I don't mean to gloat or rub in in anymore on our beloved Oprah Winfrey, because let's face it, she has been through a lot lately. But forgive me if I am not feeling sorry for Ms. Thing.
Here is the deal, unless you have been on another planet for the past few months, you are well aware by now of Oprah's embarrasing episode on the January 12th episode of Larry King Live. Remember Oprah giving her blessings to James Frey's fraudulent book, "A Million Little Pieces" while Frey's mother looked on with absolute glee? There was Oprah telling Larry King, that in spite of a little exaggeration and streching of the truth, she still believed in her shamed author. "What is relevant is that he was a drug addict.." Are you kidding me? No Oprah, what is relevant is that he lied.
Now I have had to endure Oprah for years. When she just started out as the man bashing maven of daytime talk I didn't get all bent out of shape like my other male buddies, because I figured, what the heck, women need somewhere to vent. Oprah of course created the perfect outlet with her living room styled girlfriend only daily talk fest about men, relationships, and all things personal and mushy. But as she continued to morph into America's favorite Auntie (You know the one ; the sweet innocent black Matriarch who you don't mind sharing your problems with , and who you don't mind letting into your home to cook, clean, and even help raise your children) I started getting more irritated with Ms. Thing . I found her daily dose of I need a hug television phony and contrived. I just could never shake the feeling that while these people were crying on her shoulders Oprah was laughing all the way to the bank.
Now finally in my opinion, Oprah has gotten too big for her own good. She has become an all powerful billion dollar industry all unto herself. One of the most, if not the most powerful women in America. Girlfriend now has the ability to make a career with a single endorsement (See Doctor Phil). Heck, she can even get someone elected President if they appear on her show. Check it out, that's a fact. When George W. Bush first ran for President his numbers got a huge boost after he went on Oprah allowing her millions of suburban swing voting housewives to see what a warm and compassionate guy he was. W never looked back, and he wrote those numbers all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue. Unfortunately, as her numbers and ratings continue to grow, Oprah has become a hero to darn near every woman in America. It doesn't matter if you are black, white, rich, or poor. Oprah's empire covers publishing, movies, and magazines. She is huge, and quicker than you can say Harpo, she has become a living breathing American icon.
So you can see why I am gloating a little at Ms. Thing. The male chauvinist in me is saying it's about time this man basher got hers. Also, I always love to see a hypocrite exposed. That's the field negro in me, call it house negro envy; when we see one of the negroes who got to the house get exposed we rejoice. But I have some pure motives as well, because Oprah never really used her immense power to influence, push, and promote people (I guess you could call them field negroes) who really need a break. Instead, she uses her influence to promote those who need promoting the least. For instance, other than the usual suspects like Maya Angelo, and Alice Walker, what up and coming black author has Oprah ever pushed for her boook club? I have friends who are writers (An excellent local Philly author, Solomon J0nes comes to mind) and I hear this lament all the time. I am guessing for instance that if poor Mr. Frey had been a field negro he would not have been in this position simply because Oprah would not have given him the chance to be.
There are so many struggling black authors who would die for just a mere mention of their book by Queen Oprah. And why not, if you are selected for Oprah's book of the month club you are guaranteed a New York Times best seller, sales and riches for future books, and fame beyond your wildest dreams. So what does Oprah choose to do? She chooses to promote obscure white authors who she thinks her significant white audience will be more appreciative of. The irony is that these people are so devoted to Queen Oprah that if she selected the New York City phone book for her book of the month it would be a best seller.
Come on Oprah, you don't need them, you had them at hello. You can stop pandering to this base now and start keeping it real. We know you are a field negro at heart so let your true colors come out, you can afford it. Heck you can build a house bigger than massa's now.
The other day I watched with the rest of America while Oprah finally ambushed her disgraced author on her show. She did it, she says, because she was embarrased and dissapointed that a book that was meant to help people, turned out to be a lie. Oprah, I hate to break it to you girlfriend, but that book seems eerily like you.