What They’re Not Saying About Art Buchwald’s Impending Death

Many of you may be following the quirky approach that humorist Art Buchwald is taking to his own impending death, giving interviews and holding court in a Washington hospice. The apex of his life’s quotable quotes being: “The question is not, Why must we die? but rather, What are we doing hereBuchwald in the first place?” (He also said, “Dying is easy; parking is impossible”)

Leave it to Art to teach us how to die with humor and grace! Still, I’m a little annoyed with the media coverage here. Like Luther Vandross before him, the man is dying of the effects of diabetes, and nobody’s talking about it.

The articles all mention kidney disease and leg amputation, which tipped me off immediately that diabetes was at work. But I could only confirm this by scouring the blogoshpere. As far as I can tell, none of the major MSM (mainstream media) print publications are using the D-word in their coverage of Buchwald’s plight. Wassup?! Wouldn’t this be an ideal platform for reminding people about the serious consequences of this disease?

The media is very clear on the epidemic proportions of diabetes, and the value of awareness in preventing and containing it. But I guess that was yesterday’s news. I guess mixing diabetes information with Buchwald’s upbeat outlook on death might spoil the story (?) Just makes me mad. People should know that the killer combination of stroke, kidney failure, and leg amputation don’t come out of the blue. As dLife likes to say, “Don’t guess, test!”


8 Responses

  1. Johnboy
    Johnboy April 14, 2006 at 4:43 am | | Reply

    Amy, I was at a dinner party recently and one of the guests had just come back from spending time with Art at a hospice in the DC area.

    She said that he was in good spirits, and that his mood had actually improved after moving in.

    Not once did she mention his having diabetes. No, she is not in the media, but I think the omission still goes to your point about awareness.

  2. Star Firstbaseman
    Star Firstbaseman April 14, 2006 at 8:03 am | | Reply

    The Washington Post is covering this pretty impressively. They mentioned that he’d had DM.

  3. AmyT
    AmyT April 15, 2006 at 4:31 pm | | Reply

    Hey Star,
    Would you send me the link? So far I’ve found 5 WP stories on Buchwald’s demise, but not one of them contains the word “diabetes.”

  4. Bill
    Bill April 16, 2006 at 6:57 am | | Reply

    Links to Buchwald/diabetes at

    “He had outlived his wife. He had survived a stroke in 2000, and he had had his right leg amputated below the knee because of complications from diabetes.”

    and LA Times:
    “Last month, he had a leg amputated below the knee as a result of poor circulation caused by diabetes, which was also contributing to renal failure. But he still manages a column now and then for the Post.”

  5. AmyT
    AmyT April 16, 2006 at 12:33 pm | | Reply

    Good, Bill. I guess nobody told USA Today and the others. Also it seems awfully “buried,” if you’ll excuse the association.

  6. Nick
    Nick April 18, 2006 at 6:47 am | | Reply

    I suggest you contact A.B. to ask if he’ll grant you an interview. In person or by telephone–your choice.

  7. patricia4336
    patricia4336 May 3, 2006 at 5:41 am | | Reply

    Hi-I am new to the list.I have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes…I am still in denial.I had major surgery for a large fybroid tumor last June and NOBODY noticed that my blood sugar was high.But I will continue to remain faithful.Only God can turn this thing around.
    I had no clue that Luther V. had diabetes,although I should have noticed something when he lost all of that weight..he looked so sick.I wish everyone on this list a very healthy life,and I will be praying for all of you.

  8. Kim
    Kim May 3, 2006 at 7:34 pm | | Reply

    I had no idea Luther Vandross had diabetes! I didn’t put two and two together on Buchwald, either.

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