Harf

What does Oprah represent? Fake science, hucksters and greed

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One speech at the Golden Globes — admittedly a barn-burner — and here comes the drumbeat for a billionaire celebrity with no governing experience to run for president.

“I’m on the bus with Oprah,” Jimmy Kimmel said.

 

“I want her to run for president,” said Meryl Streep.

“She’s running,” tweeted former “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. “A new day is on the way.”

 

Even a major network endorsed her. “Nothing but respect for OUR future president,” read a tweet on NBC’s verified account (since deleted).

Oprah, who until Sunday night insisted she would never run for president — “I will never run for public office,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in October — is apparently having second thoughts.

 

“It’s up to the people,’” her partner, Stedman Graham, told the LA Times. “She would absolutely do it.”

She should absolutely not.

 

Yes, Winfrey is a singular presence in the culture. She is entirely self-made and a decades-long mover in television, film, publishing and philanthropy. As of 2017, she was one of only two women on Forbes’s Black Female Billionaires list. There is much to admire.

 

But none of this makes her fit to be leader of the free world. And just because the precedent has been set with Donald Trump — to horrible effect — doesn’t mean the Democrats should run a charismatic celebrity with zero credentials. Not Tom Hanks, not The Rock, not Oprah Winfrey.

 

If this sobering year has taught us anything, it’s that experience, intellect and stability, while hardly electrifying, should matter. A run for the White House should never again resemble a reality show. If the Democrats want to run as the adults in the room, they should lose their starstruck notions of President Oprah — who, through decades of public life, has revealed a startling level of gullibility and greed.

 

On her eponymous daytime talk show — which ran from 1986 to 2011 — Winfrey routinely endorsed fake science and spiritual hucksters. She cast herself as America’s foremost secular deity and seems to still believe it. Logic and reason don’t guide Oprah Winfrey; feelings and money do.

 

In 2006, Winfrey endorsed one of the most anti-intellectual products of the decade: a book and video called “The Secret,” which promises that anyone can have anything they want as long as they visualize it. Conversely, if tragedy or poverty befall you, it’s your fault. “The Secret” went on to sell 20 million copies internationally.

“I’m thrilled for the success of ‘The Secret,’ ” Winfrey told Larry King in 2007. “I think that the message needs to go further . . . it is very true that the way you think creates reality for yourself.”

 

That same year, a woman named Kim Tinkham appeared on Winfrey’s show. She had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer but had seen the episode touting “The Secret,” and decided to forgo chemo in favor of positive thinking. While Winfrey encouraged her to consider Western medicine as well, Tinkham declined.

She died in 2010.

 

Winfrey also gave a platform to Jenny McCarthy, the former Playboy Playmate-turned-vocal anti-vaxxer. In her 2007 appearance, McCarthy claimed that her then-toddler son’s autism was caused by a measles, mumps and rubella vaccination — a wholly unproved and unscientific assertion, one Winfrey largely ceded to her guest.

“My science is named Evan, and he’s at home,” McCarthy said. “That’s my science.”

That’s actually the opposite of science — it’s an anecdotal assumption — but Winfrey left that statement unchallenged, making McCarthy a regular guest and signing her to a talk show deal.

 

Other Oprah-backed grifters include Dr. Phil, who has been accused of exploiting his vulnerable guests and abusing his workplace staff, all under the guise of being America’s folksy shrink; Dr. Oz, accused by colleagues at Columbia University of promoting “quack treatments” and called before the Senate to explain same; Suzanne Somers, a ’70s sitcom star-turned-bioidentical hormone huckster; and no shortage of New Age gurus, most notably Eckhart Tolle, who has made millions preaching the vague comforts of “The Power of Now.”

 

Yet for all Winfrey’s spiritual searching, at her core she’s deeply materialistic. “Oprah’s Favorite Things” began as a holiday segment on her show — one noted for her audience erupting in hysteria over their gifts.

 

Her list lives on in her magazine, and the woman with a so-called common touch more closely resembles a recession-deaf, Gwyneth-style elite here. Her 2015 list included a three-piece set of cheese knives for $425 and a $120 box of 23-karat gold-leafed chocolates. The total value added up to $12,700.52.

Oprah, it turns out, is as relatable as Trump. Her greed is limitless. As recently as 2014, Winfrey headlined a tour called “The Life You Want Weekend,” charging up to $999 for a VIP upgrade.

