Fake Oprah? FAUXPRAH?

Just tell me now. Tell me that Oprah is not a fake and that all these statements written in the book by Kitty Kelley (which I admit I am reading) are NOT true. But, if a die-hard fan like me is starting to doubt and question than I have a feeling a lot of people are. I consider myself the pulse of America and I am not bragging about it. I’m afraid to say that I am not only reading the book but devouring it. After 300 pages, I am beginning to be a tiny bit suspicious of my hero, MY legend, my spiritual leader, Oprah. Oprah, please say it ain’t so!

While I am reading the book, I find myself talking back out loud to the book, trying to ignore the book’s claims; but I can’t and I am not happy about it. If Oprah herself pulled a James Frey than the world, as I know it, will be over and that would be monumental; it would be huge. As my mom would say in her German dialect “it would be the “bottom of the pits.”

I’m starting to question everything: did Oprah decide to end her show because she knew the book was being published and didn’t want to deal with issues in the book? No, of course not. Maybe? When Oprah tells people to “think big” and “imagine yourself with your goal in hand” Oprah was MY goal. I saw myself shmoozing with her and becoming friends with her, cuddling her dogs, sitting in her lush sofas with my feet crossed under me. Granted I’m sure 30 million other viewers feel the very same way.  Don’t tell me she isn’t friendly, don’t tell me she made up “stories” or even “exaggerated truths.”  I refuse to believe that.  I think.

I haven’t give up on Oprah, I refuse to. It would be too devastating and I have not finished the book yet. I’m hoping for a happy ending where the author confesses she really does love Oprah and perhaps confesses her own exaggerations of the book but I am not feeling that.

Oprah, I’m still here, and I’m still rooting for you. But, I admit, I have a few nagging strands in my stomach and in my brain making me feel a little scared and apprehensive, maybe even a tiny bet annoyed. To me, you’ve always been “The Secret” the key to knowing what was right and what was wrong and I still look up to you tremendously. You have changed lives, you have housed the homeless, you build schools, you help millions by suggesting books (although some of the choices written by your friends are a little questionable)  you give away cars (ok, that one was a little over the top) and you give great gifts of the things that YOU love to others. Convince me that you are sincere and that all the literature written about you is total trash. Because, unfortunately, the book seems to make sense.  At times.

Oprah, give me a sign. Tell me to “live my best life” (copyrighted apparently by Oprah) and let me have my own “A-Ha” moment (also copyrighted by Oprah.)  Give me a “Harpo Hook-up” (ditto, see above) or an “Oprah Make Over” (same, copyrighted by Oprah). Invite me to come on your show and really talk to me. Please, make me a believer. Again.

Pop Cop: Jay Leno, I Used To Like You

Jay Leno was the man of the people. Down to earth.  Affable. A big lug.  Liked cars. Big, expensive cars. Tons of cars.  I used to trust Jay Leno but with all the press about him and Conan, I don’t anymore.  I thought Jay Leno’s interview with Oprah would somehow, some way, redeem him in my eyes and in the eyes of others.  She skewered him, lightly, with the gentle grace that only Oprah could pull off. Like a James Frey redo.  She asked questions in a fair, even way but somehow he couldn’t quite get his act together. He whined, he expressed NO remorse about Conan and said he never talked to Conan personally nor does he plan too.  He could have somehow come out of this mess a little less dirty, a little less oily but he didn’t.  The Oprah interview showed him as a cold-hearted celebrity, needing fame more than friendship; greed over greatness.

He COULD have stepped down and made way for Conan. I was never a big Conan fan to begin with but after this brouhaha he started looking a lot better. I watched Conan O’ Brien for the first time in my life; it was humbling. The show  portrayed Jay Leno as the rottweiler and Conan as the poor, abused, puppy. When I watched Conan I felt sad; when I watched Jay I felt angry. Here’s the reason why, according to Jay Leno “ratings” are what counts, according to Conan, life is about way more than that. I agree with Conan, there’s more to life than ratings. There’s kindness and doing the right thing.

Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel for appearing on Leno and “sucker-punching” Leno. Kimmel was straight and to the point and actually said to Jay Leno (and I am paraphrasing) what many of us were feeling. “You had your chance, you had the show for 16 years, it’s just you and Mavis and a lot of cars, you have 18 billion dollars. Conan and I are family guys, we have families. Leave us alone.” Those remarks made a direct hit to our hearts and seemed to bounce off Leno like a boomerang.

After that Jay Leno should have stopped, checked his incredibly large ego at the door and said good-bye to NBC and The Tonight Show. He should have left graciously instead of greedily. He wouldn’t give a little bit and I don’t think he’s the nice guy that he used to appear to be.

Have you learned nothing about the world? How many more billions will make you happier?  Doing the right thing may be very different than doing things for ratings. There’s kindness, there’s being a good man, and then, there’s karma.

I’ll stay with Letterman, who even if he is acerbic, is smart, quick and honest. Jay, I used to like you but I don’t anymore. If I could predict I would say that a lot of people are with me on this. Even when you go back to NBC to the time-slot of your choice, it may feel very, very different  and you deserve whatever you get. And then some.