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Stop the insanity OPRAH GIVEAWAYS MAKE HER A BAD SANTA
The Toronto Sun ^ | December 4th 2004 | Bill Brioux

Posted on 12/04/2004 8:41:18 AM PST by xp38

IN SEPTEMBER, when Oprah Winfrey returned for her 19th season, we were told that something big was up. Speculation ran rampant. Was she building schools in Africa? Mounting another pro-literacy campaign? Curing cancer?

Instead, the talk-show diva descended into her studio audience and declared, "You've got a car! You've got a car! You've got a car!"

All 276 members of her studio audience received brand new Pontiacs valued at $28,000 US apiece. People went nuts.

Last month -- neatly timed near the end of sweeps -- Oprah Claus gave away another $15,000 to each and every studio audience member, this time teachers, in her annual "Favourite Things" show. Among the multi-millionaire's favourite things are flat-screen TVs, laptops and a washer-dryer set.

Now, Oprah's no dummy. Based on season-to-date ratings, her syndication numbers are up 16% year-to-year. Clearly, people want stuff. Fabulous, expensive stuff.

Oprah's also no one-trick pony. In the course of a week she'll do more good by promoting random acts of kindness, healthy lifestyles or volunteerism than, well, some churches.

So why am I horrified by the giveaway giddiness of her impact shows?

It just seems to send the wrong message: the world's richest woman declares that lavish, material goods can solve all your problems.

And it's spreading. This past week on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the comedienne launched her own 12 days of giving by showering her studio audience with vacuum cleaners, coffee makers and electric tooth brushes. Again, the audience went insane with glee. As one Sun reader observed, any hubby who tried to give his wife a vacuum for Christmas would sleep with Frosty.

As usual, the anti-Oprah's aren't buying it. David Letterman gave his audience car air-fresheners the day after Oprah handed out Pontiacs. After her latest prize dump, Conan O'Brien cracked, "What -- run out of cars?"

Cynics. Oprah has dedicated this entire season to fulfilling fantasies. "No dream is too wild, no surprise impossible to pull off," she said on her show. If some struggling young actor's dream is to guest star on Will & Grace, Oprah will make it so. If a struggling single parent needs a new house to shelter her growing adoptive family, Oprah will out-makeover Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Even the giveaways are sold as charitable ventures. Eleven needy people were hand-picked in that car giveaway -- although the other 266 well-manicured Oprah babes looked like they were off to audition for the next Bachelorette.

TV always has had instant-prize programs. In the '50s, Queen For A Day asked the studio audience to pick which contestant had the most pathetic life -- and then reward them with a recliner.

Things, however, have never been this out of hand. We've lived vicariously through contestants before -- from the Survivor torch-bearers to the Amazing Race runners to Jeopardy! brainiac Ken Jennings.

Now, forget vicarious. We want the full, hands-on, TV miracle. Fix my nose (The Swan), fix my job (The Apprentice), fix my spouse (Wife Swap). Even fix your pets (The Price Is Right).

An e-mail arrived this week at the Sun from a reader who sounded like a real desperate housewife. She was struggling to raise her son, needed a job, was ashamed of her appearance and was looking for a way up. Did I know the producers of The Swan and could I intervene on her behalf?

This is what's wrong with Oprah's message. Too many people believe that TV can save your life if you can just get into the right studio on the right day.

There's nothing wrong with looking fabulous or being fabulously wealthy. Who doesn't like to win a new car or flat-screen TV?

But Oprah has the power to tell the world that beauty and happiness do not equal all the toys you can grab in 15 minutes.

She can tell people that true beauty and power lies within themselves, not within their television sets. That's my wildest dream.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: freestuff; oprah; television
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1 posted on 12/04/2004 8:41:18 AM PST by xp38
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To: xp38

I'll just never understand the fascination.....as long as I shall live.....


2 posted on 12/04/2004 8:43:39 AM PST by anniegetyourgun (Tag - you're it!)
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To: xp38

Maybe Oprah will give this jealous guy something so he will STFU.


3 posted on 12/04/2004 8:44:27 AM PST by OSHA (He is unbeatable. Christ, we beat him twice, and he's still President. (DU Cherry.))
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To: xp38

Only thing missing here is the ever seasonal...Bah, humbug...


4 posted on 12/04/2004 8:46:07 AM PST by Time is now (We'll live to see it......Does anyone see it yet?....)
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To: xp38

What Oprah is doing is a disgrace.

She should give the money to rich people who would do something with it like spur greater investment and create more jobs.


5 posted on 12/04/2004 8:46:33 AM PST by OwnershipSociety
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To: anniegetyourgun

Nor will I.
I had the day off recently and had occasion to click through when her show started.

The audience's reaction was cult-like.


