If you needed further proof that Oprah Winfrey is retiring her show Oprah, there it is.
I remember Oprah when it went national.
It was a trashy show. And it got all the push which I saw as part of the reason that the reigning talk show host at the time, Phil Donahue, left the airwaves.
Back when Mr. Donahue was on, you had the likes of Dinah Shore doing a sort of laid back chat show (similar to Ellen DeGeneres' show today) and Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin were doing their entertainment talk shows. Mr. Donahue did controversial subjects (controversial for the time, perhaps). He did an intelligent show. He could interview, for example, a cross dresser and not turn it smutty or make fun of the guest.
Oprah really was the dumbing down of America. She was the cess pool. Had a gay man not been killed (he went on a talk show, Leeza?, to explain his crush and the straight man later killed him), she would have stayed in the trash.
It probably would have been more honest for her.
Ms. Winfrey's lack of intelligence never ceased to shine through. If she could not turn it into an empowerment rant, she was rowing a sinking boat before your eyes.
And that probably made her a little peeved by criticism of her lightweight and trashy show. Oprah Winfrey announced no more 'trash TV.' She then wanted to 'inspire' (sell you things) and empower you (clean out your wallet).
A lot of people are still upset with her over her part in selling Barack Obama; however, for me, it will always be Ms. Winfrey's efforts to sell the Iraq War. Most people have forgotten but not only did she invite the likes of Judith Miller on her show to promote the impending war, she also hectored her audience if they objected to the march to war.
In other words,the apparently forever closeted lesbian Oprah Winfrey sold the illegal war. You do not get to come back from that in my book.
Rosie was very popular on daytime TV, Rosie O'Donnell. And she remained in the closet until after she had announced she was stepping down. That may be the path Ms. Winfrey is attempting to follow.
Along with Ms. O'Donnell, I felt Roseanne Barr did a strong daytime show. Ms. Barr actually tried to do an intelligent show and she had a two-year commitment so she could pursue that. When the show did not storm the ratings, they attempted to get her to cancel her show but she stayed with it all the way to the end. I especially remember a very powerful and intelligent interview she did with Joyce Carol Oates.
On another end of the spectrum, Rikki Lake was popular and, like Tyra Banks, tried to run a show that covered all the bases. I think Ms. Banks and Ms. Lake succeeded.
Many others failed. Geraldo. Maury. And far too many others to name.
So now Mr. Coooper thinks he will be the new daytime talk star.
I doubt he could do any worse than Ms. Winfrey.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
- Raises an automobile assistance benefit for disabled veterans from $11,000 to $18,900.
- Authorizes federal grants to provide job training, counseling, placement, and childcare services to homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children.
- Substantially increases the maximum levels of supplemental insurance for totally disabled veterans, as well as Veterans' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance.
- Provides retroactive Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance benefits for troops who were traumatically injured between October 7, 2001 and November 30, 2005, regardless of where their injury occurred.
- Clarifies that the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act prohibits wage discrimination against members of the Armed Forces.
Noting the rumors swirling that Nouri's got the post, Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) observes, "But can he form a government? That is less than clear, as much of the INA has already ruled out participating in a government giving Maliki a second term, and even a small portion of the State of Law bloc is opposing him. The Iraqiya bloc, which has the biggest plurality, has also ruled out working with Maliki." Hurriyet Daily News reports today that Joost Hilterman (International Crisis Group) has stated, "There are two ways in Iraq. Without a government, which is the very bad scenario, it can lead up to the return to civil war." The alternative, as he sees it, is for Iraq to form a government encompassing a wide range of groups. He's not the only one worrying over civil war. Noting Leila Fadel's recent report for the Washington Post about the decision to purge Sahwa ("Sons Of Iraq" and "Awakenings") from Anbar Province's police force, David Bender (Foreign Policy) notes:
Noonan's mother, Ling Noonan, released a statement thanking the community for all the support, as well as Gov. Rell, Sec. Bysiewicz, Attorney General Blumenthal, and Sen. Dodd and other local politicians for their condolences. But Ms. Noonan says she was disappointed in Sen. Joe Lieberman's response. Gebrah was Jewish and she stated frankly, "from a fellow Jew we expected more."
People of conscience need to call out both the rat bastards and the rabid rat bastards. Not protect and enable the Dem rat bastards because they are not as rabid as Repubs and Teapartiers. Which makes them even worse. They have potential still to be rational, humane and sane. Or do they?
I keep trying to figure out how to get farther this time. I also keep trying to figure out why there isn't a bigger tent for the people of conscience. Why the health care single payer folks couldn't have a fire in their collective belly to end the illegal wars and support those people of conscience and vice versa. I mean, I am guessing they do, but how to channel that support formally and effectively? And the climate change folk, and the women's rights folk.
There are so many fresh and not so fresh any more hells ... and we of course can not be fighting on every front. But we need each other collectively. Because so many of us get the travesty to humanity collectively on all of these fronts. But we need to form that effective and loud critical mass.
A lot of small choirs of conscience. How do we rally those with conscience into a focused voice? There is the theory of the 100 monkeys. Once the hundredth monkey gets the message of truth and reality, the entire monkey nation gets it. With Vietnam I think the hundredth monkey was actually Walter Cronkite. When he got it (being in the media helped for sure) the Vietnam War, so late in the game with so much devastation, lost traction. Though some never got it and came back with a vengeance as insane neocons. Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al. Power mad.
We have a window of opportunity here in the next six is it weeks. I hoped we could make demands. But we have the colossal ego of Obama who only seems to know the art of hypocrisy and we piss him off now. Yeah, no drama Obama seems to only have strike back power when it comes to us. Go figure. He must protect his EGO on all of this and we will not enable his EGO. And Obama's vast enablers are fighting for his "brand" and their egos, too, I suppose. Can't admit to the con. Can't see the forest of humanity and are lost among the "team trees".