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girltrouble
whooooooo! it's the oprah thread. where we talk about oprah and related shows for good and ill.

so rachel ray, dr. phil, the doctors, and....? are all fair game.
stargazer
omg. I love you GT! wub.gif I love the name of the thread.
prophecy_grrl
yay! thanks, GT for startin the thread and to polly for the lovely title.

My biggest Oprah beef is the hypocrisy. example - one episode with Suze Orman to shame anyone who's every carried a balance on their credit card; next episode itemizing spring wardrobe "essentials."

Also, I so want Oprah to be way radical. She has such an awesome origin story (yeah, too many comic books for me rolleyes.gif ) and she's chosen not to marry or have children and yet she's just a garden variety liberal. It bums me out.

As for the pseudo-science and dubious claims from "experts" mentioned in the CBC thread, while I don't excuse Oprah's responsibility (she *must* know the influence she has), it would be nice if people were a little less sheep-like. If it smells like bullshit, guess what?

They re-ran that "middle-aged women turn to lesbianism" episode last week and I was amazed at how Oprah was not able to say the word "bisexual." She kept asking these women "so are you gay or straight?" I was fascinated by it. People (who *should* know better) really believe that bisexuality is not a legitimate sexual identity. huh.
girltrouble
the title is polly's star, and prophecy, thanks for the final push wub.gif

i'm kind of with you about wanting her to be more radical, but i think she is really cautious about things because she doesn't want to upset people, so she ends up being a moderate. ugh. i feel the same about obama. you could do so much if you weren't such a fence rider. ugh.

i do have to admit, i love the suzy orman. of all her spin offs she's my fave. it doesn't hurt that she's a dyke. always gets points in my book. i rarely watch her show tho. i have a fear of even thinking about my money (or any numbers for that matter) for more than 5 continuous minutes.

i dunno why but i suspect that o is an objectivist. i don't know why. i just get that vibe from all wealthy celebs.
roseviolet
This belongs in the confessions thread as much as here: Now that I no longer work, I watch Oprah almost every day. I'm not proud of this. I don't watch the other Harpo shows, though. Dr. Phil can be too trashy and Rachel Ray's voice sends chills up my spine.

GT, I have a special little place in my heart for Suze, too. But I'm also pretty conservative fiscally-speaking, so she really speaks my language. When I see her talk to those people who have credit card bills in the tens of thousands of dollars, I practically break out in hives.

As for the show about women who had their first lesbian relationships later in life, I was more surprised that more of the women themselves did not identify as bisexual. It's a very common term & certainly they've heard of it before, so I feel that if they themselves do not feel that they are bisexual, then that's all that counts. Far be it from me to tell them how they should label the the ntricacies of their sexual identities, you know?
pollystyrene
Here's that article from Newsweek that I posted in the CBC thread.

Thanks for using my title! laugh.gif
girltrouble
i liked my title too, polly, but yours was better. wink.gif thank you for reposting that link too. i was going to ask you, but i got distracted.

oh god, rosey, i get jealous of all those people who have those huge credit card bills. i day dream about the things i could have gotten, say all of my 'lectrolysis taken care of, boobs, etc. i've only had one cc my entire life, and i got it last year. all the same, my credit got wrecked from medical bills for hormones, and university. le sigh....

i think dr phil is an idiot, but i do like watching him occasionally, because he takes himself so seriously. but i think he's fun to mock while you watch. *said in a dr. phil voice* he's dumber than a box of kittens driving an hotdog in a monster truck race!

i'm not as bugged by rr as some people, but only if she's cooking. she's way to excited when she's doing the talk show thing.

i agree with you, rosey about the self definition, but i still find it irritating that that either/or binary is presented as the only choice. it's a particularly western thing to see things that way, it would be nice if americans in particular weren't so terrified of ambiguity/gray areas.
pollystyrene
I think some of what RR cooks is good (compared to her Food Network cohort Sandra Lee, ANYTHING made by ANYONE is good!) and I like that she's a proud CBC'er, but I can't watch more than a few minutes of her. She's way to spazzy for me.

Dr. Phil is just laughable.
girltrouble
QUOTE
QUOTE
The Secret warns that all illness and misfortune is caused by attracting the negative power of the universe. "You cannot 'catch' anything unless you think you can," it says. "You are also inviting illness if you are listening to people talking about their illness."

