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Norman Lear: Excuse Me, Age 80 Is Not ‘Circling The Drain’

The creator of 'All In the Family' takes issue with The New York Times


Earlier this month, the Sunday edition of The New York Times ran a headline about the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism: “The Dalai Lama Is Running Out of Time.”

The Dalai Lama, now 80, was described by the newspaper as “energetic.” But, due to his age (we assume), the article went on to say that the Dalai Lama is “also nearing the end of his life.”

That’s where Norman Lear — the legendary producer of All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude — comes in.

After seeing the Times headline about the Dalai Lama, Lear took to his public Facebook page and wrote a short but powerful post:

“On Page 2 of Sunday’s The New York Times a headline reads ‘The Dalai Lama is Running Out Of Time.’ He’s 80 now, and while The Times describes him as ‘energetic,’ it goes on to say, ‘he’s also nearing the end of his life…’

I am a lifetime subscriber to the Times, but at 93 I take issue with my newspaper, however beloved, when it suggests I’ve been hovering at the brink for thirteen years now.”

Did the Times go a little far in saying the Dalai Lama is “nearing the end of his life” and “running out of time?” Or, with global life expectancy averaging 71 years (and 67 years in Tibet), was the Times merely pointing out an uncomfortable truth?

By Josh Walker
Josh Walker is the social media manager at Next Avenue. A longtime social media expert, he's also a former assistant managing editor at Parents magazine, and a former special projects editor at MORE magazine.

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