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Have pity on Barbara Walters. Barbara Walters is, after all, Barbara Walters. And Barbara Walters should not be made to suffer the gross indignity of flying in first class while a common woman breast-feeds her baby.

Barbara Walters for those few of you left on the remote islands of Fiji who don’t know who she is is a world-famous, Very Important Person. She has, according to her official bio, “arguably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history. She is so well known that her name and a brief biography is (sic) listed in the American Heritage Dictionary.”

Barbara Walters is the prolific profiler of Hollywood stars. She and she alone possesses the papal-like power to anoint the world’s “Most Fascinating” celebrities and render the rest to the basement of dullard-dom. Barbara Walters has interviewed “such world figures as Russia’s Boris Yeltsin, China’s Premier Jiang Zemin, Great Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein.” And every American president and first lady since Richard Nixon. And Fidel Castro. And, uh, Monica Lewinsky.

So when Barbara Walters gets on an airplane accompanied by her hairdresser – what world-famous, Very Important Person doesn’t? – you can imagine the distress of being seated next to an ordinary mom who had the nerve to nurse her child in Barbara Walters’ presence.

The nerve! (Or, rather, the newve.)

“It made me very nervous,” Barbara Walters complained last month on “The View,” her ABC morning talk show hosted by a klatch of elitist women posing as your chatty best friends next door. (If, that is, your door happens to be located in Manhattan or the Hamptons or Beverly Hills.)

Barbara Walters attacked the offensive nursing mom further: “She didn’t cover the baby with a blanket. It made us uncomfortable.”

How dare that hungry baby make Barbara Walters and her hairdresser feel “uncomfortable”? Selfish child. Don’t you know who Barbara Walters is?

After being forced to endure the insufferable sight of a woman providing nourishment to her child, the feminist icon Barbara Walters – winner of the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Women’s Project and Productions’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and the N.Y. Women in Film and Television’s Muse Award – reportedly pronounced it “gross and disgusting.”

Alert viewers of “The View” note that Walters’ co-hosts have expressed similar disdain for nursing women on prior shows with Star Jones Reynolds making puerile faces when the subject arises.

As you may have heard, 200 women from across the country and from many different backgrounds held a highly-publicized “nurse-in” at “The View’s” studios last week to protest Walters’ breast-feeding bigotry. I’m not the biggest fan of the radical “lactivists” – the whole La Leche scene is a bit too much for me – but having breast-fed both my children (one for 13 months, the other for six), I completely sympathize with their outrage at Walters’ remarks. Nursing a child takes time, dedication and selflessness. No mother should be made to feel ashamed of that.

Which reminds me: When millions of parents complained about the outrageously inappropriate exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast during a sexually explicit Super Bowl performance last year, they were immediately branded as “prudes” by elite liberals in the media. Why aren’t those same supposedly progressive commentators bashing the ridiculously priggish Barbara Walters and company now?

Barbara Walters, naturally, cannot comprehend what all the fuss is about: “Nobody here is against breast-feeding,” she says with condescending bewilderment. It’s all a “misunderstanding.” She is now reportedly blaming her hairdresser for the mess. And she has comforted herself by retreating into her sycophantic coven. New mother and “View” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was wildly applauded by Walters’ coterie when she announced she was giving up nursing her newborn daughter and switching to bottle-feeding.

No doubt seeking approval from her world-famous, critically acclaimed mentor (who are we to argue with a woman who is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary), the young Hasselbeck confessed on the show that she was “uncomfortable breast-feeding in general.”

Working around the nose-crinkling Barbara Walters and her squeamish hairdresser, who wouldn’t be?

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