That's straight out of Scientology's belief that diseases like cancer and AIDS are just a state of mind.

the same holds true for xtian scientists, polly.

that whole secret thing bugged the fuck out of me. my mom buys into a xtian version of that, 20+ years i bought it too, except it's not negative energy, it's demons, and if you are sick, it's cos you are sinful or haven't prayed enough or that you haven't enough faith, and it's disgusting. because at a time when you need to be comforted by god, he's in heaven nitpicking and finding some loophole so he doesn't have to make you better. and in the mean time, people who believe in this bs beat themselves up, thinking they are failing. their church is telling them they are the problem and it just makes everything worse. ugh. sorry, there is so much about xtianity that bugs me.

it still slays me that dr. phil isn't really even a doctor.
*said in a dr. phil voice* he makes about as much sense as trying to drown a walnut.
crazyoldcatlady
QUOTE
that whole secret thing bugged the fuck out of me. my mom buys into a xtian version of that, 20+ years i bought it too, except it's not negative energy, it's demons, and if you are sick, it's cos you are sinful or haven't prayed enough or that you haven't enough faith, and it's disgusting


then there's the whole "my underage child has cancer, and we're just gonna pray over it despite it being treatable." a child.

corollary: "vaccines are the sole cause of autism, therefore little jimmy's just gonna have to contract archaic and treacherous diseases and put your family at risk instead." (coughcoughjennymccarthycoughcough-- or, OR: "i cured my son's autism by vitamins and an organic diet.")

ack, i have to get to work at some point today!

::jumps off soapbox, runs out the door::
culturehandy
here's the thing about vaccines and autism, how many of us did get the MMR vaccine and *didn't* get autism.

My beef was her book club. When i worked in a bookstore, people who you know would never, ever read, ohh Faulkner or some other classic, would come in and it would shoot to the top of the best seller list. I see that it can be good in order to bring an author to the forefront, but when even literary critics or professors say a book is difficult to get through, Oprah, really don't be rambling on about how much the book changed your life.
stargazer
I like Suze Orman's approach to money matters. It is pretty straightforward. I mean, on one of the recent shows about the economic downfall, I could not understand how a couple with a 3 figure income could have 29 credit cards with ALOT of debt. Yeah, they needed to be schooled.

The issue of choice and medical treatments is such a tricky one to navigate, especially with children involved. It is hard to be supportive and present factual knowledge in these cases. It is also another matter to how involved (if at all) we want the government in these cases (is it neglect? is it a form of suicide?). Without making this thread a whole medical thread, I think I would just like Oprah to present both sides when presenting issues. I think one of her best balanced shows was about Prop 2 in California which dealt with animal farming practices.

GT, Dr. Phil is a doctor; however, he is not a licensed psychologist anymore. A lot of us in the mental health field are non too pleased with Dr. Phil.
prophecy_grrl
I actually like Suze Orman (her "young, fabulous, and broke" book is still very useful for me), my problem is the contradiction of having one show espousing financial responsibility and another listing off all kinds of frivolous shit you "must have." In fact, one of my biggest Oprah gripes is how all problems are solved by buying crap - I'll never forget one of her earth day episodes where she had something like "25 items you can buy to save the environment" WTF? Yes, what the environment needs is more mindless consumerism.

I'd like to think that Dr. Phil is one of Oprah's biggest regrets. That dude's show is a serious train wreck. I'm with you, polly on Rachel Ray. She's kinda grating and too spazzy for me to watch - prophecy guy and I joke that you can make any meal in 30 minutes if snort a few lines first - which is how she moves through the kitchen. It stresses me out. But, I love her proud CBC stance and that she frequently tell people to fuck off when they criticize her weight.
kittenb
QUOTE(culturehandy @ Jun 2 2009, 08:40 AM) *

My beef was her book club. When i worked in a bookstore, people who you know would never, ever read, ohh Faulkner or some other classic, would come in and it would shoot to the top of the best seller list. I see that it can be good in order to bring an author to the forefront, but when even literary critics or professors say a book is difficult to get through, Oprah, really don't be rambling on about how much the book changed your life.


