Friday, May 4, 2007

Oprah W

What would happen if Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee? More precisely, what would happen now that he officially has Oprah in his corner, a TV personality with greater market share than anyone on TV and someone who has never previously endorsed a candidate? Would a better world result?

Would there be a challenge to his appearance on her show as an immeasurable in-kind donation to his campaign? Probably. Would his opponent or opponents agree to appear on her show as well? Could they expect an equal opportunity to express their positions?

Imagine the slimey ads that will undoubtedly coat the airwaves about every supposed “dark” corner of his past and the sinister motives behind his positions. Oprah could devote show after show to debunking each and every detail in front of a spellbound national audience of millions, faithful minions willing to support her in nearly every cause. Can Oprah exploit the right wing noise machine for what it really is? Can Oprah fix political reporting in this country by forcing it to make real and honest assessments of the positions of candidates, rather than simply offering a medium for each side to air its views uncontested. The democratic process falters when non-partisan means each side gets equal airtime instead of each side being challenged equally.

I wonder what effect Oprah’s support will have on Obama’s positions, if any. How do they presently differ? Obama may not have to pander to the wants and needs of Oprah’s audience, and it is probably too diverse to find a message that speaks to all of them, except that Oprah’s fans do seek a better world for themselves and those around them, and if that is Obama’s vision, he may be our next president.

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