With all that’s going on in the world, near and far, you would think the fine people of the United States would have something more worthwhile to do than gush as they have over Oprah Winfrey ending her 25 years of doing the Oprah Winfrey Show.
She’s not the first – nor will she be the last – person on earth who changes a career course after a quarter-century of doing the same type of work, week-in and week-out. Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past several months, you already know that Oprah has decided to quit doing the Oprah Winfrey Show from her Harpo Studios in Chicago and invest her time, talent, and money in OWN – the Oprah Winfrey Network.
During her lengthy time doing her extremely successful daytime show in Chicago, former Mayor Richard M. Daley has fawned over her a great deal – more and more as time went on. His incredible gushing culminated in an incredibly bizarre event about a year ago when Daley made the extremely unpopular move of shutting down Michigan Avenue – the Magnificent Mile – for a couple of days so that Oprah could do her show in the middle of the street.
With the Mag Mile being just a stone-throw from Grant Park, heaven only knows why Daley didn’t have the courage to stand up to her and tell her to take the show off the street and take it over to the park. But, one resolves, why would former Mayor Daley please the citizens of Chicago when he could please Oprah instead?
Daley’s fawning over Oprah isn’t the only political concern people had with Oprah in the Windy City. As likeable, loveable, and generous as she had always been to many, rumor has had it for a time that one could find out just how unlikeable and unlovable she could be if you said or did anything against one of her favorite people.
<Enter President Barack Obama!>
Speaking of fawning, Oprah became her most fawn-able self when Barack Obama entered the presidential race in 2007. There was simply nothing Obama couldn’t do – in Oprah’s voiced opinion. That undying adulation has continued up to and including this very second.
That’s when the undercurrent of Oprah-negativity started – even from the former die-hard Oprah fans. She isn’t the first – and again, nor will she be the last – who was much more popular with many more people when she was simply an entertainer – in her case, the host of her own television talk show.
When she became an Obama cheerleader who openly displayed a total detestation for any persons who didn’t agree with her politics, the halo started slipping in the eyes of some people – and eventually it came crashing down on Daley’s Mag Mile.
So many of our favorite entertainers have become our least favorite political pundits while they are still standing on the entertainers’ stages with the entertainers’ microphones in their hands. It can so rapidly destroy a positive image that the entertainer took years and years and years to earn from the public.
No one is saying that an entertainer can’t have an opinion. Of course they can. But preaching the gospel of any politician to the point of near-exhaustion and boredom is not good entertainment. And to some, that’s what Oprah did with her fawning over Obama.
Yet, those who still idolize Oprah remember the 25 years and not just the past few since she’s turned so extremely political. They say, in so many words, that she molded their lives and meant so very much to them. For them, that’s good. No, for them, that’s great! But the end of the Oprah Winfrey Show could very well make the Guinness World Book of Records for being the longest good-bye of all time. And it really shouldn’t be. She has chosen to quit the show. She has chosen to leave Chicago. No one is dragging her off the stage as she’s kicking and screaming to stay. The choice is hers. She wants to leave. She’s had enough of it. If it all comes down to the fact that Oprah fans liked Oprah more than Oprah liked her fans – get over it. Things like that happen in life.
Lastly, let’s put this in perspective. Johnny Carson left rather sedately from a quarter-century talk show career without using more than his NBC studio. No one travelled nearly half-way around the globe in a plane – as Madonna reportedly did – to get about thirty seconds of television time to say something nice to Oprah. A healthy percentage of the Hollywood elite didn’t flood the studio to give a teary-eyed good-bye. And somewhere before, during, or after Johnny Carson, Jack Parr and Phil Donahue were likely the other two forerunners of the type of television program that eventually evolved into Oprah’s program format. Did she change it? Yes. Just as Carson improved on Parr’s, and Donahue made vast alterations to fit in the daytime time slot. Changes are inevitable in show business due to the inevitability of changing times.
But one might say, ‘But they weren’t Oprah! She’s a woman! She’s a minority!’ Let’s not even go there.
Considering the fact that gas and food prices are still way too high – still way over $4 a gallon for gas in Chicago… worthwhile jobs are still very difficult to find – still over 9% unemployment rate in Chicago… and our native-son President’s foreign policies are being verbally blasted at home and abroad – the Chicago ‘melting pot’ is sizzling over some of Obama’s recent comments and actions… could we please just say, ‘We appreciate all you have done for Chicago, Oprah! Good luck in all you do in the future, Oprah! Thanks so very much for your extreme generosity, Oprah! And finally, we full-heartedly respect your decision to just Goprah.’