This is an argument I have never understood. I am a big reader but I have no interest in reading Faulkner or Anna Karinina. If people are giving it a try because Oprah likes it, why do so many literary types get annoyed by it? I've read a lot of the books on Oprah's club list. Loved some, didn't like others. But I get tired of feeling like I need to apologize or "explain" why I am reading something w/her label on it. It doesn't make a person stupid just because she doesn't read "the classics." Nor does it make a person stupid to read books because Oprah recommended it. And I know that this site has a lot of Wally Lamb fans. Wasn't Oprah how he got his big promotional push? For that alone I thank her.

Sorry if I sounds defensive but I have had to have this argument way to many times.
culturehandy
Kitten, I did say in my quote that I can see it be a good in order to bring an author to the forefront.
kittenb
But why was it "your beef"? Just because of the retail aspect?
pollystyrene
QUOTE(prophecy_grrl @ Jun 2 2009, 09:06 AM) *
I'm with you, polly on Rachel Ray. She's kinda grating and too spazzy for me to watch - prophecy guy and I joke that you can make any meal in 30 minutes if snort a few lines first - which is how she moves through the kitchen. It stresses me out. But, I love her proud CBC stance and that she frequently tell people to fuck off when they criticize her weight.


And while you're off snorting those lines, have a PA chop all your veggies, trim all your meat, etc. rolleyes.gif
Divala
I don't mind Rachel Ray so much, except for "yum-o" and "EVOO." She's okay to watch while she's cooking, but she's an absolutely awful interviewer. Every time I've watched her interview on her show, I cringe for her. Can't she come up with better questions?

I like Oprah, but she's gone downhill in the past few years. Her interview with Elizabeth Edwards could've been better, and I find her sanctimonious with all this health/diet crap, as if we all have access to and can afford personal doctors, trainers, and chefs, and all we buy is organic food all the time. She didn't grow up rich, so I find it astounding that she's seemed to have forgotten that she used to be a poor schlep like the rest of us. And for fuck's sake, does she really need to be on EVERY cover of her magazine, even with Michelle Obama? Christ.

That's why I like Martha Stewart better. She's a bitch and everyone knows it, but it's okay because she doesn't pretend to be anything she's not. That's why she's fantastic.

I refuse to watch Dr. Phil. Why would you do that to yourself?
girltrouble
QUOTE
I refuse to watch Dr. Phil. Why would you do that to yourself?


*said in a dr. phil voice*
becuz, he's crazier than a turd burglar on a cattle ranch.


*ahem.* sorry. i love doing that.
culturehandy
Speaking of Dr. Phil. The link from dickipedia (thank you yo Ladyj!!)

raisingirl
Whoo hoo! Finally! Thanks for starting this, GT.
chachaheels
QUOTE
I actually like Suze Orman (her "young, fabulous, and broke" book is still very useful for me), my problem is the contradiction of having one show espousing financial responsibility and another listing off all kinds of frivolous shit you "must have." In fact, one of my biggest Oprah gripes is how all problems are solved by buying crap - I'll never forget one of her earth day episodes where she had something like "25 items you can buy to save the environment" WTF? Yes, what the environment needs is more mindless consumerism.


Mindless consumerism is what Oprah's all about. What she does is all about delivering a big audience to advertisers in all media: advertisers then hawk their clients' wares to a massive audience of subscribers/watchers/readers/website surfers they've been sold via Oprah. It's how she build her media empire--everything she does is about creating that large, waiting, easily influenced "market" made up of her audience and then selling it to her advertisers.

Her oversimplification of some truly vital issues (like the ones around our personal right to be free to choose our own medical treatment, even as children; or our right to have some economic democracy and power--which Suzy Ormond never addresses) is really done not to engender real discourse about these issues, but to create buzz, to sensationalize them so that more viewers will tune in to "watch" what are essentially soundbites of serious topics we all need to consider very carefully (but if we did, you can bet some very powerful industries would be in trouble--so they're never seriously discussed. And for Oprah's purposes, they don't have to be). The more viewers she can "sell", the more money she makes in each medium.

