Skip to comments.Stop the insanity OPRAH GIVEAWAYS MAKE HER A BAD SANTA
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.
I'll just never understand the fascination.....as long as I shall live.....
Maybe Oprah will give this jealous guy something so he will STFU.
Only thing missing here is the ever seasonal...Bah, humbug...
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.
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.
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.
I wonder of Oprah has Walmart's liberal return policy when these cars start to break down in the first year?
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...
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.
Gads. This person doesn't have a clue. As if what Oporah does actually changes the world? It's TV. It's all fake.
Somebody at the Toronto Sun has major jealousy issues.
One day... I will be part of that audience and take all those goodies home.
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.
Do you live under a bridge? :P
Even Santa does his "giving" in private. Oprah has all of this attention and snd she still needs more. Look at me!
She can do what she wants, it's her show , her money ..Free society , capitalism ..So ..........
Uh, that's what I told hubby I wanted for Christmas this year.
Yup, fine with me, just commenting on her voracious appetite for attention. Free to do so, right?
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.
Oprah loves adulation.
She feeds on it.
She panders to and fawns celebrities, and likes to show herself helping the "little people"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
appetite for attention ? well ...yea ..she's running a TV show ..thats whats its about
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.
Yup. And freedom to be stupid and watch a stupid show like Oprah.
I agree..who watches TV period ? Except for Discovery and History channel , it;s all a waste
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.
Yes, to people who need bath oils and cashmere blankets.
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...
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.
Let's not forget that Oprah gets a good tax break from giving things away during her show.
You got a big mouth don't you?
You have something to say to me you troll?
Spit it out Jr.
Don't hide behind insults.
You got something to say...why don't you spit it out instead of hiding behind insults.
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?
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.
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.
philantophy = philanthropy
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.
=== 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.
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.