Oprah: what did I miss?

Printable View

  • 05-27-2011, 03:44 AM
    Feanor
    Oprah: what did I miss?
    Oprah Winfrey: what did I miss?

    I've caught an awful lot of coverage about Oprah Winfrey's last show, yesterday. What was this Oprah phenomenon?

    I gather it went on for 25 years; pretty spectacular on the face of it. However in all that time I've never seen a whole Winfrey episode. In fact I've only ever seen short experpts on CNN, etc., and I doubt that they have conveyed a complete impression.

    Does anybody have any comments? What was the source and nature of her success and popularity?
  • 05-27-2011, 04:39 AM
    JohnMichael
    I think her popularity was from giving a voice to the voiceless. She would cover issues others would not. She always treated guests on her show with respect. She never let it become a freakshow.

    If something negative was going on in your life there was probably an Oprah show that dealt with it along with ways to turn things around for yourself. I am sure Oprah helped many in abusive relationships by her gentle reminders that we matter and do not deserve it.

    Her 3 shows with Tyler Perry where he revealed his childhood and early sexual abuse was profound. Even she was surprised how many male victims there are. She gave 200 men the ability to voice their pain and anger. I am sure this was a help to their friends and family.

    I guess if you have had a fairly ideal life you may not have needed Oprah. My life is better because of her.
  • 05-27-2011, 05:20 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    That's a great summary John.

    I have mixed feelings about Oprah. I find her stage presence a bit annoying. And I have a hard time reconciling her ego with her ability to empathize.

    I agree that she has helped a lot of people. She has personally donated millions to charity and has raised even more through her Angel Network. Her "Oprah's books" series got a lot of people reading, who wouldn't have otherwise read. And she has opened up and talked about a lot of topics that other talk shows wouldn't dare discuss.

    Yet, while she helps so many people, I feel like she still has a tendancy at times to make other people's struggles all about her.

    I don't watch her show a lot, but I did record her last show on Tuesday. I started to watch it last night, but I couldn't do it in one sitting. It was an hour of Oprah just standing and talking about the things that she's learned over the last 25 years. I watched about 20 minutes and then turned it off to be continued at another time. While part of me finds her positive attitude motivational and I'm inspired to try to be a better person by some of the things that she says, another part of me feels like she has her head so far up her ass that she couldn't possibly understand the trials and tribulations of real people.
  • 05-27-2011, 05:21 AM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    ...
    I guess if you have had a fairly ideal life you may not have needed Oprah. My life is better because of her.

    Hah! Good one.

    My life hasn't been "bad" in the sense that I've had only one or two significant lows. On the other had I've had a really serious lack of highs.

    I've never had much benefit from the "self-help" promoters in any case.
  • 05-27-2011, 08:19 AM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Hah! Good one.

    My life hasn't been "bad" in the sense that I've had only one or two significant lows. On the other had I've had a really serious lack of highs.

    I've never had much benefit from the "self-help" promoters in any case.



    In regards to the subjects she covered. I reached a point in life where I decided it was up to me to be happy because Oprah told me. She was right and now I am happy. I went from hating to leave my apartment to boarding a jet all by myself to explore Paris. I even screwed up my courage to travel to Chicago and meet some AR members and spouses. Yes life is good.
  • 05-27-2011, 12:14 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    In regards to the subjects she covered. I reached a point in life where I decided it was up to me to be happy because Oprah told me. She was right and now I am happy. I went from hating to leave my apartment to boarding a jet all by myself to explore Paris.

    That's awesome John! I never realized that she had such power over people. I may need to re-evalute my opinion of her.

    Quote:

    I even screwed up my courage to travel to Chicago and meet some AR members and spouses.
    Sorry that one didn't work out as well for you. ;)
  • 05-27-2011, 04:46 PM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    In regards to the subjects she covered. I reached a point in life where I decided it was up to me to be happy because Oprah told me. She was right and now I am happy. I went from hating to leave my apartment to boarding a jet all by myself to explore Paris. I even screwed up my courage to travel to Chicago and meet some AR members and spouses. Yes life is good.

    Power to ya, JM. :cornut:
  • 05-27-2011, 05:02 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post

    Sorry that one didn't work out as well for you. ;)



    You know I had a great time. Did me good to travel and expand my world. So ready to do it again.:ihih:
  • 05-30-2011, 09:23 AM
    bobsticks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Does anybody have any comments? What was the source and nature of her success and popularity?

