Oprahed

Well, I’m glad that Oprah has been brought down a few notches… by Oprah. I don’t know who annointed Oprah the arbiter of culture, ethics, and behavior in America. Well, actually, I do know who did that: Oprah. So now she had to confess her mistake annointing James Frey. But in typical Oprah fashion, she didn’t really take the fall herself. She pilloried Frey in the process. We already knew he was a liar of Glassian/Blairian proportion. But what this was about was really whether we can trust Oprah. That’s what her empire is built upon.

But we forget it was Oprah who trashed up daytime TV. She took the Donahue format and threw in shouting, screaming lowlifes, which made her a ratings hit and which everyone else — including Donahue — then copied. Then, and only then, did she get religion. She did a show about how wonderful she was to recant and become, overnight, the queen of quality TV. Her bookers tried to get me on that show — as a TV critic at the time — to praise her. To the consternation of my company’s flacks, I refused.

So Oprah is taken down a notch because one of her creations turned out to be a fake. I can only hope that the next one to fall is Dr. Phil.

: By the way, I’m scheduled to be on Howie Kurtz’ Reliable Sources Sun day to talk about this and other stuff.

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  • http://www.rexblog.com Rex Hammock

    I find myself in the rare spot of totally disagreeing with you, Jeff. Oprah may have annointed herself, but it was her viewers who crowned her arbiter of culture, ethics and behavior. As much as you and I can scratch our heads why, they are the ones who give her any power she possesses. Howard Stern spends a big part of his energy trying to convince us how great he is (king of all media) — and you are perhaps is highest profile defender. So what if another segment of the audience buys into her version of the same thing — that she is queen of all media. Different strokes for different folks (although Howard and Oprah are probably more alike than different in this context). And your memory of Phil Donahue’s programing and mine are a little different, as well. I can remember plenty of shouting and lowlifes on that show.

  • penny

    ho hum….and even with her apology its all about her.

    Every newscast last night had Oprah’s mea culpa, as well as the cable news shows and I probably all the morning shows this morning (just guessing, I cant stand Katie and the like)

    I have never like Oprah because of her self imposed “greatness”, posturing and different attitudes towards different guests…the “black” Oprah, “law and order” Oprah and the “fawning” Hollywood Oprah.

  • http://www.kitkast.com Kitka

    I both love and hate Oprah at the same time. I think that she has been good at informing stay-at-home-parents about bullying in schools… I just wish that she had done this back when I was still at high school!

    The thing I hate about Oprah, though, is that she has made everyone who watch her believe that all her opinions are the truth… she has her own morality squad of followers… how dare someone oppose the holy word of the Oprah?

    In the eyes of many people, Oprah=God. I guess that makes me an atheist.

  • http://shredded2bitsblogspot.com angelina

    Ah, thank you for this.

  • Catherine

    Rex, couldn’t agree with you more. Jeff, you’re a little hypocritical on this one I’m afraid. At least she had the cojones to apologize–something that’s quite lacking in public figures these days.

  • http://altechorama.blogspot.com al

    I’ve never ever agreed with you more

  • Gee

    I don’t know who annointed Oprah the arbiter of culture, ethics, and behavior in America. Well, actually, I do know who did that: Oprah. So now she had to confess her mistake annointing James Frey.

    Whatever. In any case, nobody’s going to anoint you arbiter of spelling any time soon.

  • Duneview

    Had you gone on Oprah, maybe you would have been treated with some respect – unlike the Donny Deutch bookers who used you and Jane Hamsher who apparently thought of you as “filler” at the Wapo blog chat.

    I don’t recall “Oprah” ever being populated by “shouting, screaming lowlifes”, but if you say so…of course, that’s your hero St. Howard’s stock and trade so I’m puzzled at the distinction.

    Her initial Greater Truth defense of Frey was roundly and justifiably criticized, but nevertheless her apology was genuine — an effort her audience laps up.

    I only wish I could have been a fly on the wall when the phone call came into Random House demanding Frey and his editor show up at the Principal’s office for their punishment.

