I’ve always liked Oprah and her show. I think she’s done great things to advance the awareness of numerous social issues, specifically with an eye toward women. She’s also done a great deal when it comes to educating her viewers in cultural ways. In particular, getting them to read. Focusing on “literary” works has been a really unique approach given her audience (people who watch TV tend to read less according to statistics – don’t go there Natalie! LOL). I think getting people to read is fantastic and my hat’s off to Oprah for that initiative. With all that in mind, I’ve still always been a little perturbed that she has yet to select a romance for her book club. Not even Diana Gabaldon or Nora Roberts have managed to get their foot in the door with Oprah.
So here I am, perturbed that she’s not had a romance in her Book Club selections, and then I read a small blurb that rocks my faith in the woman. She’s actually hosting a Goldman-Brown showdown on her show with regard to OJ’s controversial book, If I Did It. WTF!?!?!
What is the woman thinking? The title alone is sickening, but in hosting this showdown, it gives the book more validity because of Oprah’s stature and the size of her audience.
Don’t misunderstand me, please. I have no objections to the book being published. I don’t condone censorship, but I sure as hell won’t buy the book. And even if the man were to profit, I’m not sure I could say it shouldn’t be published. It would be difficult for me to stomach, but then it was difficult to stomach Nazi skinheads walking through the Jewish neighborhood in Skokie, IL too, but with any real freedom comes dark-sided things. It’s a price we pay. Despite what my personal feelings are, Simpson was acquitted by a jury. With an eye toward censorship, I don’t think prohibiting the book’s publication is in the best interest of keeping the written word free. Let the people talk by not buying it.
But I’m not talking about publication here, I’m talking about publicity. I’ve really got to ask myself, what the hell was Oprah thinking to host a show where OJ’s book is going to get top billing? If it’s the man’s confession, then seeing it in print, might actually convince people who believe in his innocence to change their minds. Not that it would change one anything—two people were brutally murdered and are dead, while two children are motherless. And if he really is guilty, he’s walking around free. So nothing changes with the release or non-release of this book.
From Maya to OJ
What bothers me the most is Oprah’s decision to give a controversial book like this even more exposure, YET she’s never spotlighted a romance book and how romance empowers women to not sit back and take any crap. Empowerment, something Oprah herself touts on a regular basis on her show. How does doing a show about the OJ book empower women—anyone? How is such a show a good thing? The only thing I can see it being good for is ratings, because there are, God Forbid, people out there with a much deeper sense of morbid fascination than me who’ll watch. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. From Maya Angelou to OJ’s book that’s a low point if you ask me.