Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oprah is not infallible

A lot of people out there are fans of Oprah. Oprah is an amazing woman, having overcome poverty and abuse to become a leader and spokesperson followed by millions. She has a presence in just about every medium and people follow her there, too. If she recommends a book, that book is a sellout. Same with clothing, jewelry, ideas, and medical theories.

I'm not an Oprah fan. There are people out there who follow what she says without thinking and I didn't want to be someone who did that. I've also felt wary about many of her medical and spiritual claims, but there was nothing that I could really put my finger on that bothered me.

Today I read an article that made sense to me and that clarified for me *why* I don't totally trust Oprah: I don't believe that she is necessarily doing good things for her followers. When she has science on her show that's later proven to be questionable, she doesn't go back and take another look at that science; it's left to stand as is in syndicated re-runs forever.

Even though Oprah says that she expects her followers to think for themselves and to seek medical advice, she doesn't necessarily encourage them to do that by not presenting more than one side equally. People who do things by instinct or tarot cards can't possibly know what's best for everyone... and instinct can be wrong. As can tarot cards.

Oprah isn't all bad; her words and images and the power of her followers can do more for good causes than anything else. But if you do want to follow what she says... think about it and definitely get medical advice.

No comments: