Saturday, January 19, 2008

Women turn on ‘traitor’ Oprah Winfrey for backing Barack Obama

This was what I said to my mother when Hillary Clinton announced her run for the White House. The same can be said for Obama as well actually. My concern was that women would vote for Clinton in some sort of show of camaraderie because they happen to share the same genitals just as well as black people would vote for Obama because they share the same skin tone, or white males may vote for the white male canidate over Obama or Clinton for skin color or gender in fear of a black or woman President. Politics may take a back seat this run for appearances. Scary thought.

AMERICA’S favourite television presenter is paying a painful price for her intervention in the US presidential campaign last month. Oprah Winfrey has been dubbed a “traitor” by some of her female fans for supporting Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton.

Is being a woman like being in a gang? Why is it considered "traitorous" to back whom she deems more fit for a Presidency? Or is it fear that she is backing Obama because he is black and chosing her race over her gender?

Winfrey’s website,, has been flooded with a barrage of abuse since the queen of daytime chat shows joined Obama on a tour of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in mid-December.

When I was younger I went to bartending school. One of the things they taught us was that there are three topics to avoid at all costs when conversing with customers. First is family. Don't want to help a man or woman badmouth their spouse cause they had an arguement and then, after they make up, you're stuck with having said some nasty things about that person's significant other. The second is religion. If you can't figure out why that's a forbidden topic turn the news on. The third is politics. This is why.

Her intervention was widely credited with broadening Obama’s national appeal - especially among women - and with helping him to an upset victory over Clinton in the first vote of the election year in Iowa. Yet a backlash by Clinton supporters appears to have prompted a rethink by Winfrey, the African-American media titan who is routinely described as the most influential woman on television. She did not reappear in the final days before the New Hampshire primary - which Obama lost to Clinton - and has been absent from the most recent campaigning in South Carolina, which votes next weekend.

Perhaps this is a bit uncalled for. Sure Oprah is an influential personality and, sure, she perhaps can affect voters out there. But she's not the first famous person to open their mouths a bit too wide over their politics. Perhaps women should ask themselves why they are so influenced by what Oprah does and says. I like to think people can watch Oprah and still think independantly. Or maybe not. She has money after all.


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