  • http://jasonclarke.org Jason

    Jeff,

    Oprah’s apology is not all about her, as you assert…it’s all about you and your heroic refusal to praise her a few years back. That’s a side note though.

    One of the great aspects of blogging is that a large portion of its value is in exposing and cutting through bullcrap.

    Yet, when people respond to criticsm, reflect on their wrongs, and then admit them in public in a huge way, what do you (and many of us) do? Instead of rewarding their honesty and repentance with acknowledgement, and God forbid, forgiveness, the opporunity is gleefully taken to continue to trash them when they’re already down.

    So Oprah’s show started out as a trashfest- boo to her. I don’t watch it, nor have I ever, but it doesn’t take a cultural rocket scientist to observe that in the many years since she went constructive on us, it’s become an oasis of positivity for millions of people. The only thing to be gained by suggesting that her previous ills invalidate her many years of good works since then is your own personal sense of self-satisfaction and damning.

    Here’s a different take than yours: Oprah was wrong on this one, and instead of hiding, blaming, or moving on, she took the time to repent in the biggest way possible. If you think she did it all to protect her trust, you’re right- and good for her. Isn’t that what humans are supposed to do with each other: You screw up, you admit it, and you work to regain trust. Since when did that path become worthy of scorn?

    And as for your assertion that James Frey is Oprah’s “creation”- that’s a dangerously stupid exaggeration to make, and I’m surprised someone as intelligent as you dared to say something so hyperbolic. It might be catchy, but it’s patently false- Frey is his own creation, as he stated on Oprah’s show yesterday. If any others are to blame, it may be his publishers, but certainly you can’t truly believe that Oprah is responsible for every single person she has on her show. If that’s true, you’re equally responsible for every idiot like me who posts a tedious rant in your comments.

    I don’t expect to you to reflect on your position on this one Jeff; at least not publicly. But I do hope you reconsider, at least privately, some of the more egregious connections you’re making in the name of outrage.

  • http://edwardcopeland.blogspot.com Edward Copeland

    This cable news obsession with James Frey and Oprah is ridiculous. Once again, Anderson Cooper waited an hour to talk about real news to focus on this nonsense — and Aaron Brown spoke out against the state of cable news in a speech.

    http://edwardcopeland.blogspot.com/2006/01/anderson-cooper-180-part-two.html

  • Ravo

    threw in shouting, screaming lowlifes, which made her a ratings hit

    HUH?

    “Lower lifes” than even many of Stern’s guests?

    Is that possible?

    Lowlife guests are A-OK guests for Howard but not on Oprah’s show?

    ..like T Kennedy pointing a finger at Alito

  • http://www.laurencehaughton.com laurence haughton

    Major media figure spins the facts in a self-serving way… isn’t that a perfect example of a “dog bites man” story?

    BTW Mad TV does a very funny take on Dr. Phil. Go to http://www.madtv.com/html/classics/classics_main.html and click on TV Parodies. Dr. Phil is on the list.

  • http://moveleft.com Eric Jaffa

    “…she didn’t really take the fall herself.”

    It wasn’t Oprah Winfrey’s messup alone in the first place. James Frey and Doubleday editor Nan Talese deserve more of the blame.

    “We already knew [James Frey] was a liar.”

    Some of us did, but it was important for fans of “Oprah” to find out there.

  • Jimmy

    I don’t know who annointed Oprah the arbiter of culture, ethics, and behavior in America. Well, actually, I do know who did that: Oprah.

    Wrong. Good or bad, her millions upon millions of viewers and fans turned her into that. That’s why even though she picked a loser for her last book club choice, she can still get millions of people to buy Elie Wiesel’s wonderful memoir, Night. I’m no fan of Oprah, but how many people can make little known books into huge best sellers or turn her own abusive childhood into a crusade to capture child molesters. I’ll give her props for that. You sound awfully hypocritical, Mr. Jarvis, with your constant plugs for all the various spots on news shows your own “celebrity” garners.

