Variety columnist Brian Lowry posted an interesting piece today on Oprah Winfrey and her inability to thoughtfully critique some the well-meaning but flaky blowhards who come on her show to save us from ourselves.
It's the daytime program, however, that remains her power base, and last week she used it as a forum for two highly questionable discussions — featuring TV psychics John Edward and "Medium" inspiration Allison DuBois, and then a follow-up regarding "The Secret," which boils down to a semi-mystical theory that putting forth positive energy (good vibrations?) will bring positive things back to you because "like attracts like."
Presiding over each hour, Oprah endeavored to at least appear neutral. "This is a show that lets you decide for yourself," she said at the outset of the psychic episode. "We're not trying to tell you how to think about anything."
Um, bull. Because no matter how she couches it, in both instances Oprah provided an approving, wholly uncritical platform to what could be the equivalent of modern-day snake-oil sales.
Lowry - 1. Winfrey - 0. Ball's in your court, Miss O.
With Psychics, Oprah Exposes Her Secret [Variety]