It's a given that Oprah is a mighty force. Yesterday, she featured an author who wrote a memoir 10 years ago, and that same book today is #85 on Amazon. Kathryn Harrison's The Kiss is going strong.
Oprah's new season's been on for several weeks now and I keep waiting for her to do a show that will make some kind of statement about the pending health care reform legislation. Yes, I realize, for sure, absolutely, that she can do programs on anything she'd like. Got that. But in the spirit of her Obama embrace, she should use the incredible power she's accrued to affect public opinion. For someone who is spiritual and leans left in reality even while she stays away from any kind of stance about anything substantive on her show, this is a moral imperative.
Yesterday on his new show, Dr. Oz Mehmet used the whole hour to address the issue of being uninsured in America. He is spending some of his popularity capital to make a difference. And Oprah should do the same.
For after three shows about incest, dads who are serial killers, boring interviews with teenaged country singers, conjoined twins, Whitney, Mike Tyson, and the "live on location" cringe-worthy spectacles where nothing really happens, it would be brave to showcase real people who don't have coverage and won't be able to get coverage. Candidate Obama profiled these real people in his campaign movie. Who could forget that lady with the severe rheumatory arthritis? She's worthy of a "Where are they now?" follow-up, and Oprah's show would be the perfect vehicle. Throw in a Suzy Orman appearance and you'd hit a home run.
Wouldn't it be worthwhile to lose even a partisan third of your audience if it meant making a positive major shift in policy? I wouldn't ask that she advocate for anything she wasn't personally passionate about. But if there were ever a a case for the urgency of now, this is it. Where's that Angel Network?