Fw: Understanding What Just Happened on The Oprah Winfrey Show (fwd)

Ralph Johansen michele at maui.net
Fri Feb 7 19:14:56 MST 2003


----- Original Message -----
From: "Gabrielle Welford" <welford at hawaii.edu>
To: <Undisclosed recipients:>
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 10:18 AM
Subject: Fw: Understanding What Just Happened on The Oprah Winfrey Show
(fwd)


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "spinbird" <spinbird at ritanet.net>
> Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 7:33 PM
>
> > From another list:
> >
> >   Understanding What Just Happened on The Oprah Winfrey Show
> > From: "lhl" <lhl at tiac.net>
> >   "Black Issues Group" <lhl at tiac.net>
> >
> > Understanding What Just Happened on The Oprah Winfrey Show
> >
> > Today, Oprah Winfrey started a two-part series focusing on the
> > impending U.S. war on Iraq. About halfway through the show the
> > broadcast was pre-empted by coverage of Pres. George Bush, with Colin
> > Powell at his side, reading a prepared statement on Iraq. The
> > coincidental timing of this pre-emptive press statement raised
> > immediate questions about the motives of the White House war
> > strategists. Students of the Civil Rights Movement will recall an
> > incident in 1964 when activist Fannie Lou Hamer sat before a live
> > television audience and gave a riveting account of the oppression she
> > and other Blacks faced in the South. President Lyndon Johnson was so
> > convinced of the power of her appeal to undermine his own
> > political/racial agenda, that he hastily called a press conference to
> > pull cameras away from Hamer's impassioned revelations. Though the
> > networks pre-empted Hamer's testimony to cover the president, the
> > newscasts later showed her entire presentation.
> >
> > The pre-emption of Winfrey's show today should be seen in the same
> > light. Oprah's audience is a vast and powerful--but largely
> > apolitical--force of middle-class white women. It is likely that most
> > did not watch Colin Powell's live testimony at the U.N. yesterday. In
> > fact, it is likely that this huge audience was being oriented to the
> > issues of the Iraq war for the first time. Bush and his handlers are
> > also aware that powerful Republican voices, including Rush Limbaugh's,
> > credit Bush's pre-election appearance on the Oprah Show with "turning
> > the tide" in his favor. It is unlikely that they treated this show
> > with anything but intense propaganda interest.
> >
> > The first 30 minutes of the show was decidedly anti-war and
> > highlighted not only worldwide unanimity in opposition to the war but
> > presented many of the heretofore unheard voices of ordinary people
> > speaking forcefully against Bush's motives. CNN assisted the Oprah
> > Show by presenting overseas confirmation of this from Great Britain
> > and Iraq. For instance, the British correspondent said at one point
> > that it was hard to find anyone in Britain EXCEPT TONY BLAIR that
> > supported the war. Other voices repeated their conclusion that the war
> > is "for oil," not "against terrorism." Those familiar with the Bush
> > administration's network cheerleaders at ABC, NBC, and CBS would, no
> > doubt, view this expose' with raised eyebrows.
> >
> > Then, without warning or introduction, Bush is seen at the podium
> > reiterating Powell's statement at the U.N. yesterday! One immediately
> > had to assume that Bush was actually declaring war on Iraq, given the
> > urgency of this interruption. Soon, however, it became clear that
> > OPRAH herself was the target of this sabre-rattling and not Saddam
> > Hussein. Bush simply summarized Powell's presentation for Oprah's
> > audience, hitting key emotional points for this afternoon women's
> > gathering. He said nothing more of any import at all.
> >
> > Returning to the show, 15 or so minutes later, found still more
> > impassioned, but reasoned, anti-war input from members of Oprah's
> > audience. There was indeed a balance of pro-war input but the net
> > effect of the show--in spite of Bush's strategic Johnsonian
> > interruption--was to embolden the anti-war voices and to make
> > opposition to the war as "patriotic" a position as that of the
> > warmongers.
> >
> > What we just saw was a replay of an old propaganda ploy of an ol'
> > Texas politician, Lyndon Baines Johnson, against the sharecropper's
> > daughter from Mississippi, Fannie Lou Hamer. In 1964, enough of
> > Hamer's message was heard to force Johnson into acting against his own
> > political desires. Bush's ploy in 2003 may have backfired as well.
> >
> > If not for the existence of the Impossible,
> > There would be no miracles!
> >
> > spinbird at bunt.com
> > spinbird_oma at yahoo.com
> >
>
>
>



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