6 posted on 12/04/2004 8:46:37 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: xp38

I'm no Oprah fan, but perhaps her material giveaways have actually helped some people in need, or maybe for those who aren't to then give something to others in need: pass it along so to speak. This author needs to lighten up.


7 posted on 12/04/2004 8:47:54 AM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: xp38
>>All 276 members of her studio audience received brand new Pontiacs valued at $28,000 US apiece. People went nuts.<<

I wonder of Oprah has Walmart's liberal return policy when these cars start to break down in the first year?

Muleteam1

8 posted on 12/04/2004 8:48:37 AM PST by Muleteam1
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To: OSHA

I'm with you. I thought it was a nice, if publicity garnering, gesture. So what if it's good advertising? I thought Ellen DeGenerous's (usually I type "degenerate" so I'm definitely in the holiday spirit) move was even better.

Perhaps the good folk of Toronto are looking to get on Oprah for instant wealth but I sure haven't met any out here. They're too busy planning their next Vegas vacation. Is Vegas Oprah's fault? Don't think so...


9 posted on 12/04/2004 8:49:20 AM PST by Spyder
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To: OwnershipSociety

yea .................right


10 posted on 12/04/2004 8:49:46 AM PST by hineybona
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To: xp38
It just seems to send the wrong message: the world's richest woman declares that lavish, material goods can solve all your problems.

More accurately, it sends the message that TELEVSION personalities can solve all your problems.

Personally, I don't care what Oprah does with her money, but we do need to remember one thing: it's good business for Oprah to be doing these give-a-ways, and that's the bottom line.

But there is a danger in what Oprah and other TV personalities are doing: they are perpetuating the myth of the "silver bullet" fix-all, which is the underlying myth that is the foundation of liberalism.

11 posted on 12/04/2004 8:50:41 AM PST by Ronzo (God Bless & Protect all of our troops, whever they serve.)
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To: xp38
Who's Doperah?
12 posted on 12/04/2004 8:50:50 AM PST by Boazo (From the mind of BOAZO)
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To: xp38
She can tell people that true beauty and power lies within themselves, not within their television sets. That's my wildest dream.

Gads. This person doesn't have a clue. As if what Oporah does actually changes the world? It's TV. It's all fake.

13 posted on 12/04/2004 8:52:22 AM PST by isthisnickcool (John Kerry in 2008!)
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To: xp38
It just seems to send the wrong message: the world's richest woman declares that lavish, material goods can solve all your problems.

Somebody at the Toronto Sun has major jealousy issues.

14 posted on 12/04/2004 8:52:40 AM PST by asgardshill (November 2004 - The Month That Just Kept On Giving)
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To: xp38

One day... I will be part of that audience and take all those goodies home.


15 posted on 12/04/2004 8:53:05 AM PST by Kurt_D
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To: xp38

Actually. Oprah didn't give the cars, GM did. It was a great advertsing gimmick. The people who got the cars still had to pay the taxes. Gifts on these shows are mostly donated to get the advertising. It's okay but I don't equate it to true charitable giving as far as the stars of the shows are concerned.


16 posted on 12/04/2004 8:53:50 AM PST by unbalanced but fair
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To: OwnershipSociety

Hrmmmm...

Do you live under a bridge? :P


17 posted on 12/04/2004 8:59:24 AM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: xp38

Even Santa does his "giving" in private. Oprah has all of this attention and snd she still needs more. Look at me!


18 posted on 12/04/2004 9:01:38 AM PST by KTpig
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To: KTpig

She can do what she wants, it's her show , her money ..Free society , capitalism ..So ..........


19 posted on 12/04/2004 9:03:56 AM PST by hineybona
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To: xp38
..... any hubby who tried to give his wife a vacuum for Christmas would sleep with Frosty.

Uh, that's what I told hubby I wanted for Christmas this year.

20 posted on 12/04/2004 9:07:34 AM PST by barker (I have knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone home, Zell Miller on GWBush)
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To: hineybona

Yup, fine with me, just commenting on her voracious appetite for attention. Free to do so, right?


21 posted on 12/04/2004 9:07:43 AM PST by KTpig
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: xp38
And then reality set in - from money.cnn.com

Click Here - The Taxman Cometh

When Oprah Winfrey gave away 276 cars last week to the audience of her show, images of people laughing, jumping, crying -- some hysterically -- filled the airwaves and the give-away became stuff of legend. Late night talk show hosts and newspaper columnists are still talking about it. But now some of those eager prize-winners have a choice: Fork over $7,000 or give up the car.

23 posted on 12/04/2004 9:10:03 AM PST by tx_eggman ("All I need to know about Islam I learned on 09/11/01" - Crawdad)
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To: anniegetyourgun

Oprah loves adulation.
She feeds on it.
She panders to and fawns celebrities, and likes to show herself helping the "little people"


24 posted on 12/04/2004 9:13:48 AM PST by MaryJaneNC
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To: xp38

Oh carp, carp, carp, whine, whine, whine.

