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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  • Rand Careaga

    …members of the press, once having reached the mountaintop, tend not to leave their perches, and give others a shot.

    This tendency is scarcely confined to “the press,” of course. Professional mountaintops are scarce, and the tenants thereupon will often cling to them like grim death, leading in the more public fields of endeavor to the bleak spectacle of the athlete or entertainer who hangs on instead of hanging it up.

    Although I deplored their breakup when it was announced forty years ago, in retrospect I give the Beatles credit for disbanding at or near the top of their game.

    [Hence, Rand, the press having been included in my little list. I never said they were they only people who couldn't let go and give someone else a chance. I am all for people working as long as they want to, and can be effective; I'm not into mandatory retirement ages. But it does occur to me that I have been watching Walters, Rather (will never retire), Brokaw (who did semi-retire), Hugh Downs, Lou Dobbs and so many of these people all my life. Politicians, too: we look at the same political faces decade after decade, the same talking heads. Then again...change isn't all it's cracked up to be, either, either! (wink/smile) -admin]

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    I don’t like Barbara Walters, never have. But I do not wish her ill and hope her surgery goes well.

    All of us should offer our prayers for her continued good health. Her longevity and that of the hilarious Betty White should be encouraging to us all!

  • http://karatetraining.org/weblog Sensei Mitch

    I also had my mitral valve fail about 7 years ago. It was a very long difficult recovery and I was in shape and relatively young.

    I hope she gets Obamacare coverage but know that she can afford better. Despite the fact that she will pay cash for her care, private rooms and nurses she will undoubtedly extol the quality of care available. Not untrue if you have money, since people like her love half-truths.

    Can’t say I am pulling to see Barbara Walters on TV anymore.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~nooriginalthought/ Charles

    ” . . .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 won’t hold my breath. Such rhetorical questions are usually reserved by the press for an “I gotcha” with Republicans. And if on the off chance she does ask it she will not follow up with clarifications, she will just take Obama’s answer as truth!

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  • Mary

    This is why it is very, very, very important to get a life. One that does not revolve about one’s work.

    (Where it is really sad is with activists who accomplish what they set out to do. Have you ever heard of an organization folding on that grounds? No, they go and fudge up another reason to go on. It tends to be vaguer than their first objective.)

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  • Colet

    Maybe there is something wrong with me, but all I can think about is Sean Connery slapping his ladies, and if he longed to do it to BW in that interview. When I’ve seen her on “The View” I’ve wanted to at least gag her.


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