February 28 2008

Can Someone Explain The Cult Of Oprah To Me?

Oprah WinfreyBefore I even begin this, let me stress that my dislike of Oprah Winfrey has nothing to do with her being African-American.  I bring this up because the last time I made an off-hand comment about Star Jones, I had to spend the next day explaining how my dislike had nothing to do with her ethnicity.  Same goes for Oprah, she annoys me, as does 99.9% of the population in some way or another… I’m very equal opportunity in my dislike of people.  It’s a thing.

So, I have been home sick all this week (I won’t disgust you with the details), and naturally I have caught more daytime television than I normally do, and a couple of times I have found myself coming across Oprah.

Now, I already dislike her for the mere fact that she unleashed Dr.Phil and Rachael Ray onto the daytime television world, but seeing her actual show… I get it even less.  What is the allure of this woman?  Is it the fact she feels compelled to yell her guest’s names?  (William SHHHHAAAATTTTNNNNEEEERRRR)  Or perhaps it’s the fact that her audience screams like Howler Monkeys whenever she says they’re going home with something?  I mean, honestly, how many of the women in her audience were THAT excited to be going home with the remastered DVDs of the first season of the original Star Trek series?

I think where she totally lost me (not that she ever “had me”) was her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.   While it seemed like a good idea on the surface to give underprivileged girls in Africa an education, there has been numerous controversies over how the girls are allowed to interact with their families, not to mention the allegations of sexual and physical abuse by an administrator.  If you’re going to set up a program such as this, it is your personal duty to make sure every person is fully vetted, and safe guards are put in place to protect against such things happening.

I’m all for people doing good deeds in the world, and I’m all for them having success, but I would like someone to explain to me WHY she is successful.  When I have talked to Oprah fans, they always say things like, “She’s so wonderful!”, but when you ask them “Why?”, they kind of look at me blankly like, “Don’t you get it?”

Er… no… I don’t.

I don’t get why she can put her stamp of approval on a book, and it sells millions of extra copies.  Because that was such a good thing in the case of A Million Little Pieces.  I just don’t get so much about her.  So, here it is Oprah fans, leave me a comment and tell me WHY you love her, why she is the greatest thing ever, why does she make you her fans into rabid Oprah-zombies?

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General Rants |


  • I have never understood her either, I want to use a sports analogy, if you look at her “coaching tree” it would include:
    Suze Orman.
    Dr. Phil
    Rachel Ray
    and other countless hacks who are/were only popular because they fed BS to her fans for years without anyone questioning them. I have often called her the devil reincarnate.

    But who knows, I am a guy so there maybe something there we don’t see?

  • Chris – hmmm something in our DNA that doesn’t allow us “to get it”?

  • Jo

    I am woman and NOT a fan of Oprah. How she built her show? Who knows, but something worked for her and she’s where she is because of it. She got it right, whatever “it” is.

    I don’t read her “stamped” books, listen to her radio shows, or watch her show unless someone is on I admire.

    I do, however, read the magazine. I just like girly magazines … but then .. inside this woman is a girl.

  • Alex

    I think she is someone who prey’s on women’s emotionalism and holds up compassion as the all encompassing and only virtue one needs to have. She is a disgusting and dangerous relativist and hides behind the castle walls of self-righteous and loud emotionalism and millions of reactionary women run to help her hold defend those walls.

    She is a horrible human being that is pretending to be the best human being.

  • Mark

    It’s a couple of things that work in the favour the likes of these trueism

    mongers as I like to call them.

    We live in the age of luxury; The luxury to have your pizza delivered to your

    doorstep, the luxury to buy your furniture behind your pc without actually

    moving your behind, the luxury of not needing to form an opinion as there are

    plenty to find on the world wide web that suit your needs or “own” ideas &

    beliefs, the luxury to switch on a television set and having “your” ideas

    being bolstered day after day without having to challenge them.

    It’s easy. Why? Because we want to. Let’s be honest the moral majority doesn’t

    want to break their heads over everyday problems, they need oneliners.
    Predators the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Phil McGraw have understood these

    mechanics like no other and have a professional writing staff/team behind them

    to perpetuate their endless “wisdom”. The eager consumer just waiting to chow

    down daily portion of opinion.

    I won’t go as far as drawing parallels with the WWII Nazi mediamachine, as the

    intention was a complete different one than making a buck. One has to admit

    though there are erie similarities on how the masses are willingly and

    wantingly are being manipulated.

    So yes, I do understand the charm comes from. Will it get any better? Not

    before it will get a lot worse.

    The most frighting thing though is that there is no way fleeing from Oprah she

    has been hugely popular in the Netherlands as well since the early 90’s as

    well as that other piece of appendage with a moustache. I have considered

    moving to some place desolated but satellite television would have caught up

    with me anyways.

    I suppose I will have to find the strenght somehow to do what only a few others so far have managed, to give these predators no right of existence. Which is switching off the damn TV set.

    So much for my piece of trueism.