Feature Article

Oprah Winfrey

A Woman On A Mission

by Dorothy Doremus


            Oprah Winfrey  is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her show this year with so much generosity and information, I am honored to be in the television viewing audience.  I have never before seen a celebrity take time, effort and generosity to the level that Oprah has.  Not only has she devoted her life to making sure all of our lives are better, but she has also put her money where her mouth is in starting a project to put a stop to child sex offenders.

            I have been an Oprah fan since her show first aired.  In the many years that I have watched The Oprah Winfrey Show, I have seen it evolve from your average talk show content – you know…the shock factor – into the information age.  Jerry, Phil and others have tried to outdo Oprah, but all have failed miserably.  She has the largest audience in America and has won several awards as testimony to her show’s popularity. 

            I think what makes the show such a success is its devotion to teaching us something.  Whether it is how to give back to those in need, or how to keep the environment safe for generations to come, Ms. Winfrey has certainly gotten the message out to all of you.

            Take for example the book movement she created.  I don’t think there is a Barnes & Noble executive out there that isn’t glowing every time Oprah recommends a new book for their sponsored  Book Club.  I have seen book stores sell out of novels shortly after hitting the shelves solely due to the fact that Oprah recommended them on her show. 

            And it’s not just books.  It’s light bulbs – yes, light bulbs.  The local Home Depot couldn’t keep energy saving light bulbs on the shelves after they were mentioned in a segment Oprah aired with Leonardo DiCaprio regarding protecting the environment.  Whatever Oprah touches, it seems to turn to gold right before our very eyes.

            When Oprah wanted people to get involved in voting, she received help in the form of a guest appearance by Cameron Diaz, an actress who is extremely involved in trying to get young people to vote.  Oprah has spent tireless hours trying to get America to wake up and do something about the issues facing them.  I wish more people would listen to Oprah’s message – this world would be a far better place to live in.

            When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Oprah came to the rescue again.  She became involved with a project sponsored by Habitat for Humanity.  They are now building approximately 65 new homes for the victims of this terrible tragedy.  Teaming up with Target and her Angel Network, Oprah has arranged to have these homes completely furnished, giving the victims what they need to start over.  I guess victim is a word they may never have to use again.  With Oprah in your corner, you are no longer a victim.

            When Oprah can have several homes build with the aid of Habitat for Humanity, one question comes to mind: Why is it that Oprah, a private citizen is able to get help to these people, so desperately in need, when all the bureaucrats seem to do is argue about what they should be doing?  Well, that’s why I say – OPRAH FOR PRESIDENT!

            Not only is Oprah making a difference for hurricane victims, but she is champion of even the youngest of victims – the victims of child sex crimes.  She has set a reward of one hundred thousand dollars for information leading to the arrest of child sex offenders on the FBI Watch List.  Through her efforts, three such offenders have already been captured and the rewards distributed.  Again, it is amazing that one single woman was able to come to the rescue of many of the country’s youngest victims in a way no one previously could imagine possible.  She said, “No More” to child sex crimes and I believe her.

            Over the years, I have listened to the media gossip regarding Oprah’s relationships, her weight and whether or not she is too “preachy” to her audience in passing on her messages.  Well, to those nay-sayers, I say – Listen up!  Oprah is doing her best to make sure we are not just accepting what is spoon-fed to us by the powers that be.  She is getting information to us that we need to hear!  Oprah recently did an exposé with Anderson Cooper of CNN about the poor in this country that knocked people’s socks off.  The exposé revealed the reality of America’s poverty level and destroyed the common perception that most Americans are wealthy or living above the poverty line.

            Oprah is also fighting to help Americans get out of debt and take back ownership of their lives.  Preachy?  Heck no!  There are way too many of us living far beyond our means and something needs to give.  The only people I think who would be unhappy with the informative assistance Oprah is trying to impart are the credit card companies – they won’t be able to charge loan shark interest rates to educated consumers.  Just say: Thank you, Oprah!

            Health – my personal favorite!  I just love when Oprah does the segments with Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen!  Yes, Oprah cares if we live healthy, too – amazing!  With the help of two of the top physicians in the country, Oprah is helping to educate us on what we should be eating, how much exercise we should be getting, what vitamins to take and what our internal organs will look like if we don’t pay attention to what we are being told.  The two physicians have been wonderful, and their book, You: The Owner’s Manual, is a best seller.  I have personally read this excellent and informative book and I highly recommend it.

            I guess Oprah really has her work cut out for her.  Saving the whole world one viewer at a time isn’t the easiest project to undertake.  I applaud the success of the first twenty years of The Oprah Winfrey Show and hope – for all our sakes – that Oprah has another twenty years planned for us in the future.


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