    There's a very fine line between celebrating people searching for and finding solutions and wallowing in victimology. Oprah, though not entirely successfully, walked the tightrope.
  • 05-31-2011, 01:03 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    There's a very fine line between celebrating people searching for and finding solutions and wallowing in victimology. Oprah, though not entirely successfully, walked the tightrope.

    I totally agree Sticks. She has walked the tightrope quite well.

    FA, It would be a mistake in this case to think Oprah has an ego. What she has is confidence, not a big ego. I have a cousin that has been a producer for her for over a decade, and she says that O is quite grounded, but a very confident person who is comfortable in her skin.
  • 05-31-2011, 01:57 PM
    bobsticks
    um...T...
    ...we may not exactly agree on this. I didn't say or mean anything remotely close to "quite well".



    nar·cis·sism
       [nahr-suh-siz-em]

    –noun
    1.
    inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.

    2.
    Psychoanalysis . erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
    3.
    ego-centrism , self-centeredness
    4.
    Having a magazine or periodical named after oneself and featuring one's image on the cover every month.
  • 05-31-2011, 03:03 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    Having never met Ms. O in person I can't say for sure whether she has a big ego or not, but I'm going to stay with my original opinion and side with Sticks on this one. It is only my perception, 'tis true, but ego is how it appears to me.

    Here's just one example that stuck with me of why I feel this way...

    A few years ago I was following Oprah's weight issues. I had her show on and she said that at the end of the show she was going to reveal a recipe that she made up. Yep, a recipe of her very own making. Even her personal chef was impressed at her creativity. So, I stayed the course for the full show waiting to hear about this revolutionary recipe that Oprah created that was going to change my life and help me shed pounds. Really, that's how she was pushing it. The moment of the big reveal came and this recipe of all recipes was....



    Fresh berries with non-fat yogurt and low-fat granola.

    Seriously? I'd been eating that for years and apparently it hadn't even been invented yet!
  • 06-01-2011, 07:34 AM
    Worf101
    Welp...
    Like F.A. I'm of two minds on Ms. Winfrey. I give Oprah a LOT of credit, she's a self made woman who has turned herself into one of the most powerful women in history! Think I'm kiddin'? No one had heard of Barrack Obama until she brought him on the show and pumped him up. Trust me, she had as much to do with his election as anyone. She's the only person since Johnny Carson who can make or break you with a nod or a smile.

    She's powerful and has done much good with her power. However, for a long time she annoyed the hell out of me. He constant meddling in relationships when she doesn't have one. Her disscussion about kids when she hasn't raised one. The "oh woe is me" ism of America where we're all screwed up because our parents played with our pee pee's when we were 2. I'm not belittling child abuse by any means, I'm a child of a binge drinker who went from happy to sad , to angry drunk in 2 minutes flat. BUT I got over it my twin sister never got passed the "oh woe is me let me go on Oprah stage". Everyone's to blame for her failures but here. I hate that attitude.

    Still Oprah was and is who she is. Love her or hate her, she made her mark.

    Worf
  • 06-01-2011, 10:35 AM
    bobsticks
    Great post Worfster...now that I absolutely agree with.

    That Oprah has done an immense amount of good in this world is indisputable...it can, however, be offputting that she does it in a manner that allows it to be viewed by every available person on the planet. Would she do the right thing if the camera's were off and no one was looking? I have my doubts.

    The social impact of the Oprah Show? It's no better or worse than any other sitcom in the Manchild/Hot Wife genre, whatever that's worth.
  • 06-01-2011, 10:52 AM
    Hyfi
    I agree that she has done a lot of good for many people and shared her wealth. However, I did not like her as a Talk Show Host. It may sound racist, but it's not...but she acted very differently depending on who she interviewed. I find that phony or not genuine.

    Whenever she interviewed white guests, she would act very white. Whenever she interviewed black (or african american) guests, she put on a whole different act as if she was "in da hood."

