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Come on now, Greta. Just between us. Was it really just an eyelift?

I haven’t asked her that Connie-Chung-type question, but judging by the interviews Greta Van Susteren has given, I know the answer. She won’t change her story. Just like the lawyer she is, she’s got her lines down pat and scarcely varies them, no matter who’s asking the questions.

I know it’s not polite to question a lady, but really!

To hear her tell it, she had a month off between leaving CNN and starting a new program on Fox News and decided, on a whim, to go under the knife. Seems all it took was a look in the mirror to decide she was 47 – at least that’s what she says – and not a teenager anymore.

The only part of that I might believe is that she took a good look in the mirror and didn’t like what she saw. I can understand that. From her rumpled, almost careless clothes, lack of makeup and jewelry and sloppy hair, her former look hardly put her in the babe class.

But in media today, “babe” is in, even for “serious” news. Hey, it’s television! It’s all about looks! For women, it’s important – although news guys patronize the beauty scalpel too. Jobs often ride on it.

Just look at the cover of People Magazine – the before and after pictures. Greta claims, with a straight face, that she only looks different because her face is swollen. Sure.

First, a simple eye job doesn’t cause cheeks and jaws to swell. Note that lighter colored, smoother and unlined skin, especially on the forehead? (You pull the forehead up to get rid of wrinkles not down into the eyes!) How did her chin line get reshaped and her throat improved? She’s got lips now and even her mouth is different. She moves it differently. She doesn’t talk out of the side of her mouth anymore. Maybe she had her teeth done too. She claims her blonder looking hair is the result of studio lighting!

Just an eye job? Hey, if that’s an eye job, then I want the name of that plastic surgeon! I notice his name isn’t being bandied about. Wonder why? Think he could keep a straight face saying her changes simply resulted from a nip and a tuck around the eyes?

After I reached my own conclusions, I talked with people who would know. Several nurses who work with plastic surgeons told me, without exception, that Greta had more done than her eyes, one noting it was probably a lower face and neck lift. No one believed Van Susteren’s eye-job story. Neither did women who’ve had face work.

Top Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Terino, looking at the People cover, said that there’s no doubt Greta is “a lot prettier now.” He noted that the changes are from the collarbone up, that she might have had a chin implant, and a lift too, plus other skin improvement treatments. He feels “she has definitely been enhanced and it can’t be attributed to an eye job only.”

Let’s get real. All this publicity was a marketing dream. We heard about it just before Greta’s new program on Fox was to debut. What timing, though – the audience came, saw and went. So much for that.

All this came on the heels of the huge flap over the sexy promos that CNN made about Paula Zahn who was hired away from Fox. There was Paula and the pitch about her new program: The voice-over said she was sexy, the sound you heard was a zipper opening, or closing – who knows, but we were told a woman wrote it!

The next sound was the backpedaling of CNN’s top brass. They were shocked, I say, shocked – that anyone would use the words sexy and news and woman in the same breath. The spot was pulled but you can’t avoid the fact that Zahn is a babe. Nice voice, constant smile, good teeth, sassy hair, expert makeup, expensive threads and a slim body. Whether she’s had work done, no one is saying. And it doesn’t matter.

Too bad that Van Susteren had to use her age-reduction surgery to get publicity for her new show. And too bad the media thought we were stupid enough to believe her story.

So, Greta. Now that the face is out of the way, what are you going to do about your voice?

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