Barbara Walters' Heart Valve

Barbara Walters is going to get a heart valve replaced.

It is common surgery, but no small thing. A friend of mine recently had her mitral valve replaced with a porcine valve (her sister now cruelly oinks whenever they meet), and although she was very fit, the recovery was lengthy and challenging. Walters is 80, so I cannot imagine she’ll be doing jigs anytime too soon, but apparently she does think to continue working, after her recovery:

Walters added that she and her doctors decided to go through with the surgery now because she’ll be able to take time off to recover during the summer.

I once wrote:

…this is why monarchs, old generals, popes, entrepreneurs, mother-hung rock stars and CBS newsmen can never willingly retire and live out their days. Without their sense of mission, life has no thrust and parry, no vivacity, no purpose.

Let me add Barbara Walters to the list, even as I wish her well. I hope her first post-operative interview is with President Obama, and her first question is: “under Obamacare, can other–less connected, less well-off–Americans feel confident that at age 80 they will have access to the same valve-replacement surgery I have just undergone?”

I’m all for people working as long as they like, but it does seem to me that media jobs are hard enough to come by; members of the press, once having reached the mountaintop, tend not to leave their perches, and give others a shot.

Then again, I’d much rather watch Walters do this, than Couric, or Winfrey or Contessa Brewer:


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