Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oprah Suffering Due To Obama Support!?!

It's probably not fair to say a billionaire is "suffering" under any circumstances, but there seems to be a growing sentiment that Oprah Winfrey's support of Barack Obama's Presidential bid is costing her fans. The LA Times recently opined that this unbiased Obama stannery is now negatively effecting her Q-rating.

Most of the attention on the O2 effect -- Obama and Oprah -- has been focused on how much the daytime TV cult leader helped her home state senator by endorsing him and appearing at all those rallies in Iowa and South Carolina with Barack and Michelle.

Oprah Winfrey has long enjoyed an immense popularity tied to her long-running daytime TV show, which started in 1986, and helped give her favorable ratings around 78% by 1996. In one 1999 survey of the most admired and respected 20th-century women, Oprah (26%) came in only second to Mother Teresa (33%), who didn't have her own TV show. And in 2003 a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 60% thought Oprah was a more powerful woman than someone named Hillary Clinton, a former first lady and senator, who drew only 28%. Fourteen months ago, a Gallup/USA Today poll found 74% of Americans had a favorable view of the TV personality. suggests the aging empress of TV has paid a price for getting into the dirty business of politics with and for her man Barack. By August last year, a CBS poll found her favorable rating had plunged from 74% to 61%, still twice as good as the president but nearly a 20% drop. But 10 days after the campaign media explosion her favorable rating had dropped further to 55% and her unfavorable ratings for the first time climbed to 1 in 3.

A recent AOL TV popularity survey of 1.35 million Americans that found 46% said the daytime TV host who "made their day" was Ellen DeGeneres while only 19% chose Winfrey. Forty-seven percent said they'd like to have dinner with Ellen, while only 14% chose Oprah.
Curiously not mentioned here is any discernible drop in her show's ratings. And her new Oprah's Big Give spinoff reality show on ABC is doing pretty nice numbers, so it's possible this is just another case of pointless hatin' by the same newspaper that just indirectly blamed Sean "Diddy" Combs for the death of Tupac Shakur, then later recanted when the story's main source was discredited.

The Times goes on to state that most of the uproar and backlash of Oprah seems to be from viewers who resent her endorsement of Obama (a black man) as opposed to Hillary Clinton (a woman). This wouldn't make this the first time the Race vs Gender angle has been played by the MSM, but this probably does have the be the most trivial example.

A billionaire can do whatever he or she damn well pleases, especially a self-made one like Oprah. I haven't heard anyone second guess Warren Buffet's support of Hillary Clinton, nor question why he chose personal allegiances (F.O.B.) over gender. Why should Oprah be held to any greater (or lesser, depending on how you look at it) standard?

Still, it's a Thursday, and a slow news day, so I figured I'd run this by you guys.

Question: Do you think Oprah's support of Obama has somehow sullied her image?

A surprise: Oprah pays a real cost for supporting Barack Obama [LA Times]

Oprah's ex-fans trash her support for Obama over a woman [LA Times]

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