Have we learned nothing?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
A run for the White House should never again resemble a reality show.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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
“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?
I got'cher "horrible effect", raht 'chere, pinko.