Did you happen to tune in to the "self-proclaimed" best interview evvvvvverrrrr last night? Piers Morgan debuted his CNN chat fest with the best guest ever; apparently it's going to be all downhill from here on out following the last question he posed to Lady O. How could it not? All other guests will forever be overshadowed by the prominent guest that graced his couch last night.
Far be it from me to take anything away from Oprah; she has managed to put a big exclamation point right next to Chicago on the map. I cannot even begin to imagine the droves of her "faithful followers" that have undoubtedly made an annual pilgrimage to Chi-town with the hopes of running into her highness along the Mag Mile. Fools. Must be a secret us locals share. She does not hobknob with mere mortals; it is beneath her.
Why did I tune in last night you might ask? Because I always tune in. It is an opportunity to play a drinking game; I am very "hands on" when it comes to anything Oprah ~ whether it be her show, magazine, or a rare interview in which she answers the tough questions rather than asking them herself.
Right after I set my DVR, I got the margaritas and my lucky liquor "shooter" ready. My plan last night was to chug-a-lug my way into oblivion by tossing one back each and every time she mentioned OWN to Piers. I figured I would be in the bag before the first commercial break.
Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, my efforts to keep a buzz going would have been better served had I lifted the shot glass to my lips everytime O mentioned her BFF. If you watched, you can only imagine the hangover I would be nursing today had I followed those rules.
My opinion of Oprah at the beginning of the interview was the same at the end ~no ahh-ha moment for this viewer. I still think she is a big, fat fraud.
I find most things about Oprah phony. Let's start with the vast amount of accents she dazzles us with depending on who she is trying to impress at any given time. Did she not listen when Piers Morgan said he banned Madonna from his show based, among other things, on her phony accent? Nah, she wouldn't have paid attention to that; didn't pertain to her. The majority of the interview was spent going back and forth and in and out of the British, Southern, Southern Black, and Chicago "sista" accents. Made me dizzy.
Was I shocked when she went on and on about the money she gives to charity now and plans to give away when she leaves the earth for good? No. Although, I must say I got quite a chuckle when Morgan mentioned she gave $300 million away to charities and she corrected him. While she wouldn't give a firm figure, she made it perfectly clear it was way more that the paltry amount he suggested. Oprah must have missed the lesson regarding good deeds; if more than two people know about a good deed, it's not a good deed anymore.
How about the B.S. revelation that while she does not need a therapist, (oh, good Lord~if anyone is a therapists' dream, this gal is) if she was to make a weekly appointment she'd definitely book it with Doctor Phil. Doctor Phil??? Are you kidding me? When was the last time she watched that show? Nope, she's convinced he is heads and shoulders above the rest. In her bestest southern/Chicago "sista" accent she told Piers "Phil cuts through it"..."he's gooooood". Okay, Oprah, since you say so. But, I'm still not convinced Phil possesses credentials. Oh, he is an official "something" for sure...but I am not certain it is a doctor.
I could barely contain my giggles when Piers suggested O was America's Queen and she graciously accepted the honor (it will, of course, become official once a tiara big enough for her head can be found...not sure about you but I'm not holding my breath waiting for that day). And, of course, when he likened Steadman to Prince Philip, as he is always in the background while at the same time available if needed for his lady.
Steadman, poor Steadman. If only Oprah had spent half the time and passion describing her man as she did describing her best friend, I might be convinced their love is a match made in heaven rather than the corridor of convenience. Lady O admitted she didn't always love Steadman ~ this moment came when he informed her degrading info was hitting the press thanks to a family member selling her out for (gasp...followed my billionaire eye-roll) twenty-thousand dollars (hey~to some of us $20,000 IS a fortune, Lady). She told Morgan, "At that moment I knew, I knew...he would stand in for me and stand up for me."
Well, while Steadman stands in for her I marvel at the relationship O shares with her BFF. Whether it be in the Escalade they traveled cross country in their last big adventure, shopping for tents and sleeping bags, today's Austraila Part One episode as they sped through that Aussie town on a golf cart with Oprah behind the wheel in her khakis and Gayle riding shotgun in her sundress engrossed in conversation that came so easily, or last night's revelation that Gayle holds the key to her safety deposit box. One thing is clear, they each hold the key to the others' heart. And, what is wrong with that??
It is not for me, you, Barbara Walters, or Piers Morgan to decide what their "real relationship" really is. I wish Oprah would just embrace whatever it is~and come clean, already. Talk about an ahh-ha moment~the earth will shake to its core. And, stock in Oprah's favorite macaroni and cheese brand will plummet. I have a sinking feeling that revelation could cure her "eating her feelings' problem that has plagued her for years.
Did all these phony moments accented so boldly in this particular interview convince me she still remained the fraud I had almost always thought she was? No...not entirely.