    Having this discussion with others, they would claim that in order to get a good interview, one has to know and interact with their guest in a certain way...I say BULL. You never saw Johnny talking ebonics, you never saw Lenno or Letterman jive talking or strutting about. They all acted exactly the same no matter who they interviewed.
  • 06-01-2011, 11:51 AM
    bobsticks
    Actually, that sounds pretty damn racist...















    ....to Naomi Campbell.
  • 06-01-2011, 12:13 PM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    Actually, that sounds pretty damn racist...

    Purely my personal observation of her behavior and if it draws heat, so what...it's accurate.















    ....to Naomi Campbell.


    Purely my personal observation of her behavior and if it draws heat, so what...it's accurate.
  • 06-01-2011, 12:16 PM
    bobsticks
    Umm...B...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_868909.html


    (I meant that it wouldn't sound racist to anyone that wasn't already looking to make any criticism of the subject a race based debate in the first place)
  • 06-01-2011, 12:46 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    I agree that she has done a lot of good for many people and shared her wealth. However, I did not like her as a Talk Show Host. It may sound racist, but it's not...but she acted very differently depending on who she interviewed. I find that phony or not genuine.

    Whenever she interviewed white guests, she would act very white. Whenever she interviewed black (or african american) guests, she put on a whole different act as if she was "in da hood."

    Having this discussion with others, they would claim that in order to get a good interview, one has to know and interact with their guest in a certain way...I say BULL. You never saw Johnny talking ebonics, you never saw Lenno or Letterman jive talking or strutting about. They all acted exactly the same no matter who they interviewed.

    So what you are advocating by this response is that all interviewers should act like Lenno, Letterman or Carson....all white men. You know better than this man. Everyone has their own style of interviewing. Winfrey has hers, Carson had his, Lenno has his, and Letterman has his. If all of these people interviewed the same, talk television would suck dog balls. Plus, I don't see you complaining about Ellen DeGeneres trying to dance like a black people, or using hip hop or rap on her show.

    You have just degraded yourself with this response, and I know you are better than this. Remove that monochrome filter of yours and learn to accept the "uniqueness" of each individual talk show host approach to interviewing guests.
  • 06-01-2011, 12:47 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    Purely my personal observation of her behavior and if it draws heat, so what...it's accurate.

    Its accurate IN YOUR MIND, not in mind, or perhaps anyone else's. I would not want the heat for advancing this kind of biased perspective.
  • 06-01-2011, 01:25 PM
    bobsticks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    So what you are advocating by this response is that all interviewers should act like Lenno, Letterman or Carson....all white men. You know better than this man. Everyone has their own style of interviewing. Winfrey has hers, Carson had his, Lenno has his, and Letterman has his. If all of these people interviewed the same, talk television would suck dog balls. Plus, I don't see you complaining about Ellen DeGeneres trying to dance like a black people, or using hip hop or rap on her show...

    I am not speaking for Hyfi.

    It would be possible to also infer from his statement that the other hosts maintained a consistency with their approach to their guests no matter the guest's ethnicity or background. That the approach utilized particulars of etiquette and speech patterns common to white America would be authentic because they were, in fact, white Americans.

    For me this isn't an issue because I know several African American folks that follow this behavior and I generally accept it as their way of trying to utilize the most effective communication forms. It can, however, come off as disingenuous.

    FWIW, I would be the first person in line to criticize Ellen for that and a great many other things. That she has been given the title of heir apparent is beyond lamentable.

    Again, just my perspective...not sprechen for anyone else.
  • 06-01-2011, 02:14 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    I am not speaking for Hyfi.

    It would be possible to also infer from his statement that the other hosts maintained a consistency with their approach to their guests no matter the guest's ethnicity or background. That the approach utilized particulars of etiquette and speech patterns common to white America would be authentic because they were, in fact, white Americans.

    For me this isn't an issue because I know several African American folks that follow this behavior and I generally accept it as their way of trying to utilize the most effective communication forms. It can, however, come off as disingenuous.

    FWIW, I would be the first person in line to criticize Ellen for that and a great many other things. That she has been given the title of heir apparent is beyond lamentable.

    Again, just my perspective...not sprechen for anyone else.

    Sticks, doesn't Ms. Winfrey have the right to develop whatever approach to interviewing she wants? Keep in mind, her approach crosses racial lines, hence why her audience demographics(and studio audience for that matter) is so diversified. Her style appeals to a wide variety of women, who quite frankly don't care how disingenuous her approach appears to folks that do not like or follow her. Her approach works for her audience, Letterman's his, Leno his, and Ellen hers. This is television, and appeal is the holy grail of television success, whether we like it or not.

