Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer deny tiff over Rosie O'Donnell

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com February 21 2002 12:00 AM ET

Associated Press reports that ABC News's Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer denied that there was any rift between them over Sawyer's upcoming interview with Rosie O'Donnell, in which O'Donnell reportedly will discuss her homosexuality for the first time publicly. Walters did admit that she should have been more sensitive to any public perception that she was trying to undermine Sawyer.

Sawyer landed the much-sought-after interview with O'Donnell, which will air on ABC's Primetime Thursday on March 14 as part of a story about the adoption of children by gay parents. Last Thursday--the day that Sawyer was taping the interview with O'Donnell--Walters and her cohosts on The View discussed a news item about O'Donnell and Sawyer, and in doing so they publicly asserted that O'Donnell is a lesbian.

Walters admitted that, while she had competed with Sawyer for the O'Donnell interview, she was not thinking about it when raising the subject on The View. "This had nothing to do with getting an interview with Rosie, but I am sensitive enough now as I look back to see how it could be interpreted that way and how, if one didn't know the story and wanted to create a story, it could look as if I was trying to harm Diane," said Walters. "This is not the evil axis. This is a little misunderstanding."