She does a ton of good and then some.

The naysayers and whiners seem to breed like rabbits.

Article: "She can tell people that true beauty and power lies within themselves, not within their television sets. That's my wildest dream."

OPRAH does tonse of that already, too much, probably.

She'd do better at more often focusing people more effectively and directly to God but that's another long story, isn't it.

As she is, she does 10,000% more lasting good for more people on a number of important fronts than the next 10,000 TV personalities put together, imho.

More power to her. Even my 82 year old dad likes her. That's saying something.


25 posted on 12/04/2004 9:14:27 AM PST by Quix (5having a form of godliness but denying its power. I TIM 3:5)
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To: xp38
She can tell people that true beauty and power lies within themselves, not within their television sets. That's my wildest dream.

Today's cultural mantra. For those of us who believe in God, this is the real problem with the Oprafication of America. Sorry, but learning to love yourself is NOT the greatest love of all.

26 posted on 12/04/2004 9:14:34 AM PST by Drawsing (Congress doesn't need to see the light...they just need to feel the heat..Ronald Reagan)
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To: xp38

I'm not an Oprah fan, and to tell the truth I've never even watched her show. But from what I can make out, she's a reasonably decent woman. Some of the books she recommends are schlock, but some of them are actually good books that people will profit from reading. If she were a genuine liberal, ALL of her books would be schlock.

The same with her political opinions. From what I can make out, she doesn't try to brainwash her audience into multiculturalism, liberalism, communism, or any of the rest of the liberal agenda. From that point of view, she's a lot healthier than Katie Couric, et al.


27 posted on 12/04/2004 9:15:50 AM PST by Cicero (Nil illegitemus carborundum est)
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To: tx_eggman

I heard that a least a few of the winners opted to sell the car and others are taking delivery after January 1 so the taxes won't be due till '06.
This happens all the time. HGTV gives away that Dream House and even their site said only one of the winners decided to keep it. It wasn't just the tax on the winnings but also future property taxes and other expenses.


28 posted on 12/04/2004 9:18:14 AM PST by unbalanced but fair
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To: tx_eggman

About the only game show I have ever seen acknowledge the tax man was one special show of Who Wants to be a Millionaire when Regis was hosting and the money won that night included covering the taxes involved. It only happened once I think on that show. I think H and R Block was a sponsor that night too.


29 posted on 12/04/2004 9:20:27 AM PST by xp38
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To: KTpig

appetite for attention ? well ...yea ..she's running a TV show ..thats whats its about


30 posted on 12/04/2004 9:25:42 AM PST by hineybona
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To: Ronzo
"Personally, I don't care what Oprah does with her money"

Her money? Rich people don't get that way by giving aeway their money.

I don't know about this latest rating-grab-givaway, but the cars were donated by Pontiac. Oprah was happy to let everyone think that she bought them and gave them away.

Funny thing about that was that many ended up selling the car because they couldn't afford the $4000 - $6000 federal income tax due on a $28,000 gift.

I'm going to assume that these articles are also donated by the manufacturers.

31 posted on 12/04/2004 9:27:15 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: hineybona
She can do what she wants, it's her show , her money ..Free society , capitalism ..So ..........

Yup. And freedom to be stupid and watch a stupid show like Oprah.

32 posted on 12/04/2004 9:27:27 AM PST by Musket
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To: Musket

I agree..who watches TV period ? Except for Discovery and History channel , it;s all a waste


33 posted on 12/04/2004 9:28:42 AM PST by hineybona
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To: xp38

First of all this article does not explain that the flat screen tv's that she gave away were regular tv's that she rolled around on.


34 posted on 12/04/2004 9:29:30 AM PST by longfellow (You're either with US or from Hollywood! Ultimateamerican.com)
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To: DTogo
I'm no Oprah fan, but perhaps her material giveaways have actually helped some people in need,

Yes, to people who need bath oils and cashmere blankets.

35 posted on 12/04/2004 9:30:44 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.)
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To: xp38

oh please--i don't watch Oprah (unless its a special about children that i happen to hear about--maybe once every two years) but i have seen the items (on the internet or in magazines) she's sometimes given away on her "Favorite Things" show, and it seems like a lot of fun... i would want to be in the audience during one of those shows... i think Dr. Phil and his wife do a Valentine's gifts give away...


36 posted on 12/04/2004 9:33:37 AM PST by latina4dubya
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To: xp38

This is nothing but self-sponsorship in the guise of generosity. By promoting her show with those gimmicks, not only would she get more returns and publicity for her money than if she were to advertise via traditional methods in print and media; but also she would have a good chance of being canonized as a saint.


37 posted on 12/04/2004 9:42:03 AM PST by citizencon
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To: isthisnickcool

Let's not forget that Oprah gets a good tax break from giving things away during her show.