Each celebrity and all the publications/shows attached to those people are all just more of Oprah's product to sell to advertisers. Contrary to what someone said about Dr. Phil's show being her "regret", I beg to differ on that--Dr. Phil is Oprah's "in" to the market that watches Maury Povich or any of those shows were "guests" were called in to talk about their "baby-daddies" and throw chairs around. It's extremely successful as part of her empire. If she were truly ashamed of it, she'd stop publishing and promoting his books and shows and specials: also, his big weight loss thing taps into that mega billion dollar diet industry--and if you watch closely, all of Oprah's "products" will focus on tapping into that goldmine whenever they can. That's just good business. It's horrific in terms of the influence it has on people all over our society--but in terms of building media empires and being extremely wealthy and profitable, it's what should be done, absolutely.

The woman has a great big business to run, don't for one second believe she's interested in accomplishing anything else in the world. It's simple, everything else is just optics and sleight of hand so take it all with a grain of salt. In the end her empire's got to keep making a lot of money every way possible or it won't survive.
girltrouble
while i agree with you in large part, cha, i have to defend the O.

the things that she has done for the trans community have been astounding, and have made life for trans children, and trans people in general much better. yes, she has trannys on to hawk their books, but those books are picked up, read change the minds of many people who would be freaked out by the idea of a trans child, or spouse. if there is one counter to the dsm, and the sick psychiatric community who insist upon being the gatekeepers for a community that they loathe and are loathe to understand just to make a buck, it is the sort of exposure trans people have gotten on oprah's shows.

i cannot say the same for the queer (lgb) community however, with her pushing of the gay/straight binary, but i don't really worry about them generally, since they care very little about my community when the rubber hits the road. that said, i do agree with you. look at her tepid support of obama-- a candidate she "believes in." she did a little work, but when she started getting push back from right wing pundits and polling showed they didn't like her being political, she retreated. no, she likes her little empire, and doesn't want to risk losing it. i think it might be asking a bit much for her to look at things too closely, after all, she is the establishment.
candycane_girl
I just wanted to pipe in on the book club thing. I don't know if it's quite the same as what CH was saying but my issue with the book club is that, just like with a lot of products, people would go out and buy it simply because Oprah told them they should.

Even if I was a really big Oprah fan, I wouldn't read a book just because it had her book club sticker on it. What bothers me is that there are people out there who would. What about having your own taste in books? It's one thing to take notice of what she has listed on the book club, read the description of it and decide whether or not to read it. It's another to blindly go out and get the book just because Oprah wants you to.
culturehandy
I should clarify my book club thing, the only reason some people went out and bought the books is because Oprah says so. It is a double edged sword however, because she did bring some authors some incredible publicity. I suppose it's more an issue with the classics. People didn't read these books until Oprah said someone should.

Just as CCG said, some people wouldn't buy until it was endorsed by her or had her sticker on it.

sybarite
I guess my bottom line is the more people read good books, books which challenge them or make them think, the better. I don't live in the US so I don't know if all the books in Oprah's book club are thoughtful, intelligent reads, but if even some of them are it's better that more people read good books, no?

My problem with celebrity book clubs is that we live in a culture where the celebrity stamp on a book is enough for someone to go and buy it, rather than seek out new books on their own. But saying that, I would love more time to look for new books but currently don't have it--which is why I use the Reader thread here for recommendations.

The biggest problem with Oprah is perhaps that once she celebrates anything--a book, a dubious health product or plan, anything--it instantly becomes a commodity. In that sense her show is no more than a long infomercial, which is a crappy use of her considerable power IMO. But as GT says, when that power is used for good, good things can come of it.

girltrouble
i don't have a problem with the book clubs. it's how you learn what you like. i learned about film via film classes, which, if you strip everything away is just a movie club, where you are handed/shown a gaggle of movies that the teacher likes, and they tell you why you should like them. if you have a good teacher they tell you your tastes are valid, but a bit of education is a good thing. while that last part is often missing with oprah, very few people read too many books they dislike, and eventually they learn what their tastes are, and the book club will fall away. i think you have give people credit to not do things they dislike. but let people have their training wheels. sooner or later they will lose them.
missladyj
word cha cha!

it's funny that I agree with everything you said . The only time we watch her show is to listen to see if the music hubby sold her is played. Royalty checks are nice.
eyelet
Briefly going off-topic here. Great thread idea--plenty to work with.

