This is not a political rant, but it is my thoughts on Oprah and her shenanigans.
Years ago when Toby worked for Allied Waste, we attended a convention in Chicago. One of the other wives at the convention asked me to go to the Oprah show with her. I explained that I did not watch Oprah very often, but the Waste Wife was insistent that I go with her - it would be a lark. You know me, I am game for new experiences and site-seeing. Once at the Oprah studio, the line of ladies were ushered into a large waiting room filled with TV monitors showing different past episodes of the Oprah show. The ladies in the room were oohing and ahhing over the shows exclaiming and squealing when one of their favorite Oprah episodes was shown. My first thought was, “Wow, this is like a cult.” These ladies were over the top on hero worship. You had to wonder if that sort of worship was harmless or not. On most issues, I would think Oprah is pretty harmless, but as she has gained popularity, she has become more and more of a leader - even a spiritual leader and I think that sort of worship is out of line.
In 1996, Oprah was sued by the Texas Beef Council when a show she produced made misleading remarks concerning beef. The price of beef made an immediate nose dive after the show aired. The cattlemen claimed that Oprah’s remarks and misleading information influenced people and cattle prices dropped. Oprah acted as if her show and info and words were nothing - that her show just put out info and she had no influence on how that info or her remarks were taken by the public. The judge sided with Oprah, but the question remains: does Oprah have a huge influence on what people think and do in America? The obvious answer is yes, she has a huge following and yes, she tries to influence people. That is exactly what her show is about - getting people to change - usually for the better, but are Oprah’s views always better? Each one of her shows is geared to changing folks - helping them lose weight, helping them dress better, encouraging them to give more, encouraging them to read certain books, etc. How can she say she has no influence over people. Then she gives away huge, expensive gifts and throws lavish parties - do you think that influences anyone? Well yeah! That is what she is all about!
These are thought I have had concerning Oprah for over ten years. But what really bothers me, is her spirituality and her talk of a “higher being”. Because she is a “good person” and so “helpful” to society, people follow her as if she were an evangelical preacher. She is a religion (did I just cross the line into a full blown rant?).
Okay, so now she has thrown her hat and money into the ring to support Obama. What is up with that? Why not Hillary? She asked people to “follow the dream” - what is up with that? Are we to vote for Obama because he is such a wise man and has a great record or because he is black? She even mentioned "amazing grace" that she was doing this. I really feel like Oprah stepped over the line this time. It always irritates me when some movie star starts talking politics and throwing around his/her money, but I figure they have a right to do so. If Oprah can throw a big shindig for Obama, why can’t the Southern Baptist or the Episcopal Churches or whatever support a candidate? Okay I’m ranting again. I know that Oprah pays taxes and churches don’t.
Bottom line, Oprah may seem like just a nice, rich lady, but I think she is dangerous. If that needs more explanation, just ask. I will answer. Watch Oprah if you want, but be wise.