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Our Favorite Oprah Moments

One thing we won't get while the press breathlessly "reports" on Oprahfest is the truth about how whacked-out and delusional Oprah and her followers really are. To put it politely, she's a hypocritical crackpot. "She puts the cult in popular culture," media critic Mark Jurkowitz once wrote. So as is often our duty here at the Beachwood, we hereby offer an antidote to the madness in the form of our favorite Oprah moments. We trust you'll get the picture.

1. Eternity with Oprah, what a treat!


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2. "The Importance of Being Oprah" by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, New York Times Magazine, June 11, 1989. Link not available, but please find it if you can; it is essential reading.

Curiously, letters to the magazine about the article are online. Here's one:

"I am thoroughly disgusted by Oprah Winfrey's arrogant and self-serving theory of 'the Universe" ('The Importance of Being Oprah,' by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, June 11). Her claim that she was 'born for greatness' ideologically contradicts her convenient reliance on free will. Furthermore, her accusation that welfare mothers consciously 'choose' to be such leads me to believe that her boyfriend, Stedman Graham, is not the only Republican in this wonder couple of the 1980's."

KATHLEEN MARLEY
Bethlehem, Pa.
July 9, 1989

3. A Million Little Pieces.

4. Oprah opens a school in South Africa instead of, say, Chicago, telling Newsweek: "I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools in the U.S. The sense that you need to learn just isn't there. In America if you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers."

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"At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Leadership Academy, Winfrey received much criticism surrounding the 'extravagance' of the school, with mention, among other things, about the need for high thread-count sheets for the dormitory beds, a beauty salon, two theaters (one indoor, one outdoor) and a yoga classroom to educate girls in an impoverished region of South Africa."

5. Oprah holds Live Your Best Life seminars. Tickets are $185.

6. "After two decades of searching for her authentic self - exploring New Age theories, giving away cars, trotting out fat, recommending good books and tackling countless issues from serious to frivolous - Oprah Winfrey has risen to a new level of guru," USA Today reported in "The Divine Miss Winfrey?"

"She's no longer just a successful talk-show host worth $1.4 billion, according to Forbes' most recent estimate. Over the past year, Winfrey, 52, has emerged as a spiritual leader for the new millennium, a moral voice of authority for the nation.

"With her television pulpit and the sheer power of her persona, she has encouraged and steered audiences (mostly women) in all matters, from genocide in Rwanda to suburban spouse swapping to finding the absolute best T-shirt and oatmeal cookie."

7. Oprah thought her way into The Color Purple via The Secret.

But she can't think her way thin.

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"But what really makes 'The Secret' more than a variation on an old theme is the involvement of Oprah Winfrey, who lends the whole enterprise more prestige, and, because of that prestige, more venality, than any previous self-help scam," Peter Birkenhead wrote for Salon in "Oprah's Ugly Secret." Oprah hasn't just endorsed 'The Secret'; she's championed it, put herself at the apex of its pyramid, and helped create a symbiotic economy of New Age quacks that almost puts OPEC to shame.

"Why 'venality'? Because, with survivors of Auschwitz still alive, Oprah writes about 'The Secret' on her Web site, 'the energy you put into the world - both good and bad - is exactly what comes back to you. This means you create the circumstances of your life with the choices you make every day.'

"'Venality,' because Oprah, in the age of AIDS, is advertising a book that says, 'You cannot "catch" anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought.'

"'Venality,' because Oprah, from a studio within walking distance of Chicago's notorious Cabrini Green Projects, pitches a book that says, 'The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts.'"

8. The Universe According to Oprah:

"Since Oprah began her show on TV she has offered to the public an alternate spirituality. She has promoted psychics, channeling, ghosts and haunted houses, reincarnation, witchcraft . . .

"On her program, guest Wayne Dyer says - 'there are no accidents in a perfect universe . . . '

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Oprah: You all talk about energy in the universe and how it flows and we flow with it what do you mean by that?"

Wayne: The whole thing is perfect. (We need to be unattached) Everything is thought and thought is energy-everything is from thought.

Oprah (to audience): Everything starts with thought, got that? The base upon what you think that is how things manifest because this is how you act because what you think.

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"Oprah then tells a story about her losing her luggage and normally she would blame it on the airlines but she now thinks it is her fault. 'I thought the universe was trying to tell me if that's what you want this is what you are going to get . . . '

"The porter shortly afterwards told her they found her luggage."

9. John Tesh: Oprah And I DID Date.

10. Oprah's Marriage Guru Divorcing For Third Time.

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Has there ever been a more materialistic preacher of spirituality over things? Has there ever been a more vain preacher of inner beauty?

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Funny how the core of Oprah's belief system is routinely ignored by a coddling media that never seemed to learn that the job of the journalist is to expose charlatans, not to enable and aid them in their enterprise - no matter how unpopular that may make you with their followers, who have existed along with them from time immemoriam.

But it actually really isn't funny; it's sad and irresponsible. Media managers want to make a buck off the poor saps even more than she does. And many of them - and their charges - are among the poor saps, salivating at celebrity and its riches, racing to get as close to her side as they can, when their duty is to get as far away, for a better view. That's the real secret.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on May 18, 2011


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