 

As of today, Forbes estimates her net worth at $2.8 billion.

“Thank you for your money,” Winfrey told a crowd in Michigan upon departing. “I know how hard you all work.”

Winfrey’s materialism extends to her Leadership Academy for Girls, which she founded in South Africa over the government’s concerns that the facility was too lavish, too elite and neglectful of the country’s largely poor children. (Only 152 girls were admitted.) She spent $40 million building a school that includes a beauty salon, yoga studio, 200-thread-count sheets and expansive closets, even though the girls were so poor, they owned very few clothes.

Winfrey didn’t care. “These girls deserve to be surrounded by beauty,” she proclaimed, “and beauty does inspire.”

Within months of its 2007 opening, Winfrey’s school was embroiled in a child abuse scandal, with at least 15 girls claiming they were victimized. In 2011, the dead body of a newborn was found on school grounds, delivered by a 17-year-old student.

 

For all her good intentions, it seems she threw millions of dollars at a deep, seemingly intractable problem and walked away.

“I’ve always believed in the girls,” Winfrey told CNN in 2012. “I’ve known that no matter what we’re going through, the girls were worth it.”

If she runs as a Democrat in 2020, Winfrey will be called to answer one of her most controversial statements, a rare one that brushes up against public policy and social stigma: why she hasn’t invested in educating America’s neediest.

 

“I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going,” she told Newsweek in 2007. “The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there. If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school.”

What happens when Oprah explains that statement to the Dems’ most impactful bloc: black voters?

 

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3 hours ago, Harf said:

One speech at the Golden Globes — admittedly a barn-burner — and here comes the drumbeat for a billionaire celebrity with no governing experience to run for president.

“I’m on the bus with Oprah,” Jimmy Kimmel said.

 

“I want her to run for president,” said Meryl Streep.

“She’s running,” tweeted former “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. “A new day is on the way.”

 

Even a major network endorsed her. “Nothing but respect for OUR future president,” read a tweet on NBC’s verified account (since deleted).

Oprah, who until Sunday night insisted she would never run for president — “I will never run for public office,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in October — is apparently having second thoughts.

 

“It’s up to the people,’” her partner, Stedman Graham, told the LA Times. “She would absolutely do it.”

She should absolutely not.

 

Yes, Winfrey is a singular presence in the culture. She is entirely self-made and a decades-long mover in television, film, publishing and philanthropy. As of 2017, she was one of only two women on Forbes’s Black Female Billionaires list. There is much to admire.

 

But none of this makes her fit to be leader of the free world. And just because the precedent has been set with Donald Trump — to horrible effect — doesn’t mean the Democrats should run a charismatic celebrity with zero credentials. Not Tom Hanks, not The Rock, not Oprah Winfrey.

 

If this sobering year has taught us anything, it’s that experience, intellect and stability, while hardly electrifying, should matter. A run for the White House should never again resemble a reality show. If the Democrats want to run as the adults in the room, they should lose their starstruck notions of President Oprah — who, through decades of public life, has revealed a startling level of gullibility and greed.

 

On her eponymous daytime talk show — which ran from 1986 to 2011 — Winfrey routinely endorsed fake science and spiritual hucksters. She cast herself as America’s foremost secular deity and seems to still believe it. Logic and reason don’t guide Oprah Winfrey; feelings and money do.

 

In 2006, Winfrey endorsed one of the most anti-intellectual products of the decade: a book and video called “The Secret,” which promises that anyone can have anything they want as long as they visualize it. Conversely, if tragedy or poverty befall you, it’s your fault. “The Secret” went on to sell 20 million copies internationally.

“I’m thrilled for the success of ‘The Secret,’ ” Winfrey told Larry King in 2007. “I think that the message needs to go further . . . it is very true that the way you think creates reality for yourself.”

 

That same year, a woman named Kim Tinkham appeared on Winfrey’s show. She had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer but had seen the episode touting “The Secret,” and decided to forgo chemo in favor of positive thinking. While Winfrey encouraged her to consider Western medicine as well, Tinkham declined.

She died in 2010.

 

Winfrey also gave a platform to Jenny McCarthy, the former Playboy Playmate-turned-vocal anti-vaxxer. In her 2007 appearance, McCarthy claimed that her then-toddler son’s autism was caused by a measles, mumps and rubella vaccination — a wholly unproved and unscientific assertion, one Winfrey largely ceded to her guest.

