Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Suck/lame: Oprah Winfrey

We continue our mission of clearly defining those people, things, ideas, thoughts, actions and other nouns and verbs of questionable suckitude with one of the most famous women in the world, Oprah Winfrey.

Millions of people adore Oprah Winfrey. Oprah encourages people to read, comforts hurricane victims and gives away cars to audience members like grandpa’s quarters. She is richer than God, and yet has maintained a down-to-earth approachability that makes her unique among celebrities. People trust Oprah, and heed her words on everything from relationships to body wash.

Maybe they trust her too much. Oprah’s endorsement of James Frey, despite early warnings that he wasn’t on the level, proves she is not infallible. But don’t tell that to Oprah followers, whose devotion to the daytime talk show host is akin to the Branch Davidians with David Koresh. Honestly, if Oprah’s name was put on a box of used toliet paper, these people would buy it.

So, is Oprah an inspiring celebrity who uses her power for good, or an overrated talk show host with too much power? In other words, is she lame? Polls are open until NOON FRIDAY.


Anonymous cheddar said...

Doesn't suck. *shrug* Don't se much debate here.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

I think Oprah sucks.

Now we have a debate.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Steve, but I have to vote does NOT suck. As much as Oprah annoys me at times, that's not enough for me to give her the suck vote. -r

4:16 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

First off, blind worship sucks. That defines Oprah. James Frey's public flogging wasn't so much a stance for truth and honesty as it was a way for Oprah to show her angry face and exact revenge on being publicly humiliated. "Don't cross Oprah." Ooooh, I'm shaking.

Her book club sucks. Sorry, O-Dub, but I don't need you telling me I should read Steinbeck novels. Oprah is also responsible for that massive bag of hot wind known as Dr. Phil. Yes, by all accounts she works extremely hard, is charitable and should, of course, be able to enjoy her massive riches. But Steve's absolutely right -- Oprah could bottle her urine and sell it with a smiley O logo and her minions would drink it down. That, folks, is dangerous. Just cue the free car footage. All for the glorification of her ego. Sucks.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

Funny, but if you substitute "Oprah" with "Bono" in Roz's post, you have a "not suck" vote, if earlier polls are any indication.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Let's put Cheddar's theory to the test:

Bono's book club sucks. Sorry, Bono, but I don't need you telling me I should read Steinbeck novels. Bono is also responsible for that massive bag of hot wind known as Dr. Phil.

See Cheddar, that doesn't make any sense. Bono doesn't have a book club, and he has nothing to do with Dr. Phil. So, once again, I've proven you wrong.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

If anything, there's a Robin Williams similarity, simply because I'm trying to attach the word "Dub" to as many people as possible whose last names being with W.

Bono doesn't suck because his musical output is valued by me. If I felt Oprah's show was the pinnacle of TV, I'd give her a pass. I voted the same way with Kanye, who I have no use for, personally. Dammit, I'm consistent!

5:47 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

It's cute how Cheddar brings Bono back into every Does he suck debate.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does not suck.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does not suck.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

i'm not even going to check back on this one.

doesn't suck.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

February 1st on your first "does he/she suck", you stated:
I'm trying to be less judgemental and more open to other points of view. Hence my new semi-regular blog feature, "Does he suck?" This represents tremendous growth for me. There was a time when I wouldn't bother asking. If I thought he sucked, he sucked. End of story.
You seem to have ended this story at the mention of Oprah.

Anyhoo, since when does being a savvy entrepreneur makes one suck? She is a shrewd business woman that actually shares her wealth. I happen to like Bono, but one of the main "non suckiness" comments was based on his philanthropy, not his music.

Oprah does not suck.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Dude von Appleton said...

While I can't stand the sight of Oprah, I could agree with the not-suck comments to some point.

But here's the clincher:

What piece of ego-driven stinky, smelly crap would make herself the cover of her own magazine each month?

Don't ask Frey -- he might lie. I'll tell you...shh...it's Oprah!

That does it -- huge, gigantic, see-it-for-a-mile suck.

11:04 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

Oprah has the Angel Network -- that's good. Oprah helps America choose books -- that's good for those who can't choose their own, but bad for the literate folks. Oprah is on the cover of her own magazine -- that's vain, but whatever. She started as a weatherperson on local TV and now she's an entertainment giant, done largely by herself -- that's commendable

I would like to be on Oprah's 'My Favorite Things' show, where she gives away tons of expensive stuff -- that's selfish.

I suck, Oprah doesn't.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

Not suck.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Olson said...

I think their is confusion over Oprah sucking or her fandom sucking. I think the latter is true and Oprah simply gives her fandom what they want.

Her overall character and philanthropy seem to not suck, so that's where my vote goes.

Besides, if Stedman (spelling?) has stuck with her, she can't suck, right?

