Newsweek has done the unthinkable; they’ve criticized Oprah. It’s about time the mainstream media took an interest in crititizing Oprah Winfrey’s dangerous pseudo-scientific nonsense.
Sadly however, the authors of this article aren’t very optimistic that Oprah’s devoted followers will abandon her and adopt reason instead:
At some point, it would seem, people will stop looking to Oprah for this kind of guidance. This will never happen. Oprah’s audience admires her as much for her failings as her successes. In real life, she has almost nothing in common with most of her viewers. She is an unapproachable billionaire with a private jet and homes around the country who hangs out with movie stars. She is not married and has no children. But television Oprah is a different person. She somehow manages to make herself believable as a down-to-earth everywoman. She is your girlfriend who struggles to control her weight and balance her work and personal life, just like you. When she recently related the story of how humiliated she felt when she arrived for a photo shoot to find that she couldn’t fit into the clothes she was supposed to wear, she knew she had every member of the audience in her hand. Oprah’s show is all about second and third and fourth chances to fix your life, and the promise that the next new thing to come along will be the one that finally works.
I’m kinda reminded of a character in the TV series “Nip/Tuck” named Kimber. Kimber is a character that has the determination to really go far but due to her own insecurities manages every season to some new self-destructive direction in her life in the guise of self-improvement, and gradually break free of it, only to fall victim to some new self-destructive behavior next season. That last paragraph quote above describes the Kimber character to a T.
The Newsweek article also takes some nice skeptical shots at Suzanne Somers, The Secret, HPV myths, and of course the queen of pseudo-scientific medical nonsense herself, Jenny McCarthy.