38 posted on 12/04/2004 9:46:06 AM PST by debboo (Stop socialism, vote conservative)
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To: Constantine XIII

You got a big mouth don't you?

You have something to say to me you troll?


39 posted on 12/04/2004 9:51:46 AM PST by OwnershipSociety
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To: hineybona

Spit it out Jr.

Don't hide behind insults.


40 posted on 12/04/2004 9:52:18 AM PST by OwnershipSociety
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To: Constantine XIII

You got something to say...why don't you spit it out instead of hiding behind insults.


41 posted on 12/04/2004 9:53:05 AM PST by OwnershipSociety
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To: OwnershipSociety

Oh, come on. Don't be so thin skinned. :P

You know exactly why I said what I said. It would have just been stating the obvious.

Since you insist, though, why should Oprah give her money to anyone? She earned it, it's hers. :P

And if she wants to talk GM into giving away free Pontiacs, then why should we complain, outside of the fact that it promotes her kooky personality cult?


42 posted on 12/04/2004 9:56:34 AM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: xp38
Are you aware that Oprah doesn't give this stuff using her money, that she ask the various manufacturer's to donate the products? None of these things was purchased by her. She is a greedy fraud who extols the good of her Angel Network then goes home to her 30 or 40 million dollar home in her 20 million dollar jet.
43 posted on 12/04/2004 10:11:56 AM PST by Free2BeMe
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To: Muleteam1
I wonder of Oprah has Walmart's liberal return policy when these cars start to break down in the first year?

Actually, GMC gave the cars to Oprah...she didn't pay for them herself, so I am sure the cars are covered by warrenty. Who the hell would crab about some rich person, finally, giving something away? A person can do what they want with their money, spend it, give it away, whatever. Some of the people in the audience probably really needed those cars. I do not like Oprah in general but I see nothing wrong with this or see where it is sending the wrong message. On the other hand, swan and similar shows have very bad messeages indeed.

44 posted on 12/04/2004 10:13:42 AM PST by calex59
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To: Ronzo

And remember, Oprah s did say that GM gave the cars. They didn't cost her a dime. I'm 99% sure I heard that right. Anybody know? I suspect that most of her give aways are provided by the manufacturers as advertising on her far reaching show.

She did use her money when she went to Africa last year and prpbably does in other similar situations.

I'm sort of on the fence about all that. Material things are not big on my list, but there is something nice about seeing people in need provided for. I don't think it is mandatory to be Christian to be used by God. If He uses Oprah to help some people, that has to be a good thing. I think.

Sure, give aways are great ratings generators. But even that is part of the cycle. High ratings generate the money that provides the way for philanthopy. If she had bombed all those 19 years ago, lot's of needs may not have been met. Or would He have used someone else. Probably.

It seems to be circular. God provides the means, and prepares the heart of the giver. Maybe in the vastness of the give aways there is the Lord, directing some of it to His glory.

I have to do some more thinking on the subject but I promise to do it in my prayer closet. I've thrown out some thoughts. Maybe some of you can sort through this mess and show me the light.


45 posted on 12/04/2004 10:25:18 AM PST by Oreo Kookey (How, indeed, do we click our tongues at beheadings and look the other way from abortion? I weep.)
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To: Ronzo

philantophy = philanthropy


46 posted on 12/04/2004 10:32:46 AM PST by Oreo Kookey (How, indeed, do we click our tongues at beheadings and look the other way from abortion? I weep.)
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To: Oreo Kookey

See post #23 about the car give-away. Gm donated them. Some of the people who received them were truly needy but that made it even more difficult to pay the taxes due. Maybe Oprah could've paid those taxes for them? And I really doubt that very many of the people in her studio audiences who receive the gifts are needy.
As I said before, I don't care that she has these shows but I don't consider them true charity on her part. I think that her visits to Africa and the giving there may qualify as charity.


47 posted on 12/04/2004 10:40:41 AM PST by unbalanced but fair
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To: xp38

=== TV always has had instant-prize programs. In the '50s, Queen For A Day asked the studio audience to pick which contestant had the most pathetic life -- and then reward them with a recliner.


My grandma came in second and only got a vacuum cleaner, I think.


48 posted on 12/04/2004 11:23:52 AM PST by Askel5 ( Cooperatio voluntaria ad suicidium est legi morali contraria. )
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To: xp38

So they grovel for the scraps thrown to them from the table of the Masters. Next they will be kissing their feet. Have these people no dignity, no self respect, no shame?!

These are the gods' of Liberals.


49 posted on 12/04/2004 11:59:45 AM PST by Search4Truth (When a man lies he murders some part of the world.)
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To: Constantine XIII

oh


50 posted on 12/04/2004 1:34:54 PM PST by OwnershipSociety
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