  • http://ruthcalvo Ruth

    What I would like to see is how Oprah would do worse than the Today Show did by repeating the WaPo line that the lobbying scandal shows Dems got money from Abramoff too – and after being informed by Howard Dean that they did not, having Matt Lauer say that “technically Dean was right”. Factually, would be the better choice of words, but they can’t admit they’re repeating a lie. Oprah stopped, turned around, and got it right even when she had started in the wrong direction at first, by compounding her error with defensiveness. Oprah showed more class by far.

  • Dan Collins

    Well, it’s kind of scary when you think that you could have some comics artist turn her show into something to sell in checkout lines, and people would buy it. Nero, burning Rome, fiddle.

  • kittenpie

    I join the fray here too. I didn’t have a TV for her early years (until 1999 actually), and have always worked full-time, so my first experience of her was catching a few shows last year while on a leave. And I have to admit that while I was prepared to turn my nose up at her as one of those trashy daytime shows, I think she has a really good thing going for her audience – a positive message, a mix of fluff and real issues, promotion of reading, even reading of books more literary than some might reach for without guidance. Yes, it’s feel-good, but so what? It’s not done at someone else’s expense, and don’t we all want some feel-good sometimes, even if it’s often so much pap? And while it may be an act and seem like “posturing,” I am impressed by her ability to come across as one of the girls, a regular person just like her audience, even while wearing designer wear with major ice on her ears. What wonderful ability to connect, the kind of common touch every presidential candidate strives for, even though he inhabits the halls of power. I think she’s pretty remarkable to remember her background, parlay her smarts into the empire she’s built, and enjoy what she has without ever seeming pretentious. So good for her. Clearly while you are not a fan, many others love what she’s selling.

  • http://www.webdatasystems.com/beeblog/ doctorfixit

    Dope-rah Dim-free, in disgrace, blathers as she takes up space. Clapping women all agree “Dope-rah Dim-free – Give Me a Car! Lies Don’t Matter – I’ll Buy Your Book – Come Jump On My Couch Tom – I’ll join Scientology – What Should I Be Feeling Now DOPE-Rah?”

  • joblo

    I’ve lost a great deal of respect for Oprah after this incident. I don’t think she handled it well at all. Poor her. Maybe she should have just given Mr. Frey a spanking right there on the spot.

    Some of the innacuracies in the book are significant, but many that are being blown way out of proportion are trivial. If you think that you can find any ‘memoir’ without some fictionalization in it, you are sorely mistaken.

  • Holly

    Really disappointed in you on this one, Jeff. First of all, she offered a REAL apology, not a bull**** “I’m sorry if I offended anyone…” and she deserves respect for that.

    Second, lowlifes and shouting?? HOWARD STERN’S biggest fan is accusing OPRAH of having a show full of lowlifes and shouting?? Pot, meet kettle. That’s myopia if it’s ever existed.

    Third, this woman has has given a platform to dozens of authors, some not-so-great, but many of whom are wonderful. The Poisonwood Bible and I Know This Much Is True are astoundingly powerful books that have opened many people’s eyes on important issues in the powerful way that only a good story can. Neither of those would have been #1 bestsellers without her — the latter, at 900+ pages, would have been remaindered awfully fast.

    Furthermore, millions of people are now reading Night, and, one can safely assume, for most of them it’s the first time ever. [She has a lot of power, yes, given to her by the audience! HELLO, JEFF, remember the audience? The audience YOU preach about empowering on a daily basis? ] If that’s not a responsible, important use of her power, then nothing ever will be.

    You don’t like Oprah, for whatever reason. Fine. Using this incident to try to tarnish her, however, makes you look petty and ENORMOUSLY hypocritical. HOWARD STERN’S biggest defender criticizing Oprah? Jeff, tell us this post was a little joke, ha ha? I expect this kind of hypocrisy out of the Religious Right — not you. Sheesh.

  • http://www.laurencehaughton.com laurence haughton

    I think it’s only fair that you attack the argument and not the arguer. The evolution of the daytime talk show is recorded history. Either Oprah did what Jeff said (and he was watching TV for a living back then) or she didn’t. Either her mea culpa for this episode was a mark of integrity, a craven stunt or somewhere in-between. Jeff sees troubling aspects to the power and sway of Oprah. Reasonable people should disagree without insults and trying to tar him with the “religious right” brush.

