It's no secret that I loathe Oprah. When I read this article in Newsweek I was thinking, "Yes! Finally!" This article specifically focuses on the outlandish health claims Oprah's experts have made and the tremendous influence Oprah wields in general. My favorite paragraph:
In real life, she (Oprah) has almost nothing in common with most of her viewers. She is an unapproachable billionaire with a private jet and homes around the country who hangs out with movie stars. She is not married and has no children. But television Oprah is a different person. She somehow manages to make herself believable as a down-to-earth everywoman. She is your girlfriend who struggles to control her weight and balance her work and personal life, just like you.
This is true despite the fact that Oprah often appears distracted in her interviews with real people on her show (the non-celebrities), looking over their shoulders and sort of zoning out during their responses to her questions (and then magically summoning tears at the climax of their story). If she is everyone's girlfriend, she is the girlfriend that talks about AWESOME SHOES while you pour out your heart in the mall food court.
I know she has spearheaded some incredible charity projects. She is certainly a talented entertainer. I just don't relate to the conflicting values her show promotes: obsessing about body image /Girl Power, SHOPPING!/schools for impoverished children, living your best life/worshiping celebrities. I don't get it. But I am glad that she encourages reading, or used to. Does she still do the book club segments?