Pharyngula

Whoa. Newsweek tackles Oprah

I’m impressed. It’s a highly critical article about Oprah’s peddling of quackery, and it’s about time one of the big media players pointed out that she is promoting dangerous fake therapies…all with a happy smile, of course, and a message of positive self-esteem for women. It’s still credulous glop, though.

It also summarizes why she’s successful.

At some point, it would seem, people will stop looking to Oprah for this kind of guidance. This will never happen. Oprah’s audience admires her as much for her failings as her successes. In real life, she 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. When she recently related the story of how humiliated she felt when she arrived for a photo shoot to find that she couldn’t fit into the clothes she was supposed to wear, she knew she had every member of the audience in her hand. Oprah’s show is all about second and third and fourth chances to fix your life, and the promise that the next new thing to come along will be the one that finally works.

And then it goes on to talk about how she touted “The Secret”.

Comments

  1. #1 Alvin
    January 3, 2010

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  2. #2 Alvin
    January 3, 2010

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