    Get a grip. And if Jeff has a blind spot for Howard Stern (I’m not saying he does) it doesn’t really matter.

    Double sheesh.

  • http://avc.blogs.com fred

    i loved a million little pieces and never for a minute did i think it was true.

    the best stories never are.

  • http://www.towersystems.com.au/fhn_blog/ mark fletcher

    Oprah is on the front cover of Australia’s highest selling women’s magazine this month and sales, in the first three days, are double last January. I do not understand her appeal at all. I don’t trust her book club recommendations, her car give aways or anything she endorses for that matter. She seeks too much glory for her good words to be trusted. And Dr Phil? The sooner he is brought down the better.

  • Rod

    I’m not a fan of Oprah by anymeans. But your comments are idiotic at best. You sound like an angry old white guy who’s about to be committed too a nursing home.
    She’s not entitled to her title, “Queen of media”, anymore than that sophmoric Howard Stern that you harp about every week. Who annointed him King of Media? Other than you? I didn’t see Howard helping the tsunami or katrina victims on his show? Did you? I see someone who’s contributed alot more to people lives through the television, in a very artful and intelligent manner than the bozo’s you hype each week. Oh and by the way, if your gonna praise Phil, make sure you tell the whole story, because Phil copied much of his format from radio talkshow hosts of the 50’s and 60’s, especially Cronkite.

    But the real reason everybody trying to sandbag her because the election of 08’!! Everybody in america knows the country is tired of the Rethuglican corruption and Oprah openly supports Hillary Clinton. If Oprah tells her viewers to vote Demo, you best believe republican candidates stand no chance.

  • Eileen

    “If Oprah tells her viewers to vote Demo, you best believe republican candidates stand no chance.”

    Whoa there, Bud. I admire Oprah but her politics are not my own. Her views are irrelevant vis a vis my voting decisions. And please don’t assume that kazillions of thinking women are her sheep, either. Not long ago she had a panel of lefties on pontificating about Iraq. The applause was polite and decidedly restrained.

    As for why liberals are sandbagging her, might it have something to do with liberals eating their own? :)

    Actually, I’m curious as to who decided it was her responsibility to authenticate a memoir before recommending the book to begin with. Last I heard Doubleday is a reputable publisher. She had nothing to apologize for. That she aired the admissions/confessions of the liar (several of which she extracted from him) on her show, while at the same time offering an apology will only enhance her reputation.

    This is newsworthy? Yawn.

  • http://www.paulparducci.blogspot.com Paul Parducci

    I saw the apology, I thought it was sincere. It is reasonable to assume(prior of course to this incident) that a major publisher like Doubleday would fact check a book listed as Non Fiction. I was wholly unimpressed with Talese. Frey appears to be a moral cipher.

  • http://unpublished-author.blogspot.com Unpublished Author

    In case anyone missed it the Palestinians just elected a terror group as their new government, Iran continues to provoke the West into an armed conflict, the price of oil keeps rising with no real government energy policy to counter it, tens of thousands of hurricane victims continue to be ignored and marginalized and over 40 million Americans still have no health care.

    But let’s keep talking about the irrelevant and diversionary echo chamber of the entertainment world complete with self-important hacks motivated by nothing other than selling the products that they themsevlves are.

  • okjk

    I don’t watch Oprah or any of the so called talk shows, I ••••listen to talk! How can anyone watch TALK TV? It’s a visual medium! Watching TV TALK IS BULLSHIT. IT’S visual and the word will always be superceded by the picture is a thousand words concept! Interestingly, today at a doctor’s office, filled with about a dozen people, 2/3 women, mostly middle age, when her voice came on not any of men watched…though we were forced to listen! …I listen to talk, because of its all about “content” and it’s the most efficient method of communication. Reading entails writing, and watching entails practically your entire family… look at the credits after a tv or movie. I want the quickest surest form of communication, talking. The phone or face to face is the best or in the talk medium sirius type of radio….where you can find some twenty different talkers of all genders, race, creed and dogma..•∆• Oh, I did learn something by seeing Oprah ‘talk’ that I didn’t know by listenning, she is a dark skin person! Does it matter? Maybe and maybe not…but as an architect in a very visual medium, ….I prefer to hear her, howard, charlie rose, letterman,mozart, birds..etc. if I had to choose between seeing or hearing

