It was a jump ball who looked worse, but in camp TV terms, a match made in heaven.
Watching the interview, as well as the unintentionally comic intros from the program’s anchors, it was hard not to think about the writers for “Saturday Night Live,” “John Oliver Tonight” and “The Daily Show” (in that sequence, airdate-wise), all working furiously to turn around bits on the blather.
Stiviano, 31, spoke publicly about her relationship with embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (pictured with Stiviano above), who was banned for life by the National Basketball Assn. over racist comments caught on an audiotape leaked to TMZ. But teams of analysts could spend years trying to parse her statements without finding much clarity in them; instead, it wound up sounding like words strung together, only occasionally making any sense.
She is Sterling’s “right hand,” she’s urging him to “come to his own rescue.” She loves Sterling, but isn’t in love with him. And no, she doesn’t think he’s a racist, but he should apologize.
For her part, Walters danced around the most obvious questions – So were you his mistress? Then why did he give you all those gifts? If you didn’t leak the tape, who did, and who recorded the tape if not you? Did you know you were being taped? Were you baiting him? – while asking about matters that felt like trifles.
Walters, of course, has made a career out of these big “get” interviews, although from ABC’s perspective, it’s strange that the network would allow this highly promotable exchange to be conducted by someone who – with Walters due to retire this month – represents the news division’s past, not its future. As for Stiviano, given the incentives usually associated with these exclusives, she apparently can’t stop herself when it comes to taking gifts that involve spending time with octogenarians.
According to Walters, she also interviewed Sterling on Friday, but after some thought and soul-searching (a “roller-coaster day,” she called it), he opted not to go on the record.
With the benefit of hindsight, that might have been the first good move Sterling has made in some time.