May 28, 2012
On the reason for the decline of Oprah Winfrey’s media fortunes…
The minute Oprah endorsed Obama is when it ended for Oprah, because up until that time Oprah did not have a racial identity about her. Oprah was whatever her audience wanted her to be. She was for women. She was concerned with women… but when she endorsed Obama, well then – it’s like when Michael Jordan doesn’t say anything political. You know, he’s a big Democrat, but he’s not gonna run around [and] get involved in politics for two reasons: (a) the good press coverage’ll stop, and (b) Republicans will stop buying Nikes. And he can’t afford that. He wants Republicans to buy tennis shoes too. Well Oprah violated that when she endorsed Obama, and that gave her an entirely different identity that she didn’t have. And that’s when a sizable percentage of her audience said “Okay, Oprah, I’m gone.” She eventually said that political matters and racial matters mattered more to her than the stuff they thought mattered most to her. Meaning her audience.