  • http://susancheever.com susan cheever

    Call me Candide but I think it’s miraculous that hundreds of people are heatedly debating the ethics of nonfiction–an arcane subject previously restricted to writing workshops and stultifying lectures and a few pathetic practitioners. I give my students George Orwell’s brilliant “Shooting an Elephant” and ask them how they would feel if they found out that Orwell had never shot an elephant. The discussion is usually short because the answer is so obvious–the essay would have no value if we didn’t believe it. To see Oprah in her echt Cotton Mather high collar fighting back tears over this issue warmed my heart.
    Memoirs have always had this buzz factor. The first redemption memoir, Walden, got the same treatment. Everyone said that Emerson was smuggling Thoreau steaks and butter, that he walked into town for dinner etcetera….Still, there are rules, well there is one rule which is that the writer has to be straight with the reader. We writers live on crumbs, gang, the fact that all this is suddenly news is enough to make a meal.

  • Jim S

    Most if the time I find myself agreeing with you as opposed to many of your critics who post here, Jeff. But this time I have to agree with them. I’ve never seen an Oprah show but did see the news coverage about this one. Whatever you may think of it she admitted making more than one mistake and apologized. That puts her one up on so many public figures it’s not funny. As for Frey having to take the heat too, it was well deserved.

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  • Lee Ann

    Poor Oprah, she really was duped, by herself. She duped herself and the entire TV viewing world in to thinking SHE is more important than someone’s sobriety.

    I hope James Frey can find the inner strength to take care of himself.

    Anyone who has any type of addict in their family or life, knows they do not always perceive things as they really are nor do they tell the truth. They are in constant strife to not con themselves and those around them. Any publisher or experienced talk show host should know that simple little truth to addiction. They have really exposed themselves as ignorant and shallow.

    I wonder what changed in the underlying message that Oprah had supported. Is the book still not about redeeming oneself from addiction?

    And I do hope that Oprah’s little scene will not cost Mr. Frey his sobriety, which means life or death. I don’t really think her “reputation for the truth” is worth that. Really, could Oprah not have issued a statement that was not so vindictive? Apparently she wanted to draw blood. She did. She will be responsible for that as well.

  • Lynn

    I for one am glad to see the mighty Oprah with egg on her face. After a show many years ago where I was personally involved or attacked whichever way you want to look at it, where again she didn’t check her facts, I have never watched her. I wish I had the presence of mind to sue her butt back then. She didn’t get both sides of the story and I was portrayed the bad guy. I have no time for people like her who makes her millions off the backs of other people’s miseries or short comings and justifies it with tokens of charitable donations and displays of gift giving on a grand scale to her audiences to ease her conscience. Yes, Frey may be a liar but he certainly stuck it to the great Oprah Winfrey. Made my day.

  • Riddick

    One must not forget the peice on 60 MINUTES where she was less than truthful about the pastor of a church making passes at her molestin her and then Having to retract her story when the pastor wrote in and proved it never happened.
    The incident with Bree walker where she question how she buttoned her shirt with claw hands. Thus bree leaving during the commercial break
    Or saying to the mom who is hooked on cocaine “I can’t possibly understand that, oh on second thought maybe i can I am addicted to french fries”
    Let’s go to commercial break

  • http://ryantate.com Ryan

    You really got my goat with this one, Jeff. First of all, how often do you watch Oprah? Because what you describe sounds like a caricature of the show.

    Second, why do you have such a chip on your shoulder about this woman? Really?

    Third and finally, Oprah works because she is extremely open about everything, including her personal flaws and strengths. We could use a lot more openness in the country like that — emotionally honest, thorough, and vulnerable. This is not a country where people — men especially — like to talk about their personal lives, and it is killing us by inches, in heart attacks, violent crime, and subtle neglect.

