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Monday, May 5, 2008

Cheating Black Men? Is Barbara Walters A High Price Madam?

Sen. Edward Brooke - Then


Former Sen. Edward Brooke - Now

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Former U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke declined to comment Friday about whether he had an affair with Barbara Walters in the 1970s.

"I have had a lifetime policy and practice of not discussing my personal and private life, or the personal and private lives of others, with the notable exception of what I wrote in my recently published autobiography, `Bridging the Divide: My Life,'" he told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Miami.

A relationship with Walters wasn't mentioned in his book, the 88-year-old former senator from Massachusetts told the AP.

His memoir was published in 2006.

In an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" scheduled to air Tuesday, Walters shares details of her relationship with the married Brooke that lasted several years in the 1970s, according to excerpts of the show provided to the AP.

A moderate Republican who took office in 1967, Brooke was the first African-American to be popularly elected to the Senate. Walters said he and she knew that public knowledge of their affair could have ruined their careers.

At the time, the twice-divorced Walters was a rising star in TV news and co-host of NBC's "Today" show, but would soon jump to ABC News, where she has enjoyed unrivaled success. She said her affair with Brooke, which never before came to light, had ended before he lost his bid for a third term in 1978.

Brooke later divorced, and has since remarried.

Walters, 78, will appear on Winfrey's show to discuss her new memoir, "Audition," which covers her long career in television, as well as her off-camera life. On "Oprah," Walters recounts a phone call from a friend who urged her to stop seeing Brooke.

Barbara Walters, new role model for adultery

Oh, you Barbara Walters. Always titillating us. Always dishing the good dirt while amusing us with your funny R's. Always getting people to confess their little secrets like they're just among old friends, and not with millions of strangers watching. How very naturally curious and devilishly ditzy you are, besides being one saucy media mama with a very open view of love and romance and adultery and all that good stuff.

Promoting her new autobiography, Ms. Walters is a guest of Oprah Winfrey's tomorrow. Because we are psychic -- and also have a copy of an Associated Press article, based on a transcript of the pre-taped show -- we predict she will discuss her hay-rolling done three decades ago with Edward Brooke. Mr. Brooke was a moderate, African-American, Republican U.S. senator back when that combination was atypical. (What, you mean it's still rare? Who knew?)

Mr. Brooke had one trait that was more common: He was married at the time of an alleged affair that Ms. Walters is now happy to tell the world about. We say alleged because Mr. Brooke declines to dignify her girly gossip by confirming it, and for all we know she's making the whole thing up, like people in the media are so fond of doing. (But am I telling you the truth when I tell you the media try to deceive you? Since I'm in the media, you don't really know, do you? Ahhh, such a tangled web Morning File weaves.)

In any case, Barbara tells Oprah -- I think we girls can all be on a first-name basis here -- that the then-senator was "exciting" and "brilliant" and she was "infatuated." But she and Mr. Brooke were crossing moral, ethical and racial lines that could have caused them plenty of headaches at the time. Media types, for one thing, shouldn't sleep with the people they cover.

If Baba could have infatuated herself with other sexy, exciting men (I'm thinking Eric Sevareid here, but if you want to picture her instead with Harry Reasoner, be my guest), everyone would have been better off. More HERE


AAPP: Is Barbara Walters A High Price Madam? Or was Edward Brooke just another Pol who could not keep his pants on?

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