Oprah has had a platform for spreading woo for too long. She has had so many loyal viewers of her show, and she is good at telling a story. Every day she has the opportunity to present truth, to give useful information, and to make it entertaining. But so often Oprah does a disservice to her audience by providing a medium through which her guests can sell non-evidence-based, potentially very harmful quackery with virtually no criticism.
Last week this newsweek article got a lot of attention. I was happy to see such a high profile magazine with such a critical article of Oprah’s quack-peddling ways.
Here‘s Oprah’s response to the article:
For 23 years, my show has presented thousands of topics that reflect the human experience, including doctors’ medical advice and personal health stories that have prompted conversations between our audience members and their health care providers. I trust the viewers, and I know that they are smart and discerning enough to seek out medical opinions to determine what may be best for them.
I’m sure, Oprah…your guests such as Jenny McCarthy and Suzanne Somers blather on about how you can’t trust the medical establishment and then you expect them to listen to the advice of their doctors? This CNBC show demonstrates the power that Oprah has over her viewers. It’s lazy and irresponsible of her to just brush off the criticisms raised by Newsweek.
I’m hoping Newsweek has inspired the media to do more critical reporting, and I’m hoping that it teaches at least some of Oprah’s followers to not take what she says at face value.
From what Oprah has said about the article it doesn’t look like she has any intentions of changing her ways, but maybe it will make her think twice about endorsing the likes of Jenny McCarthy.
The word “vajayjay,” as used by Oprah and her ilk is indicative of the way Oprah addresses women’s health issues in general: dumbed down, wishy washy, cutesy, pseudoscientific. She is creating a world in which the word “vagina” is too dirty to utter but it’s totally okay to have Dr. Christiane Northrup go on at length about redirecting her “chi” in order to orgasm…I hope that the owner of OprahsVajayjay.com expands to include more clips of her mind-blowing vagina-related idiocy. There’s enough material out there, after all.
I concur, Rebecca.