QUOTE(culturehandy @ Jun 2 2009, 08:40 AM) *
here's the thing about vaccines and autism, how many of us did get the MMR vaccine and *didn't* get autism.

M


I'm not anti-vaccine but a lot of people don't realize that the MMR that coincided (coincidentally or not) with the rise in autism was a very different formula than what we were given as kids (as detailed in this article if you're interested).

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/02/olmsted...-shot.html#more


crazyoldcatlady
QUOTE
Even if I was a really big Oprah fan, I wouldn't read a book just because it had her book club sticker on it. What bothers me is that there are people out there who would. What about having your own taste in books? It's one thing to take notice of what she has listed on the book club, read the description of it and decide whether or not to read it. It's another to blindly go out and get the book just because Oprah wants you to
.

the thing that saddens me most about the book club is the untold numbers of oprah fans that bought the books but didn't read them.

eta:

vaccines and autism literature review

additional studies:

A November 2002 study by CDC and the Danish Medical Research Council that followed more than 500,000 children over 7 years and found no association between MMR vaccination and autism. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

An April 2006 study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of NIH and the CDC assessed data from 351 children with autism spectrum disorders and 31 typically-developing children. The study did not find a link between MMR vaccination and autism. The results were pubished in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
roseviolet
I don't have a problem with the book club, either. Frankly, the people who poo-poo it sound elitist to me. I have never read a book just because Oprah put it on her book club, but I've become more interested in a few titles because I heard about the books or saw an interview with the author on Oprah's show. There are a number of books that I've read because I heard about them here on Bust or from other areas & then that book later became a part of Oprah's book club. So am I somehow a better person just because I heard about the book from a different source? If I'd heard about the book from Oprah instead, would that suddenly invalidate the impact the book had on me?

As for "mindless consumerism", can't you say that about everything on television? Even shows on PBS have some product placement involved. But just because some guy on The Victory Garden gushes about some new variety of plant, that doesn't mean I have to buy it, just like I don't have to buy any products that appear on Oprah. The consumer must be responsible for her own actions.

And yes, there is going to be some simplification of the issues. That is because the show is only an hour long (probably closer to 40 minutes once you remove the commercial breaks). I don't know of any important topic that can be covered fully is such a short period of time.

All of that being said, I can understand some the criticism of the episodes involving controversial medical practices. Personally, I usually don't watch those episodes, but when I have they were not as balanced as I would like. It's one thing to be biased or soft when you're interviewing a movie star who is promoting a new movie. It's another thing when you present a controversial medical treatment & only give the other side 2 minutes to defend their opposing view. That's just dangerous. And that's why I usually don't watch those episodes.

I, for one, think that Oprah is trying to accomplish something good in the world. You may not like the way she's doing it, but I think that at least some of her actions are motivated by a desire to do good.
Persiflager
*delurks*

cocl, didn't one of the follow-up studies also analyse the errors in the original study that led it to falsely conclude that there was a significant correlation?

*relurks, 'cos I don't watch Oprah*
chachaheels
QUOTE
All of that being said, I can understand some the criticism of the episodes involving controversial medical practices. Personally, I usually don't watch those episodes, but when I have they were not as balanced as I would like. It's one thing to be biased or soft when you're interviewing a movie star who is promoting a new movie. It's another thing when you present a controversial medical treatment & only give the other side 2 minutes to defend their opposing view. That's just dangerous. And that's why I usually don't watch those episodes.


Precisely.

Oprah gets a lot of ad money from Pharmaceutical corporations. You'll never see a real debate on any health care issue on any of her shows. It would be great if she could be a resource--or a link to resources--that would help people get access to the scads of studies and articles on each side of every one of those debates (hell, Phil Donahue used to do just that, and his talk show was the model Oprah likes to quote as the blueprint for her own...). But that is not what she's about. If you're old enough to remember the Phil Donahue show and exactly how different it was in nature to what Oprah's become, you'd know what I'm talking about.


cocl: there are millions of valid and thorough studies on both sides of that whole issue--you're citing a headline from one that is con on the issue (and we should all be asking who paid for the study, who conducted it, what were the conditions and variables, let's see more than the abstract of the study but also the complete methodology, summary article and findings...etc. etc. etc.) My point isn't one against you--it's that media have made us so used to being complacent just by naming a study with a fancy university behind it. We have to be prepared to dig deeper to find out what was really studied and how, and who paid for the study--what results did they want to get.

As for the book club: she bought a publishing empire, people, in a country where practically NO ONE READS. She has to make it profitable somehow--the book club idea is ingenious for that. In my mind, there's nothing wrong with promoting good writing, and reading.

What she did to "discredit" James Frey, however, when it was "discovered" that he wrote a confessional narrative in which he (shock! horror! literary tradition!) embellished with not-quite-fact in his book was utter, complete bullshit showmanship. But, hey, she was trying to keep a best selling book on the best seller list and she had to do something spectacular and sensationalist to accomplish that. Mission accomplished--and, true to her word I'm sure, she let Frey publish another book with her firm (though if she'd really been as shocked and betrayed as she wanted us to believe she was, he'd have been finished as a writer anywhere).
girltrouble
um, cha? i lurve you. wub.gif
pollystyrene
An article from Jezebel about Oprah's response to the recent criticisms.
crazyoldcatlady
QUOTE
cocl: there are millions of valid and thorough studies on both sides of that whole issue--you're citing a headline from one that is con on the issue (and we should all be asking who paid for the study, who conducted it, what were the conditions and variables, let's see more than the abstract of the study but also the complete methodology, summary article and findings...etc. etc. etc.) My point isn't one against you--it's that media have made us so used to being complacent just by naming a study with a fancy university behind it. We have to be prepared to dig deeper to find out what was really studied and how, and who paid for the study--what results did they want to get.


that's exactly what i ask of the opposition; name your funders, name you unbiased medical professionals involved in the research, construct an optimal study, reveal your data, and correctly interpret that data. i can find many solid studies debunking the link that also fulfill these criteria (the "headline" i cited was obtained via the CDC, not joe-schmoe blog or vaccinesareconspiracy.com, with multiple academic institutions behind the reasarch).

and, like you suggest, and like phil donahue supposedly did, it would be great to have two equally legitimate conflicting studies go head to head, but i have yet to find a convincing and appropriate study that argues the link between autism and vaccines effectively and correctly. i'm throwing it out there; someone get me a good study. these aren't fighting words, i really would like to see one.

i'm also going to avoid dragging this out in this thread, since there are so many other oprah-related things to choose from. i'll start: gayle. discuss.
thirtiesgirl
I just thought I'd throw another opinion about Oprah in the mix. It doesn't come from me, although I support it whole-heartedly, and doesn't have any relation to the current discussion, but I think it's an interesting and valid opinion nonetheless. Worth a read.
chachaheels
QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Jun 4 2009, 05:14 PM) *
that's exactly what i ask of the opposition; name your funders, name you unbiased medical professionals involved in the research, construct an optimal study, reveal your data, and correctly interpret that data. i can find many solid studies debunking the link that also fulfill these criteria (the "headline" i cited was obtained via the CDC, not joe-schmoe blog or vaccinesareconspiracy.com, with multiple academic institutions behind the reasarch).


In total agreement here, though I'm on the opposite side of this issue from you. Sorry, I just see it all the time: so many kids completely healthy before vaccines; after vaccines, autism, or severe asthma, or infections that never heal from the site of the vaccine (which predispose the body to other infection). If I choose a remedy for them that is known for treating ailments resulting from vaccination as well as for everything else that is relevant in the child's case, we can make a hell of a lot of progress, even in supposedly "incurable" ailments like Autism. That being said, the only time I ever advise parents not to vaccinate is when a clear correlation can be made between deteriorating health and vaccination as the etiology of the disease. In every other case, I give information on resources available. Journals that can be accessible (many of them are decidedly unavailable to the public--and many should be discredited, lets face it) as well as sources of information about the vaccines themselves, parents' groups, etc. etc. People have to make their own decisions about this issue, but they need good information to do this. They need to learn about the debate before entering it.

And good science, as I say, supports both sides. However, I did say (and I will always say) that the media has always played this issue short, and one sided: big Pharma has a hell of a lot to lose here, and media is protecting their interests (because their interests are always shared). Oprah is not the reason for this, but she does do a great job of making sure the debate never gets underway.

QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Jun 4 2009, 05:14 PM) *
and, like you suggest, and like phil donahue supposedly did,


No, Phil never really did this--he knew he had limited time and the debate wouldn't really go far, he only had an hour to spend on air, too. However, he did provide a lot of information on resources so that YOU could go out and make up your own mind when researching it, whatever it was.

QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Jun 4 2009, 05:14 PM) *
i'm also going to avoid dragging this out in this thread, since there are so many other oprah-related things to choose from. i'll start: gayle. discuss.



Hee hee. I love you COCL. I'll start the response: Gayle is one lucky bitch, and proof of "it's all about who you know" as a law of nature.
pollystyrene
I don't watch the show regularly enough to form a fair opinion of Gayle, but from the recent episode with Dr. Laura Berman, about talking to your kids about sex, I don't think very highly of her. When Dr. Berman suggested that parent's buy or enable their daughters to buy vibrators, "Gayle and some of the moms in the audience were totally freaked out by this. Gayle said it was "too much information," but the whole point of the show was that kids are learning about sex in other places anyway, so parents should take the wheel and edify their spawn themselves to ensure they are getting accurate information."

I mean, even Oprah admonished her for her reaction.
chachaheels
I wouldn't have bothered admonishing her for that.

I'd have just made a mental note: Guess we hit a nerve with that topic, where Gayle's concerned. Wonder why.
(and I'm sure many watching the show made this mental note).
raisingirl
Did anyone catch the Suze Orman rerun today? GIRLFRIEND!
thirteen
Lord Acton wisely and famously said that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Now, I am not sure how corrupt Oprah is (although having one's own magazine is a very powerful thing), but I do know that she annoys the crap out of me!
Her egocentrism also is glaringly obvious. Can you imagine having your own publication and choosing to appear on the cover every single freaking month?
roseviolet
Actually, I think it makes perfect sense that they put Oprah on the cover every month. Oprah is the product that is being sold by her corporation. People buy the magazine because it is the Oprah magazine. The articles on the inside are probably very similar to what you'll find in every other suburban-mom-focused magazine out there, so they have to focus on the one selling point that will attract people and make this particular magazine stand out. Oprah is the biggest asset of the Oprah empire, so of course they're going to take full advantage of that. It's just smart marketing. Besides, if you don't like Oprah, you're not going to buy her magazine whether she appears on the cover or not. The marketing department isn't worried about that demographic. They're focused on getting the attention of the millions and millions of people out there who already like Oprah.
raisingirl
Yup, it is all about the branding. (BTW, Didn't Rosie O'Donnell do that with her magazine, too? She may not have been on it every month, but most months she was on her own cover.)
thirteen
QUOTE(roseviolet @ Jun 12 2009, 06:07 AM) *
Actually, I think it makes perfect sense that they put Oprah on the cover every month. Oprah is the product that is being sold by her corporation. People buy the magazine because it is the Oprah magazine. The articles on the inside are probably very similar to what you'll find in every other suburban-mom-focused magazine out there, so they have to focus on the one selling point that will attract people and make this particular magazine stand out. Oprah is the biggest asset of the Oprah empire, so of course they're going to take full advantage of that. It's just smart marketing. Besides, if you don't like Oprah, you're not going to buy her magazine whether she appears on the cover or not. The marketing department isn't worried about that demographic. They're focused on getting the attention of the millions and millions of people out there who already like Oprah.


roseviolet, I completely agree-- what I was trying to say (and not very well, obviously!) is... the whole idea that someone can get her own magazine and have that kind of power in the first place is ridiculous-- mostly because she is not very original and also quite mean. Really that is my main complaint. One time I saw Oprah's show (years ago, whilst I was a teenager) and she was just being vicious to a young girl who was on the programme. Horrid. Cannot remember exactly why, now, but it was uncalled-for. Some kind of "tough love" shit, I think, because the girl was overweight.

Strangely, I actually bought a copy of Oprah's magazine once-- out of sheer curiosity-- and it was pretty much a load of rubbish. Trees died for that crap to be published so that Oprah can become even more wealthy.

I also believe that even though the magazine is clearly designed for Oprah's loyal followers, featuring someone else on the cover (maybe someone that Oprah finds inspirational) would be a good idea.
roseviolet
Raisin, I had completely forgotten about the Rosie magazine. I wonder if it came out before or after Oprah's magazine was launched.