    How do you think you’d come across up on that stage on national television every day at 4? Do you think your support for CNN will lead to superior programming for America than what we get from Harpo Productions?

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    This is not a country where people — men especially — like to talk about their personal lives…

    Thank god for that. This is a country where people – women especially – like to prattle on endlessly about their precious feelings, their childhoods, and how everything in the world is about them. Oprah is responsible for mainstreaming narcissism, and unless we reject her we’re going to decay as a culture.

    I’m glad there are people like Jeff who aren’t afraid to stand up to the monster of daytime TV.

  • amyc

    just had to post that the top 4 google ads are for an oprah survey, dr. phil, jerry springer, and oprah

    do they know where their ads are? :-)

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  • http://www.canwetalkaboutit.blogspot.com gracious

    Jeff, I do agree with you. For some reason peope think she is the “truth”! She supported a liar(James Frey) and looked so bad she had to apologize. There was no other out. Oprah should stick to food and fashion and of course rich celebrities.

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  • S. Faustin

    Excuse me, but narcissists can be very charming, and Oprah is a first grade narcissist. Look at the characteristics:

    Excessive feelings of self-importance

    Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

    Exaggerated personal achievements and abilities

    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love, with power, wealth, beauty, personal abilities, or success

    Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

    Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

    An expectation to be seen as superior without cause

    Requires excessive admiration

    A demand for favorable treatment without appropriate reasons
    an insiststance on being the object of admiration and attention.

    Has a sense of entitlement, i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

    Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e. takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends)

    lacks empathy, i.e. is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

    (Before anyone says Oprah is so compassionate, excuse me, Oprah is compassionate when she wants to be. She pretends to not understand the most obvious things, like addiction (even though she can’t stop eating!!!)

    Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

    From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

    All of her good deed are self-gratifying and supposed to show how wonderful and generous she is and really have nothing to do with doing good for the sake of doing so.

    Oprah is most concerned with continuing to convince the world and herself with how great she is. You have to live with this type of narcissism to understand how it works. That’s why Frey, when he dared to cast any negative light on Oprah by being and addict who lies (um, excuse me, that’s what addicts do), she had to bring him down to his knees. Publically.

  • happypill

    Oprah suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, and anyone who can’t even catch that watching her show is probably just so completely awe-struck by her or simply in denial. She’s completely self-absorbed, and like the stereotypical noveau riche she goes out of her way to show EVERYONE IN THE WORLD just how rich she is, how many celebrity friends she has (I cringe at the excessive name-dropping), and how different she is from the ordinary person. Remember her 50th birthday bash? Who else but a narcissist would devote 2 episodes (done by her own production company HARPO) to show the world just how rich she was? And does it surprise you that EVERY cover of her “O” magazine has her on the cover, bejeweled and dressed in the latest fashions? In the early years I really thought Oprah was truly altruistic, and during those years it was a joy to watch her. Her shows then truly reflected social concerns. How it has deteriorated in quality to “Oprah’s favorite things” or “Oprah’s getting her ears pierced!” (I’m not kidding about this last one. She actually did a show on it!) To be sure she still gives a whole lot more to charity than the average millionaire. But I’m not quite sure that the motivation is pure altruism. With all the media attention behind everything she does, it seems more like a carefully crafted shtick to once again show the world that she can give millions away because she’s SO FREAKIN’ RICH! Bill and Melinda Gates or Warren Buffet – billionaires who give their BILLIONS away without much fanfare or media attention – now they are class acts! Oprah I simply lump in the same category as Donald Trump. They are both narcissists COMPLETELY starved for adulation. Although in the final analysis the Donald might have one over Oprah. He is what he is and doesn’t try to pretend he’s someone else. Sadly the same can’t be said about Oprah.

