Friday, January 27, 2006

The Two Faces of Oprah Winfrey: Part II

I received a very thought provoking response to my previous comments concerning Oprah's about face in the James Frey junkie author scandal. LeLo in NoPo pointed out to me quite factually that I do not know what Oprah was thinking. But let me take you through what I am thinking and how it supports my belief that in both her approval and later rejection of James Frey she was merely trying to garner some positive PR coverage.

We cannot turn back the clock and affect any changes to the circumstances surrounding James Frey appearing on Larry King , during which Oprah Winfrey called in to offer her full support of him. What happened from then up until now will remain what it is.

But let us imagine an alternate set of circumstances and afterwards all I will ask of anyone is to honestly consider if Oprah would have reacted the same way. Let us begin with the night of the Larry King interview with James Frey. Everything happens the exact same way as before, including the call from Oprah Winfrey. Now imagine in the days after this incident. In this alternate history there is not a huge outpouring of criticism regarding Oprah supporting James Frey. Little, if any is said about her in the mainstream media.

Now ask yourself, if Oprah had not come under fire in this new set of circumstances do you honestly believe she would have gone on record as saying she was duped? Would she have called James Frey back onto her show to chastise him and force an apology?

I believe and continue to stand behind my original argument that Oprah Winfrey only became indignant and withdrew her support of James Frey because of the negative press that was directed at her. Because her morals and ethics were questioned she had to realign herself with the popular sentiment being targeted against James Frey. Had all of this gone quietly I do not see Oprah proactively changing her stance. She made an unpopular move in supporting James Frey and when it turned on her she had no choice but to go along with the majority.

As always, I welcome any views that may be contrary to my own but my own personal beliefs on this issue will remain unchanged.

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