Did you all know that Oprah also had a home decorating magazine? "Had" being the operative word here; it hasn't been published since last year I think. I didn't buy the magazine so I'm not sure about this, but I don't think she appeared on the cover. Maybe that's why it failed! wink.gif
kittenb
QUOTE
One time I saw Oprah's show (years ago, whilst I was a teenager) and she was just being vicious to a young girl who was on the programme. Horrid. Cannot remember exactly why, now, but it was uncalled-for. Some kind of "tough love" shit, I think, because the girl was overweight.


Yes, she can be mean. Everytime I watch an episode that I enjoy, I remember this episode that made me so upset I didn't watch her for over a year. She had a young woman on who had been kidnapped and held by this man for a year and a half. He used her as a sex slave. When he was done with her, he drove her to her home and told her if she ever said anything, he would come back and kill her. She was a teenager when all of this happened and he had made her write letters to her family saying that she had run away. The girl & her mom decided not to tell anyone.
Well, the man kidnapped another woman and held her for several months. Oprah asked the 1st girl (who was still clearly traumatized by her experience) whether or not she (the vic) realized that if she had gone to the cops, the other woman would not have been taken. Total victim blaming BS!

I used to work with a sexual assault counselor who would not let her clients watch Oprah while they were working together. She said that they had enough work to do w/o trying to undo Oprah. I think that sometimes Oprah gets so caught up in her own unresolved victim issues that her anger spills out on other victims.
pollystyrene
There was that episode a few years ago about people with hoarding problems where Oprah just humiliated some poor guest whose house was a mess- she'd gotten divorced, lost her job, etc. in a short span of time and just fell into a deep depression and let it all go (she probably had some hoarding tendencies before all of that happened, too.) Oprah just ripped into her right on the show. I remember hearing that a lot of people wrote angry letters, saying that Oprah crossed the line. I think Oprah did apologize publicly for it.
stargazer
QUOTE(kittenb @ Jun 15 2009, 07:17 AM) *
I think that sometimes Oprah gets so caught up in her own unresolved victim issues that her anger spills out on other victims.


I totally agree.

I was watching my nieces last Friday and my friend has no cable (a crime I know). I came across Suze Orman's Women & Money on PBS. I will say that I was extremely impressed with the part of the show I did see. It was titled "Say Your Name." Don't start singing Destiny Child now. She mentioned that when women are asked their name. They will follow up the question with "You mean my married, my maiden name, or my divorced name." She mentioned that men do not have this dilemma. They know who they are. I may be missing pieces here and there. But, she went on to say that as women we really struggle with taking credit for our work and our worth which I think is so true. I think, even with feminism, women look down on ambition, competition, and success. Those are things men want, not women. It really annoys me. I think that type of thinking contributes to the whole dichotomy of the madonna/whore complex. I think I should stop my rant now. I just wanted to mention Orman's show. I might have to check out this show sometime in the future so I can have an opinion about the show.
roseviolet
QUOTE(kittenb @ Jun 15 2009, 08:17 AM) *
I think that sometimes Oprah gets so caught up in her own unresolved victim issues that her anger spills out on other victims.


I've definitely seen that, too. Even when she doesn't say anything, sometimes you can see her struggling with her own issues in her eyes. Like if she's doing a show about weight loss & they bring out people who've lost 150 pounds and now they're wearing tiny little clothes. Oprah's enthusiasm always seems tempered. You can tell the show is making her feel worse about her own body.

Stargazer, I watched that Suze Orman show on PBS, too. At first I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder ("Why is she doing a show just for women? What the hell?!") but as I started to watch it, she said some really smart things. I liked her 8 qualities of a wealthy woman. Lately I've been thinking a lot about what she says about courage. She said that action makes fear go away - not just thoughts and hopes. Fear tends to paralyze us or makes us run away, but she said, "Don't turn your back on the battlefield!" Do something that gets you closer to that goal. Fight for it. Easier said than done, of course, but it really resonated with me.


ETA: I found a website that gives a basic run-down of Suze's 8 qualities of a wealthy woman. It isn't as good as hearing her explain it herself, but it's still interesting.
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