I enjoy reading the daily goings-on in the media via my Mediabistro.com email bulletin every morning. It’s a nice gauge on popular stories and how they played and it pulls interesting tidbits in from all over the industry.
So this morning I clicked on the site’s “Fishbowl” section for an article headlined, “O, The Oprah Magazine Without TV Oprah Isn’t Doing So Well.” (I use the term ‘article’ loosely here, as it was heavy on opinion, so perhaps more a column?).
Here’s how it begins:
When Oprah stopped her popular talk show last fall, women everywhere fretted over who would tell them what to read and how to feel about their feelings.
Seriously? A site about and for media (journalism?) creates a piece that starts off with a disparaging comment about women in an article that’s supposed to be informing us of the magazine’s drop in newsstand sales? How is this in any way appropriate or even remotely mature in its perspective?
You’re calling women lemmings, robots. We cannot have possibly enjoyed seeing a master interviewer exercising her craft again and again and again. No, we’re so easily led we must have been brainwashed by this fierce, all-powerful woman casting her spell.
You don’t get it and that’s just fine. You’re not a fan and that’s just fine. But what’s with the vitriol around those who are? Why must it be about women being led instead of being engaged and inspired?
I’ve just been thinking over the last month that OWN is beginning to achieve at a wider network level the viewer experience they got from The Oprah Winfrey Show. On any given day over the span of 25 years, that show evoked tears, belly laughing, astonishment, refreshing candor, inspiration, etc. Now I can turn on OWN and get a dose of those same feelings from a variety of sources.
Suze Orman upends her usual pragmatism/smackdown style and empathizes with this amazing couple. Winfrey gets in the trenches on weight with Gov. Chris Christie. Rosie O’Donnell hires a delightful unemployed woman from her audience to be her emcee or brings on RuPaul to introduce a little boy to his hero. There are Master Class shows with visionaries and Winfrey is doing one-on-one in interviews on location in Oprah’s Next Chapter.
I live in a town where our mayor blessedly decided we don’t need a Jersey Shore spinoff filmed here. I can’t watch anything with ‘housewife’ in the title. I much prefer focusing on people these days as opposed to politics, so that narrows my TV choices even further.
So, yes, sometimes it is a joy to flip over to OWN and see what Oprah Winfrey is serving up. Much of the programming uplifts or provokes thought. Same with the magazine. I’m sorry it has had a drop in sales. But could we not use that as an opportunity to take a pot shot at women?
I used to be more strident about this misogynistic stuff, but the last few years I’ve stepped back and only speak up when something really ticks me off. This did because it was wrong on so many levels.
So unprofessional and disappointing.