I may get stoned for this --
but I just don't care for Oprah that much.
She's an intelligent woman, but lets her personal opinion get in the way. Her show's been on, with a wide range of subjects and VIPs -- her magazine (with the great O as a cover every single time) is really quite interesting. Really. The success of much of this is due in great part to Oprah's skill as a clever overseer and marketer.
There -- that's my major problem. The marketing. Oprah's charities highlight -- the charities? The cause? Naahhh...they emphasize OPRAH. I would be much more impressed if she actually donated more than a few percent of her income -- how about 10%, Oprah? Lots of people do that with a lot less!
She doesn't ask the hard questions of her interview subjects, unless she can soften the blow by 'excusing' that bad behavior. Case in point: today's interview with Barbara Walters, and the mutual admission that both Barbara and Oprah had affairs with married men. This was excused by 'explaining' that neither man spent any time at home (except holidays, accd. to both B. & O.), and neither of the two couldn't be 'mistresses' because they were never 'kept women' financially.
Give me a break. I would have loved to have heard how both wives of those men described those affairs.
Having said that...
I was fascinated by today's interview! Oprah may have been trying to give Barbara an 'out' for some of the mistakes the latter made...but Barbara wasn't always accepting it. She personally brought up the fact that her paramour, a Senator, was not reelected (because of repercussions from their affair, she believed). She blamed herself for believing that she had ruined the career of a man she characterized as a brilliant public servant.
Barbara said she'd refused to acknowledge that her father committed suicide. She admitted it on Oprah, saying that she'd tried to hide it -- and some people who were watching the show would be surprised. (Mary Hemingway had the same struggle when she insisted for years that husband Ernest was just 'cleaning his gun.')
She talked about feeling 'different' (and not in a good way) because she had a mentally retarded sister. (And having to leave to do a speech, just before her sister died unexpectedly -- and the guilt she carried about that.)
She talked about her marriages, saying she just wasn't good at it. (She didn't blame the men -- something she could have done easily. And, I believe, Oprah would have encouraged.)
She talked about her struggles with this and that, and basically maintaining that for most of her life, she felt she was 'auditioning.' She didn't feel accepted. She didn't feel that she fit in...not even when she began to accomplish things.
That's the name of her book: AUDITION: A MEMOIR . See it here at:
If Walters is as straightforward in her book as she was on this show...well, this is a different person than Barbara Walters the interviewer. I stopped watching her in action because, like Oprah, I felt she excused her subjects' actions, rather than stick to the journalistic approach -- tell everything, and let the audience decide for themselves.
Is it that she's harder on herself than she is on everyone else? (She said she no longer interviewed people because she'd gotten "too soft.")
I've got to read this book.
For more on Walters (and her revelations):
http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow/oprahshow_20080506 (the interview)
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20197345,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines (about the affair with Senator Edward Brooke)