“My science is named Evan, and he’s at home,” McCarthy said. “That’s my science.”

That’s actually the opposite of science — it’s an anecdotal assumption — but Winfrey left that statement unchallenged, making McCarthy a regular guest and signing her to a talk show deal.

 

Other Oprah-backed grifters include Dr. Phil, who has been accused of exploiting his vulnerable guests and abusing his workplace staff, all under the guise of being America’s folksy shrink; Dr. Oz, accused by colleagues at Columbia University of promoting “quack treatments” and called before the Senate to explain same; Suzanne Somers, a ’70s sitcom star-turned-bioidentical hormone huckster; and no shortage of New Age gurus, most notably Eckhart Tolle, who has made millions preaching the vague comforts of “The Power of Now.”

 

Yet for all Winfrey’s spiritual searching, at her core she’s deeply materialistic. “Oprah’s Favorite Things” began as a holiday segment on her show — one noted for her audience erupting in hysteria over their gifts.

 

Her list lives on in her magazine, and the woman with a so-called common touch more closely resembles a recession-deaf, Gwyneth-style elite here. Her 2015 list included a three-piece set of cheese knives for $425 and a $120 box of 23-karat gold-leafed chocolates. The total value added up to $12,700.52.

Oprah, it turns out, is as relatable as Trump. Her greed is limitless. As recently as 2014, Winfrey headlined a tour called “The Life You Want Weekend,” charging up to $999 for a VIP upgrade.

 

As of today, Forbes estimates her net worth at $2.8 billion.

“Thank you for your money,” Winfrey told a crowd in Michigan upon departing. “I know how hard you all work.”

Winfrey’s materialism extends to her Leadership Academy for Girls, which she founded in South Africa over the government’s concerns that the facility was too lavish, too elite and neglectful of the country’s largely poor children. (Only 152 girls were admitted.) She spent $40 million building a school that includes a beauty salon, yoga studio, 200-thread-count sheets and expansive closets, even though the girls were so poor, they owned very few clothes.

Winfrey didn’t care. “These girls deserve to be surrounded by beauty,” she proclaimed, “and beauty does inspire.”

Within months of its 2007 opening, Winfrey’s school was embroiled in a child abuse scandal, with at least 15 girls claiming they were victimized. In 2011, the dead body of a newborn was found on school grounds, delivered by a 17-year-old student.

 

For all her good intentions, it seems she threw millions of dollars at a deep, seemingly intractable problem and walked away.

“I’ve always believed in the girls,” Winfrey told CNN in 2012. “I’ve known that no matter what we’re going through, the girls were worth it.”

If she runs as a Democrat in 2020, Winfrey will be called to answer one of her most controversial statements, a rare one that brushes up against public policy and social stigma: why she hasn’t invested in educating America’s neediest.

 

“I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going,” she told Newsweek in 2007. “The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there. If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school.”

What happens when Oprah explains that statement to the Dems’ most impactful bloc: black voters?

 

She brought up Jim Crow, that is code that she will champion blacks and divide the country more

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9 mins ago, saltydawg said:

Good for her. We need to have the conversation. Obama told us that. Races were unified and peaceful when he was president. 

BLM, Al Sharpton et al didn't think so, in fact...

 

Quote
nypost.com
 

How Obama has turned back the clock on race relations

By Gil Troy
5-6 minutes

Americans celebrating Martin Luther King Day today should be proud of the incredible progress made since the civil-rights leader’s birth 87 years ago. At the same time, we should lament one of President Obama’s greatest failures.

 

The last Democratic president and the last Republican president both managed race relations more effectively than Obama has. Seven years after American voters made history by electing the country’s first black president, racial tensions have worsened.

 

It didn’t rank on Obama’s one-item list of his “few regrets” during his State of the Union address. But signs of Obama’s failure are on our streets, on our campuses and among our leaders, left and right.

 

“Ferguson” has become shorthand for African-American fury objecting to insensitive white cops harassing young blacks. The “Black Lives Matter” movement has spilled into American campus culture, as privileged kids attending the world’s finest universities bemoan their alleged oppression — bullying anyone who challenges them.

