Monday, May 13, 2013

Barbara Walters announces 2014 retirement on "The View"

Today, Monday May 13, 2013, ABC’s “The View” opened with Barbara Walters announcing her retirement at the summer of 2014.  She will remain as an Executive Producer of “The View” but will not have a regular show afterwards.

She gave a history of her career where she joined in 1961 when female reporters were called “girls”,  She wasn’t considered as “pretty” as other female reporters – that was the attitude that also prevailed for airline “stewardesses” then, and probably even office secretaries.  I remember that I started working for the National Bureau of Standards in 1963 (when it was still on Connecticut Ave in Washington), and female scientists could be very jealous of their reputations – in an era when McCarthyism was starting to soften.
Times would change quickly, with the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War and Watergate.  In 1976, Walters got a job hosting GMA for “a million dollars a year”.  I was living in Manhattan at the time in the Village, and I remember the attention she got from the press.

Walters said today she wants to go when people will ask “Why is she leaving?” rather than “Why doesn’t she leave?  She says she wants to travel abroad and be able to stay a long time in one place.  She’s been to China three times but never seen “The Forbidden City”.  Maybe she will take the train to Tibet. (I’d like to do that.)  Remember, Anderson Cooper started his career living in SE Asia where he reported on the Post Vietnam era. 

She says she is in perfect health, and has recovered completely from the open heart value surgery in 2011.  She has also said that for some people such surgery is life-saving, even if there are few symptoms, even more critical than coronary bypass surgery. She once did a special "Live to Be 150".  

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared today. 

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