Oprah Discovers the Holocaust





After more than two decades on the air, Oprah finally discovered the Holocaust. After more urgent, worthy show topics--"Teens Addicted to Oral Sex," "Gospel Singer Addicted to Porn," "the Gorgeous Men of Decorating," and "Oprah & Stedman Visit the Dog Whisperer with their Doggie Daughter"--finally there was time for the Holocaust.


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Gary W. Daily - 5/30/2006

Well, Mr. Clayson, someone is buying all of those books Oprah chooses for her book club. Her selections ALL find their way on to the bestseller lists. Publishers salivate in the hope that one of their works will be her next choice. Maybe your "bored hausfraus" reads and knows more than you're willing to give her credit for. And also, every study that I have read in the past three years indicates that _women_ are the readers in this country. Granting that some may show a passing interest in the celebs of the moment, but great numbers buy books. I suppose they are busy reading them while the men are doing the important stuff in life, like watching still another football, baseball or basketball game on the tube. Favre, Bonds and Bryant are just so, what, deep?


Gary W. Daily - 5/30/2006

Well, Mr. Clayson, someone is buying all of those books Oprah chooses for her book club. Her selections ALL find their way on to the bestseller lists. Publishers salivate in the hope that one of their works will be her next choice. Maybe your "bored hausfraus" reads and knows more than you're willing to give her credit for. And also, every study that I have read in the past three years indicates that _women_ are the readers in this country. Granting that some may show a passing interest in the celebs of the moment, but great numbers buy books. I suppose they are busy reading them while the men are doing the important stuff in life, like watching still another football, baseball or basketball game on the tube. Favre, Bonds and Bryant are just so, what, deep?


Vernon Clayson - 5/28/2006

Mr. Daly, I understand your comment, but think you overestimate Oprah's audience. How seriously can you take an audience that cheers her every word, howver inane from her lips, that would be the audience in the studio who respond to signs? How seriously can you take a TV audience of bored hausfraus living lives so dull Oprah seems interesting? You surely don't believe they will rush out and buy books on the holocaust when there are magazines and books on the likes of shallow actors like Tom Cruise and George Clooney or the endless line of empty headed blondes?


Gary W. Daily - 5/28/2006

Mr. Maas and Mr. Clayson seem to miss my main point in order to dis Oprah, or in reality, dis what daytime talk shows and our celebrity soaked TV culture has become. Rather than veer off into this agreed upon area, I would ask again, what do you think of the position I take in regard to her championing of the Schlink work? I say: "Because of Oprah hundreds of thousands of resisting readers discovered the Holocaust." Implicit in that statement is that this is a good thing and Oprah deserves the credit. No? Yes?


Vernon Clayson - 5/28/2006

Mr. Maass makes so much sense, Oprah is an entertainer, nothing more, she merely has an ability to act concerned and involved about almost any subject for an hour a day. In fact, they probably have enough film on hand showing her wide eyed interest and pat cliche answers that she could stay home and the producers could film hours of guests with their bleats without her even having to be their. It would be easy, "go ahead, movie star or tragic figure, spill your guts, we will morph old Oprah smiles or near tears film in whenever we need to."
Woody Allen could direct it, he's done it before. The shrieking mob audience wouldn't even have to be there, they could use old ones for that also. She can retire. If ever there was a cult worship this is one. No celebrity approaches her ability to feign empathy, although politician celebrity Bill Clinton was pretty good at it.


John R. Maass - 5/27/2006

As Mr. Daily says, "She's guilty as charged. So what?" Is it really our expecation that Oprah has to address the Holocaust on a pop culture TV show? Why? She is an entertainer--the oral sex and porn topics mentioned in the Front Page mag opinion piece are what SELLS! Is it not slightly below the dignity of the study of the Holocaust to have it "explored" onthe same show that devotes time to oral sex and porn? I think that would tend to demean the Holocaust.


Gary W. Daily - 5/27/2006

Oprah is an easy target for those of us who deplore the confessional as a TV art form. She's guilty as charged. So what?
But didn't she actually choose Bernard Schlink's _The Reader_ as one of her "Oprah Books"? Doesn't this choice on her part result in sales in the hundreds of thousands of copies? Sales to many readers who would never consider looking at, let alone buying, a book on the Holocaust without Oprah's prompting and promotion.

However you may interpret, rate or classify Schlink's work, it is a novel that has been spoken of in the same space as Abby Mann's "Judgement at Nuremburg" and Peter Singer's _Pushing Time Away-My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna_. This may or may not win points with Debbie Schlussel, but it surely places Oprah's consciousness of the Holocaust beyond her dismissive and meaningless put down, "Oprah finally discovered the Holocaust." Wouldn't it be closer to the truth to say: Because of Oprah hundereds of thousands of resisting readers discovered the Holocaust?