Was it the part in the interview where she figured suicide was the way out rather than bring a child into the world at fourteen? Not really...Or the part where she knew her second chance came in the form of a dead child? Getting warmer... How about when she likened herself to a "messenger" bringing the good news of self-worth, becoming your best self, bringing betterment to the people, along with an underlying spirituality? After that revelation I was convinced I was watching Jesus' long lost sister taking human form here on a CNN couch. Does that make her a fraud? Not really~not as much as it makes her an egomaniac--no breaking news there.
It was the part where she convincingly answered the question posed to her regarding her "brand". "Oh, Piers", she swooned, "my braaaand is loooove". Love? Love? Couple that revelation with her sly smile when Piers alluded to the fact the jumbo jet and "promise" of Travolta flying her favorite fans to Australia all on a Harpo stage last September, a stunt...she didn't like the term stunt (although her slight smile let me think that is exactly what it was) and broke Mr. Morgan down until he apologized.
Let me tell you an "alleged" story about the one-named-woman-sent-from-above-to (kick in your favorite accent her) "spread the love" way back when her skills in the stunt business were just getting started.
Many moons ago~in the early 1990's when Michael Jordan and the Bulls were experiencing some very good years, and around the same time Oprah was a household name and talkshow sensation~many of my friends from high school had long since graduated college and were out experiencing real life in the form of a career with a steady paycheck. From time to time, we would all meet up at a local watering hole and toss back ice cold beers to catch up.
One particular night we gathered to pick up the spirits of our friend who had just lost a patient. We were all gabbing back and forth keeping the mood light when one friend asked if we had seen that morning's episode of Oprah. The nurse cut her off with her firm statement, "that woman is a bitch".
Our friend was an oncology nurse at a children's hospital in the city. Part of her job was to make phone calls when a child's prognosis was not good. A call was made to a celebrity for a visit, a travel agent for a trip, or a local business to provide a day of fun.
A patient on her floor, suffering from leukemia, had a last wish to visit with Oprah. I remember hearing this and shaking my head while I thought--that poor kid must have been delirious--how sick must she have been to request Oprah? The R.N. friend continued. A wish was a wish~so, she went to the rolodex and made the call.
"Allegedly" the Lady with all the looooove to spread agreed to the visit. She'd have to rearrange her schedule and get together a camera crew...hopefully they could pencil a visit in for the following week...R.N. friend stopped her right there~hospital policy was no "last wish" visits accompanied by camera crews were allowed. Long story short and needless to say, the stunt never took place.
The kid's back-up wish was a visit from Michael Jordan. A call was made and he was there within the hour. "Allegedly", in comparison, Jordan had his own policy...the only way he would visit the hospital to fulfill a wish was under two conditions. One: as long as he was in tri-state area...and two: as long as NO cameras were present.
So, there you have it. She is a big, fat fraud. I don't care how much money you have, amount of love you have to spread, or what higher power sent you here to bring us closer to embrace ourselves, if your "brand" is all about the love, how is it making the world a better place if you must accompany good deeds with stunts to make them over-the-top and television worthy?
I did not find out anything "really" new about Lady O last night. Certainly nothing worthy of me changing my opinion about her. I admire her for rising up above a troubled childhood to make something of herself. She is nothing if not tenacious. But, I admit, I still do not like her. But last night, as I tossed back my final shooter of margarita after she mentioned watching a documentary about Martin Luther King, Jr. right before OWN debuted, I felt pity for her.
Why pity? I will tell you why. Pity because during her semi-ugly cry at the mere mention of MLK, she relayed the story of telling Steadman that "he" would be proud of her at this moment. Like a majority of "success stories", the higher and higher they climb, the more they forget about the people who got them there. While I have no doubt the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. had a great impression on this little, colored girl from Tennessee, he is probably not the only one who would be proud.
Imagine the pride of her parents. The people she has long-since written off. We, all of us, no matter who we are, what we become or hope to become, owe it all to the two people who brought us into the world. Without them, we would have nothing. Maybe their daughter is not rushing to thank them, but I don't think I am alone in my wish to extend my thanks to the people responsible for bringing this "treasure" into my front room each morning. Some of the "most successful stories" have shortest memories. Dr. Phil should clear a standing appointment for the lady...Ms. Forgetful needs it.
Tags: 20/20, Australia, Barbara Walters, Chicago, Chicago Bulls, CNN, Dr. Phil, Gayle King, Madonna, Mag Mile, Magnificent Mile, Martin Luther King Jr, Michael Jordan, Oprah, Oprah Farwell Season, Oprah Final Season, Oprah interview, Oprah Winfrey, Oprah Winfrey Show, OWN, OWN Network, Piers Morgan, Prince Philip, Steadman Graham