10:28 AM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Apparently Dude Von Appleton is the only one here who hasn't received a car from Oprah.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

I just like bringing the Bono thing up because it was probably my favorite group of reasoning for something not sucking thus far. For example, "Yes, he's arrogant, yes, his music is not as good as it used to be, yes, he's a publicity hound, but goshdarnit, he doesn't suck."

It was like Opposite Day in Steve's blog.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a child, Oprah showed signs of extraordinary intelligence and drive, such as learning to read at age two. At age six, Winfrey moved to Milwaukee with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother. While there, she suffered abuse for her comparatively darker skin, such as being forced to sleep on the porch in the cold, and verbal abuse based on her features. Oprah claims that she was raped at age 9, and repeatedly molested by her mother's cousin's boyfriend.

Winfrey is currently ranked as the most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine [6] as well as the ninth most powerful woman in the world. [7]She is the first African-American woman to become a billionaire.

Winfrey exclaimed, "It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!" Texas cattlemen sued her and Lyman in early 1998 for "false defamation of perishable food" and "business disparagement," claiming that Winfrey's remarks subsequently sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers some USD$12 million.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Giyogal said...

Definitely does not suck. She has touched more lives than I can count, and I have a feeling she will continue to do so. She appears to be a very caring and giving person - the genuine thing, in my opinion. Sure she's mega rich, but at least she plays it straight to get and stay that way. Unlike others, ie... Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, to name just two, who are just examples of the rich doing whatever it takes, to get richer. As for people blindly following her, I'm not really sure if that is entirely true. We are a nation of people who have thankfully, the freedom to choose to do whatever we want. If anyone blindly follows another, they are looking for trouble. I don't think that just because people respect Oprah's opinion, necessarily means that they blindly follow her. I believe her "track record" deserves respect. I am and will continue to be an avid fan of Oprahs, do I follow her blindly, no, but I do listen to what she has to say and then after thoughtful consideration I make my own decisions based on my own instincts, not on her opinion alone! Something I think the majority of average people will hopefully do.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Steve, was your Oprah vote sincere, or were you just trying to get the ball rolling?

12:24 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I second the sentiments expressed by Giyogal. The only problem I have with Oprah, and I know it's been mentioned here before... but the fact that it's her picture on the front of her magazine each month. That drives me crazy, but still a NOT SUCK vote.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

My Oprah vote was sincere, Tom, and your original post pretty much sums up why.

Olson, I understand your point. But when it comes to suckiness, it's less about logical analysis and more about raw gut feeling for me. It's like, what's the first thing I think of when I hear this person's name. With Oprah, it's suck.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

Also, WHY do you use the worst pictures of everyone and everything on the chopping block? At least get something up-to-date. Even Erin posted a good picture of Nick Lachey on her recent blog.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sharon, beautifully referenced. i think that has changed.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Blind loyalty to Oprah may be silly, but doesn't have any long term negative results, like blind loyalty to our current Administration!

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's not God. She's not perfect. I think your insulting her viewers. I think we are intelligent enough not to buy a box of used toilet paper and you are insulting Oprah that she would take advantage of people by selling crap!!! Not Lame M

10:36 AM  
Anonymous kbl said...

Suck. And this is purely gut reaction. I've always been anti-Oprah. I just can't stand her or her product or the ethos (or, rather, bathos) that she's created. Just like I'm anti The View and Starting Over House and all those other ridiculous shows where women sit around and talk about their feelings and their kids and the fact that "oh, my god, my boyfriend goes to strip clubs and now my relationship is oooooooooooover!" Not only did Oprah unleash Dr. Phil, she also unleashed all of the imitators that clog television these days. Blech.

I find her treacly, lowest common denominator form of self-help to be, at best, insipid. Anything called an "Angel Network" triggers my gag reflex. Helping people is great, but don't be so narcissistically Precious Moments about every damn thing that you do. And, again, Dr. Phil. (Some sins are unforgiveable.)

That being said, I'm an unprincipled whore and would totally go on the "My Favorite Things" episode for all of the amazing free stuff that the audience gets.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

I heard she cried when James Blunt played on her show. That reminded me of a time when one of my college friends said he criend at a Staind show, because Aaron Lewis was so freakin' emotional and his lyrics touched him deep down inside.

If it was just for that I would vote suck.

But I still can't stand her. I do think her philanthropy is good, but I will also pat Bill Gates on the back for his. But that doesn't mean I like him either.

Oprah sucks! And vive Steve Jobs and Apple!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous e4life said...

Sucks. For most of the reasons already pointed out by other suck voters.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Sharon, I'm right and you're wrong. I still stand by that sentence becuase if this vote says Not Suck, I post Not Suck for forever on my blog. And that's even if I think the vote is dumb. How's that for commitment to democracy.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oprah doesn't suck. I feel she is one of the most substantial philanthropists that exist in today's twisted world of celebrity. I won't condemn anyone -regardless of their celebrity status or lack there of - who back up their words with actions in an attempt to make the world we live in a better place.

5:43 PM  

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