Notice: I wrote back in February about Suzy Orman’s use of the “Oprah Effect” to promote her books. My only regret is that, because I wanted to focus on the copyright versus open source element, I did not make it clear that Oprah Winfrey was the vehicle for the million-copy giveaway. Despite the criticisms I have made, and which to her credit Oprah has allowed to be posted on her website, I’m more for her than against.
The story begins with this entry on The Drudge Report:
Oprah Winfrey may have introduced Democrat Barack Obama to the women of America — but the talkshow queen is not rushing to embrace the first woman on a Republican presidential ticket!
Oprah’s staff is sharply divided on the merits of booking Sarah Palin, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.
“Half of her staff really wants Sarah Palin on,” an insider explains. “Oprah’s website is getting tons of requests to put her on, but Oprah and a couple of her top people are adamantly against it because of Obama.”
One executive close to Winfrey is warning any Palin ban could ignite a dramatic backlash!
Drudge also claimed that both Oprah nor show producer Sheri Salata had “refused” to comment and that both had donated substantial amounts to Senator Barack Obama’s (Democrat, Illinois) campaign for the U.S. presidency.
So far, nothing much for me to comment on. It’s a straightforward case of political bias, but Oprah is only harming her own commercial credibility with some of her viewers, so what?
Here, the response by Harpo Productions, Oprah’s company, was like pouring petrol on a fire. Being posted to Oprah’s discussion community allowed a storm to erupt:
“The item in today’s Drudge Report is categorically untrue. There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. At the beginning of this presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.” – Oprah Winfrey, September 5, 2008
Now I decided to join in, focusing the point that either there had been no discussion, hinting at a Stalinist management style, or the statement was an obvious lie, which is bad for the “role model” business.