Oprah Winfrey: The Sith Lord Of American Media
Fox News has outdone itself this time. Coming off of their successful beheading of battered and bruised ACORN, Fox News is taking the next logical step in assaulting anyone whose support was essential to the success of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Now, they have set their sights on Oprah Winfrey. I don’t know anyone who was not touched by election night coverage where we got to see not only the victorious celebrations of the Obama and Biden families but also the highly emotional outpourings of Oprah Winfrey and Civil Rights activist Jesse Jackson, both of whom wept rivers of tears. No matter one’s political affiliation, every American could relate to the cathartic nature of this emotional release and how it fulfilled many life-long pursuits of making the American dream a reality for every U.S. citizen, regardless their race, creed, national origin, etcetera, etcetera.
Has it taken this long for the conservative think tank to devise a method of attack that they calculate will weaken Oprah little by little or have they only just now gotten around to her? It seems to me there is little doubt that certain thinkers on the Right have adopted a long-term strategy for tilting the American political landscape in their favor prior to upcoming elections. The first step was killing ACORN. The most disgusting thing about ACORN’s demise was finding out after the fact, that the “undercover video” that brought it down was a complete fraud (This links to a Rachel Maddow piece on Media Matters. Take note of her exit question.). You would think that a so called “news network” that executes such a partisan attack would fall under suspicion of its own viewers, especially when it is later revealed that the attack was based on lies. As I have said before however, you have to recalibrate your understanding of the opposition’s code of ethics when they believe that the inherent rightness of their cause shields them from any taint that unethical behavior would subject anyone else to.
There is one ray of sunshine amid all this gloom. The GOP’s effort to humiliate Obama by forcing a “Waterloo” on him via the health care debate was a disastrous failure. They only succeeded in making the win that much bigger, even if he didn’t get everything he wanted in the bill. This has been followed by the success of the recent Nuclear Summit, which raised the President’s global image as a representative of good will. Add that to stronger economic numbers and a DOW Jones average above 11,000 and we may find this to be a substantial run of good news.
Despite the good news, we have to keep a strategic eye on the November mid-term elections. The Tea Party will definitely be a factor and will pull in one direction or the other. As mentioned here, Republicans are now demanding that Tea Party members wind-down their own political ambitions for November and defer to Republican strategic decisions and candidates. A second factor will be the Obama Administration’s relationship with Israel. This part is still in the development phase and so may not be ready for full exploitation until the 2012 campaign, which will probably be kicking off around this time next year. I have forecast in a previous post my belief that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is intentionally souring the relationship with Obama because the President’s efforts to repair the U.S. image in the Arab world has worried some Israeli officials. I think this was the reason for the ill-timed East-Jerusalem settlement announcements. This will make it much easier for Republicans to run on a platform of “repairing” our relationship with Israel in 2012. “Our relationship with Israel isn’t nearly that bad,” you say? Give it time, they are just getting started. Remember, you heard it here first.
Alas, expecting any kind of ethical journalism from Fox News is a lost cause. As has been exhaustively documented here, and here, and here, (just for starters) Fox is not news. It IS most definitely a political operation. Now they are after Oprah. If viewed in a strategic context, you can understand why conservatives would want to neutralize an African American who is respected by friends and foes alike, not only for her superior business acumen but also for her philanthropy, her passion for empowering women and minorities, and for proving in the 2008 election that she had real power and influence that was legitimately earned through the sweat of her brow. If you want to target various demographic segments, neutralizing Oprah will kill 2 birds with one stone at least. So how would one accomplish that?
Since she is in the process of building-up her new cable network, she is now more vulnerable than in the past because bad press has the potential to complicate the formation of new business relationships that will be necessary to make her new Oprah/Discovery Communications venture a long-term success. If they can disrupt these processes they may be able to disrupt the cash flow of any new enterprises, which will in turn cause partners to pressure her to withdraw from the political scene for the sake of fiduciary obligations to stakeholders. Failure to do so would expose Oprah to possible litigation. Taking these factors into account, Fox News personalities seem to be trying to establish a perception of Oprah as some kind of media overlord, who has her tendrils snaked around the proverbial throats of every “mainstream media” outlet—a particularly ironic accusation, considering who they work for. The term “mainstream” sums up the Fox News dichotomy—that the number one “news” outlet in the country decries anything it considers “mainstream.” One must be forgiven for forgetting that being number one might by definition, make one mainstream.
This Fox News attempt at serious Oprah bashing seems a little clumsy and amateurish to me. I don’t think they are done trying though. Arnold is not in this clip, but I can still faintly here the implication…”I’ll be back.”