Barbara Walters Whispers To the President That She's Retiring

Barbara Walters has cut back noticeably on her schedule in recent years, as she has ended her annual pre-Oscar interview show, and seems to be missing from The View more often. But at age 82, has the time come for her to call it quits completely?

Apparently not, though there were rumors to that effect in recent days. TMZ kicked off the speculation with a report that during a recent interview with Barack Obama, Walters whispered to the president – off the air but with her microphone still on – that she wanted to talk to him one more time before she retired next year.

ABC News vice president Jeff Schneider responded after speaking with Walters, telling TMZ, “Barbara has joked that she is retiring every year since the Clinton Administration. Anyone who just did a day trip to Syria, 90-minute prime time special and an interview with the President and First Lady hardly sounds like someone retiring from anything.” Careful readers will notice that there’s not a flat denial in that response.

For our part, we hope Walters hangs around for as long as she wants, in whatever role(s) she prefers. She’s enough of a legend at this point that she can get away with telling Kim Kardashian “you don’t have any talent.” And her presence as a calming, above-it-all mother hen keeps The View from flying off its axis more often. If she retired, either Joy Behar or Elisabeth Hasselbeck would be dead within a month.