  • http://AMERICAONLINE PATRICIA HATFIELD

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,
    I THOUGHT OPRAH WAS A PERSON WHO REALLY CARED FOR OTHER PEOPLE. I WAS TOTALLY WRONG. I HAVE READ AND WATCHED ON TV HOW MUCH SHE IS SUPPOSE TO BE DOING FOR OTHERS. I WOULD LIKE HER TO TELL ME, IF I DIDN’T NEED A HOME OR CAR, WOULD SHE CONSOLE ME THEN? I HAVE WRITTEN TO HER FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS. I’M HANDICAPPED AND DISABLE WITH ONLY $176.00 A MONTH FROM SSI BENEFITS. I’M 58 YEARS OLD. MY MOBILE HOME IS FALLING APART AND I NEED A HANDICAPPED VAN. THAT’S THE TWO THINGS I HAVE ASK HER HELP WITH. I’VE NEVER HEARD ONE WORD FROM HER. SO THAT MAKES ME WONDER WHY I WATCH HER ON TV, AND LISTEN HOW MUCH SHE DOES FOR OTHERS. IS THAT REAL, AND WHY CAN’T SHE FIND THE TIME OR PERSON WHO CAN HELP ME GET A NEW MOBILE HOME AND HANDICAPPED VECHILE? I’M A CHRISTIAN AND NOT A SCAMMER. I’VE BEEN SCAMED, IT DOESN,T FEEL GOOD, SO I WOULD NOT DO THAT TO MY WORST ENEMY.IF THIS DOESN’T GET HER ATTENTION, I’LL TAKE IT TO CNN NEWS AND LET THEM KNOW SHE’S A FRAUD.

  • holden

    “I don’t know who annointed Oprah the arbiter of culture, ethics, and behavior in America.” I’d say the American mainstream public who adores her anointed her–it’s naive to believe that she has that much power on her own. http://www.seenontvnow.com

  • http://kristensguide.com Kristen

    I agree that people hold her in too high esteem and see her as godlike. She’s human. She makes mistakes, she sometimes trusts people who shouldn’t be trusted, and she doesn’t have all the answers. BUT unlike the mistakes that you or I make, her mistakes are broadcasted, published, syndicated, and blogged about. At least she admits her mistakes, apologizes for them if necessary, and starts making changes to make things right. (That’s way more than politicians do.)

    As for being the arbiter of culture, I know lots of arrogant people who would love to be able to dictate what everyone should think and how everyone should acts, but those people aren’t actually very influential at all. The difference between those people and Oprah is that people liked Oprah enough to watch her shows, and they respected her enough to listen to her opinions. Nobody can lead the people if the people aren’t willing to follow.

    When it comes to trashing up talk shows, I can tell you that I used to watch ALL of the talk shows back then (I was obsessed with them), and Geraldo was the first show to get screaming people on. It was so shocking that his show made the news, and his ratings shot up. Soon after that, all the other talk shows followed. (It’s a business, and like most businesses, they follow the money, and trash-TV was where the money was. Now the money is in reality-shows.) The reason why Oprah’s show is still around, though, is that she decided that instead of stirring up arguments, she would try to be inspiring and helpful, so she changed the format of her show. I actually remember the first show of the first season that they did this “Change Your Life” format.

    James Frey isn’t Oprah’s creation. He’s a guy who wrote a book with a “I can’t believe it” story, said that it was true, got a publisher to publish it (they’re the ones who are supposed to check the facts), and developed some media connections that allowed him to get on the show to promote his book. Lots of writers have been on the show to promote their books. She doesn’t “create” these people. She just gives them a platform to promote their products. That’s what talk shows do.

    (And I just have to say as a side note to Patricia. Just because somebody has money doesn’t mean that they have to give it to you. And just because she helps people doesn’t mean that she has to help every single person in the world. Nobody can do that anyhow. That woman has helped thousands of people and because you want a new house and a van you suddenly declare that she’s a fraud. I’m not trying to offend you, but you’re sounding like a spoiled child. If you had spent the last 5 years trying to figure out how to make money, perhaps online, rather than writing Oprah and demanding that she buy things for you, you’d probably have a new house and/ or van by now.)

  • Judi

    Yep! You got it. Oprah is just like every other narcissist out there. Only she is a big fat, STUPID, black narcissist (the reverse of Michael Moore in other words).