Why?'" [MP3 audio here.]
While both Democrats have shown terrible judgment, it should be pointed out that prostitution is illegal and Spitzer actually had sex with women. Weiner simply sent naughty texts and pictures of his penis.
Walters introduced her odd assertion by praising current elected New York liberals, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "I mean, we have the most wonderful mayor, and we have, I think, a terrific governor."
Walters's sense of right and wrong has often shown to be somewhat flexible. In February of 2012, she sneered at a mistress of John F. Kennedy, lecturing that a tell-all book "did not have to be written" and "you could have let it go."
However, as the MRC's Tim Graham explained, Walters had no problem blabbing about her own sex life in a book:
Perhaps Walters thought she was more discreet, like her words about her affair with [married Senator Edward] Brooke on page 259: "I missed him terribly at first. he had been so much a part of my life and my fantasies."
But then, in discussing her affair with married caterer Claude Phillippe on page 99, she wrote: "Phillippe, older and more experienced than the men I had known, was a great lover, tender and passionate. I grew up sexually."
A transcript of the July 30 exchange follows:
[On why Weiner did what he did]
BARBARA WALTERS: Well, what they said was on the one hand, it's because he feels inadequate. But on the other hand it's because he feels too adequate. You know? But on the other hand -- But on the other hand, because, you know, it's somewhat deviant behavior. New York is -- I mean, we have the most wonderful mayor, and we have, I think, a terrific governor, but we do have some peculiarities. We have the former governor, Elliot Spitzer who --
SHERRI SHEPHERD: With the call girls.
JOY BEHAR: He went to prostitutes.
WALTERS: Now, I said– I don't know how to put it. I said that's sort of in the realm of normalcy.
LAUREN SANCHEZ: What?
WALTERS: Okay. Because it's not kinky. It's wrong, but it's not kinky. Weiner's is kind of "what? Why?
SANCHEZ: It's the era we're growing up in. But it's the era we're growing up in. Back then, that was prostitution. The era we are growing up in all internet, porn and sex chat.
SHEPHERD: What's worse, going to the call girl? Because Elliott Spitzer is saying Weiner should drop out of the race. Some people say that's the pot calling the kettle black. But hat do you think is worse? The call girl --
WALTERS: We should say that Spitzer is also running for office.
SANCHEZ: They're both bad.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.