Much Ado About Oprah


There's a very unauthorized Oprah biography coming out this week, and already the internet's on fireoprah.jpg with some of the more shocking revelations. While I don't want to give the author Kitty Kelley any more press than she's due, I wanted to weigh in on some of the more "scandalous" secrets that are allegedly revealed in this book:

1) Oprah is cold and controlling. Ya think? The woman runs a multi-billion-dollar empire and she's controlling? She made it to the very top of the media world as a fat black woman and you think she might be cold? Surprise, surprise. What's sad to me is that we would judge her for that. Were Oprah a man, not only would her success be less amazing, but she'd be given a pass for these particular personality flaws that were arguably necessary for her to achieve what she has.

2) Oprah once ordered two pecan pies from room service and *shudder* ATE THEM BOTH!! And what, Kitty Kelley? The earth tilted on its axis from Oprah's subsequent weight gain? As I've mentioned many times before in this blog, I'm a food addict, and if indeed Oprah suffers from the same problem (which I personally think she does) eating two pies in a sitting ain't no thang. I have, after a particularly bad day, personally inhaled a whole pizza and chased it with a cheesecake. Talk to any non-billionaire food junkie and you'll hear stories of food abuse that make Oprah's two pies look like a freakin' SNACK.

3) Oprah had an affair with the King of Milquetoast, John Tesh. The only thing I can fault her for here is bad taste, and even that charge is dubious because I have a cousin who also briefly dated John Tesh (hey, college is all about making bad decisions, right?). My guess is that Oprah dated him because of a serious insomnia issue, and anyone who has listened to Tesh's radio show for five minutes can tell you he's a miracle cure for that malady.

I'm no Oprah apologist - I find the show maudlin and self-conscious, especially the last few seasons. Occasionally, there's something or someone of interest on the program, but Oprah's self-involvement and mediocre interview skills often make the show difficult to get through. That said, I can also tell you I have great admiration and respect for Oprah and what she's accomplished. As a large woman who has worked most of her life in broadcast media, I can tell you that being labeled as controlling, eating two pies in a night, and dating the human equivalent of tapioca are small sins for a talented person to commit when they're trying to get ahead in that business.





Michele Coppola is a Portland-based writer and former radio personality whose most recent work has been published in the feminist journals So To Speak and Melusine. Find her blog at


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.

Trending Now

Recent Posts by cshel718