 

This black backlash has prompted a white backlash, personified by Donald Trump. Every justifiable police shooting called “racist,” every Halloween costume labeled politically incorrect, every reasonable thought censored makes

 

Trump look like America’s last honest man.

 

Amid this tension, Obama has been disturbingly passive — even during America’s first serious race riots since 1992. He acts like a meteorologist observing the bad weather, not a president able to shape the political climate.

 

How embarrassing that Obama’s most memorable act of presidential leadership on race may end up being inviting a black professor and a white cop to the White House for his 2009 “beer summit.”

 

By contrast, consider Bill Clinton’s proactive attempts to reconcile blacks and whites. In November 1993, Clinton preached in Memphis against black-on-black crime, urging African-Americans to tackle the problem from “the inside out,” through family and community, not just from the “outside in,” meaning government.

 

His crime-fighting package and welfare reform promised poor blacks safe streets and dignified employment, without “dog whistling” — blaming blacks to woo whites. In 1997, Clinton and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee welcomed into Little Rock High School the “Little Rock Nine,” the blacks blocked in 1957 at the schoolhouse door. When one of them — now older, grayer, heavier but freer — stumbled, the Republican governor and the Democratic president tenderly caught her.

 

The 1990s had racial clashes, too. Still, although it was foolish to call Clinton our “first black president,” Clinton reassured blacks that they had a friend in the White House, while encouraging blacks and whites that we could create Dr. King’s moral America.

 

Even though only 9 percent of black voters chose George W. Bush in 2000, his presidency’s biggest controversies dodged race, focusing on terrorism, the Iraq war and the economic meltdown. Bush’s outreach to Arab-Americans ‪after 9/11 calmed many African-Americans — just as Trump’s anti-Muslim demagoguery today offends many blacks.

 

Bush integrated his administration naturally, appointing Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice because of their smarts, not their race. Obama’s election in 2008 was a natural progression of the Bush era’s racial progress.

 

Last August, Gallup reported that “Americans rate black-white relations much more negatively today than they have at any point in the past 15 years.” White optimism dropped 27 percent in the last two years, with black optimism down 15 percent.

 

Since at least the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, managing racial tensions has been an important yardstick of presidential success. It’s fair to ask: What has Obama done to reconcile blacks and whites? How has he helped beyond being America’s first black president? And yes, expectations are greater for him, even as the politics are more volatile.

 

After this fall’s volatility, quickly calling for unity in this State of the Union was feeble. While championing America’s redemptive dynamism, Obama should also recalibrate the debate, acknowledging the diverging fears and anger of both blacks and whites.

 

Only once the atmosphere changes can he start pitching solutions — from the “inside out” and the “outside in” — to improve race relations by next Martin Luther King Day, which will fall just days before his presidency comes to a close.

 

Gil Troy is a professor of history at McGill University and the author, most recently, of “The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s.”

 

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Hmmm, She was best buds with Harvey Weinstein, if I remember correctly.

 

Could be a problem when it comes to the women's vote.

Edited by Jay Blair

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1 hour ago, Bravo06 said:

She brought up Jim Crow, that is code that she will champion blacks and divide the country more

I don't think bringing up civil rights divides people.  It should not anyway.  Maybe some people get angry hearing about it but that us their problem.

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3 mins ago, JimG said:

I don't think bringing up civil rights divides people.  It should not anyway.  Maybe some people get angry hearing about it but that us their problem.

Why discuss Jim Crow (negative) during a celebration? It's because that is what her agenda will be about division again and not how great the USA is when we are united! And, this country has made her a billionaire and that if you apply yourself things will always get better (Positive), instead of dwelling on what USA did wrong! Not very god leadership!

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Harf, you should've checked Trump's position on vaccines. This is a tweet of his.

 

Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!
March 28 2014.

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Harf, surely you know that Trump loves money. January 2016.

 

"Republican primary front-runner Donald Trump on Saturday described himself as a “very greedy person,” but also said he wants to be “greedy for our country.”

 

“Now, I’ll tell you, I’m good at that – so, you know, I’ve always taken in money,” he said at a rally in Iowa. “I like money. I’m very greedy. I’m a greedy person. I shouldn’t tell you that, I’m a greedy – I’ve always been greedy. I love money, right? "

 

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Harf, Trump is one of the best hucksters in the world. I'd call it his strongest suit.

 

BTW, I hope Oprah doesn't run, but it's a free country.

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