    Here is the reality, if you like Oprah, how she does what she does matters not to you. If you don't like her, you can easily pick her apart like a vulture picks apart their prey. I follow the premise that does not allow me to speak evil of the good somebody does, and she has done ton's of good. I happen to like her, so her perceived ego, arrogance, disingenuous, fake or whatever flaws anyone can come up with mean nothing to me. Is she flawed, yep we all are, just in different ways. The good she does IMO far overshadows whatever personal criticisms one can have of her. All of my life I have been accused of talking like a "white" person. Since when is proper English a white thing? I always thought it was the right thing, but maybe I am wrong as two left shoes on a person with one right leg.

    This is just my opinion....I am sure some will dismiss it, and that is their right.
  • 06-01-2011, 03:36 PM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post

    This is just my opinion....I am sure some will dismiss it, and that is their right.

    That is exactly how I felt as I wrote it.

    Nobody is complaining about your bff, the post asked what he missed. I agreed with some, disagreed with others, added my own, but didn't attack anyone for their opinion.

    And by your own defense of her, you admitted that my OBSERVATION was correct. Why do you think I prefaced my observation/opinion with the fact that I KNEW it would sound racist.

    I also started the comments off by saying how much good she has done.

    Sorry I ruffled your feathers dude.
  • 06-01-2011, 04:13 PM
    bobsticks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Sticks, doesn't Ms. Winfrey have the right to develop whatever approach to interviewing she wants?

    She has the right to use any approach she wants. That doesn't always make it accurate, socially productive, or even correct no matter how much she may purport it as such. Ultimately, my issues with the O lie far more in substance over style.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by T
    Keep in mind, her approach crosses racial lines, hence why her audience demographics(and studio audience for that matter) is so diversified. Her style appeals to a wide variety of women, who quite frankly don't care how disingenuous her approach appears to folks that do not like or follow her.

    Indeed. Some of them do have rather simple world views.

    Quote:

    Her approach works for her audience, Letterman's his, Leno his, and Ellen hers. This is television, and appeal is the holy grail of television success, whether we like it or not.
    I think that's probably arguing aplles and oranges but I don't have a dog in that fight.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by T
    Here is the reality, if you like Oprah, how she does what she does matters not to you.

    It's sad that if one is "liked" one is automatically assumed to be an authority, accurate, or free of agenda.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by T
    If you don't like her, you can easily pick her apart like a vulture picks apart their prey. I follow the premise that does not allow me to speak evil of the good somebody does, and she has done ton's of good. I happen to like her, so her perceived ego, arrogance, disingenuous, fake or whatever flaws anyone can come up with mean nothing to me. Is she flawed, yep we all are, just in different ways.

    True, and from a personality perspective I give her a pass other than to note--as I did once and still contend is accurate--that she has some narcissitic tendencies. Hell, so do I but I'm not a media mogul.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by T
    The good she does IMO far overshadows whatever personal criticisms one can have of her.

    Absolutely.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by T
    All of my life I have been accused of talking like a "white" person. Since when is proper English a white thing? I always thought it was the right thing, but maybe I am wrong as two left shoes on a person with one right leg.

    That was exactly my point with my companions and given that no public forum was being serviced the disingenuity was elevated.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by T
    This is just my opinion....I am sure some will dismiss it, and that is their right.

    Nah, I follow and agree with the bullet points. Again my problems arise with content. Frankly, I'm surprised that you of all people aren't more sensitive to the long term implications of the Oprah-effect.
  • 06-01-2011, 04:20 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    However, I did not like her as a Talk Show Host. It may sound racist, but it's not...but she acted very differently depending on who she interviewed. I find that phony or not genuine.

    Whenever she interviewed white guests, she would act very white. Whenever she interviewed black (or african american) guests, she put on a whole different act as if she was "in da hood."



    I am not the same around all people. At work I am quiet and guarded with what I say. When I am in a room of straight people I do not flame. When I am at a party with people who know me well I might say something outrageous. I think we all adjust our behaviors to some extent. Would you act the same way at a strip club as you would at a church.