Monday, January 30, 2006

Oprah: a Master Class in Cowardice

Newsweek is just one of the kajillions of media outlets writing about Oprah's genius, her virtue, her goodness and wonder. All of this in the wake of her hour-long Benihana-ing of James Frey.

"It was a master class in bravery," her close friend Diane Sawyer told Newsweek. "She reminded everyone of the ... power of telling the truth."

Put aside for the moment that if not for Oprah, I would never have heard the words "James Frey" in my life, and I wish I'd still never heard them.

Here's another quote from the article:

In its 20 years on the air, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has operated with a simple credo: to thine own self be true. The formula has made Oprah her billions. ("I think the show's been successful," she told Newsweek last fall, "because I'm always aiming for the truth.")

But let's even put aside for the moment that her entire career is actually built on lies: she's the one who invented toxic trash TV, yet she positions herself as the one who "cleaned it up." (She's also the one who invented touchy-feely TV, but then she was the one who invented "straight talk" TV.)

She's like the huckster who comes to town selling a snake oil that causes smallpox, then comes around the following week with a snake oil to cure it.

But Oprah pulls the same scam over and over, and has been doing so for twenty years.

But let's put all that aside and focus only on the hour itself. The "Master Class."

Any other talk show host would have apologized at the top of the show and then moved on. That's not bravery. That's not integrity. That's what you're SUPPOSED to do when you make a mistake. You admit it, you apologize, you move on.

But what Oprah did for the next 57 minutes was to turn and point at Frey and Talese and the publishing industry and scream in a loud, shrill voice, "It wasn't my fault! They lied to me! They lied to all of us!!! They're nothing but dirty birds!! Don't blame me! Blame THEM!!"

No matter what you think of Frey, that was the most cowardly act I've seen on television in a very long time.

The Wrath of Oprah - Newsweek National News -


Boski93 said...

Great job Oprah lets's get after those who mean to do us the most harm. Authors who lie about their books and those who sell don't sell you handbags.

Along with your muckraking skills, your unlifting pieces about your generosity and the constant train of celebs shameless telling you how great you are. I just don't know why you are not on Mt. Rushmore. Only you Oprah, can solve all that ails the world and make everything sunshine and unicorns.

Oprah you are a douche bag, plain and simple.

P.S. How dare you tounge lash anyone after you gave us Dr. Phil.

P.P.S. Please forgive any spelling or grammar errors. I am not a smart person, but smart enough to know that this blog is great.

Michael Markowitz said...

Thanks, bosk, you are clearly VERY smart indeed!