Oprah seems to be the untouchable star. No one seems to want to criticize anything she does for fear of being labeled a misogynist, racist, or simply being outside the norm. I have many issues with what she has done to our culture and I don't make any apologies for my negative feeling for her show, magazine, icon status, etc.
There are many reasons to dislike Oprah's show if not for the fact that she spoon fed Dr Phil's career. That reason alone makes my dislike for her justified. Dr Phil started out as a simpleton psychologist who appeared often on Oprah's show telling people what was wrong with them. He basically uses the Dr Laura approach. Although he's a little less abrasive and far less controversial then the homophobe radio host the celebrity doctor is just as obnoxious and nauseating. He now has his own television show and has decided to take up crusading for justice in Aruba. Given the fact that the general public loves nothing more then to hear people tell the mindless public what they 'need to hear', often referred to as 'tough love', his status as a daytime entertainer will be with us for years.
Oprah changed television, but really has it been for the better? Considering her superficial celebrity interviews and her obsession with her weight fluxuations, has she raised the bar for intelligent, reasoned debate? When she seems to tackle a serious subject it is nothing but a show of what her audience believes to be profound one liners. Handling issues of rape, domestic violence, and marital problems with sound bytes is not only shallow, but can be destructive.
Now a lot of people think that if she wasn't around someone else would step in, but I think this is wrong. There's no denying her talent. She has developed herself into an untouchable when it comes to negative press and her charisma reaches around the world. This is the danger of celebrity culture. Open your history books or just pick up your newspaper and see how the famous have damaged our body politic. If you're still searching your brain for an example let me remind you that a horrible actor is now basically in charge of economic policy for the world's third largest economy.
Now there are things Oprah has done that are great, if not just for the fact she's been a great role model for women everywhere as far as success is concerned, but please take into account her body of work before you worship at the altar of the daytime television diva.
"My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." - Oprah Winfrey