January 10, 2018

Remember, Oprah Winfrey Is Our Premier National Snake Oil Salesman

Dana Mathewson

Amid all the excitement generated at the Golden Globes by Oprah Winfrey's speech, with empty-headed liberals (but I repeat myself) touting a run by her for the White House (ironic, yes?) in 2020, there is this excellent article from The Federalist, which I found on Lucianne.com this morning, and which I commend to your attention. The title is particularly provoking, though the author leaves out a number of instances he could have used to back it up.

The official NBC network account went so far as to post (and later delete) a tweet hailing her as "OUR future president.” Her long-time consort Stedman Graham told the Los Angeles Times, "She would absolutely do it.” Meryl Streep got so carried away she told The Hill, "Now she doesn’t have a choice” but to run. It continues to amaze me that there are actors in Hollywood who can portray intelligence on the screen without possessing a scrap of it themselves. Acting is truly a magical art.

There are a great many reasons Winfrey should not run for president. Chief among them is that she has built her career, not just as a charismatic daytime television star, but also as our nation’s premier snake oil salesman. She is responsible for promoting a whole variety of quack medical nostrums and launching the careers of questionable experts. She may not be as prolific as Gwyneth Paltrow—to my knowledge, she has never tried to sell us a coffee enema—but she is far more influential.

She invited Suzanne Somers onto her show to peddle hormone injections and an absurd vitamin regimen. . . . Oprah also brought on Jenny McCarthy to peddle the anti-vaccination scare.

One of her favorite guests has been Dr. Christiane Northrup, who "has written about how she has used Tarot cards to help diagnose her own illnesses.”

If all this weren’t enough, Oprah is the one who anointed Mehmet Oz as "America’s Doctor.” Dr. Oz has a long history on his own show—produced by Oprah’s company—of hawking miracle cures and bogus weight loss pills. Ross Pomeroy at RealClearScience has documented some of the "magic” and "miracle” hokum Oz promotes to his millions of viewers without any supporting scientific evidence. A group of his Columbia University medical school colleagues went so far as to publish an op-ed taking him to task.


You could attribute Winfrey’s history on this to ruthless cynicism—getting rich and famous by telling the suckers what they want to hear. Or you could attribute it to her own gullibility, scientific illiteracy, and tendency toward subjective emotionalism and outright mysticism. Neither possibility is very reassuring, but both are oddly familiar. Let’s see: a lowbrow TV star with a tendency toward gushing hyperbole and relentless self-promotion, who shows a tendency to be influenced by bogus experts and crackpot theories. What could possibly go wrong?

There's more, of course. The entire article is found at http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/09/remember-oprah-winfrey-premier-national-snake-oil-salesman/

I'm trying to remember: some years ago there was this dude who wrote a sob-story book that she promoted the daylights out of -- not a word of it was true, of course, and he had to come on her show and admit it. She still insisted the book was worth reading... naturally, since she'd put a bunch of bucks into promoting it.

Come to think of it, this shows real political potential, but I think she'd do better as a senator than a president. If Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein can get away with the kind of chicanery they pull just about every day of the week, she could too.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:59 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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