Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Does Oprah Have Too Much Power?

Perhaps you were one of the many people that visited your local Kentucky Fried Chicken last week with your coupon for a free grilled chicken meal. If you were, you're a lot braver than me. Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some KFC but after seeing the wait at Denny's when they offered free grand slams recently, I had no desire to wait in line for a couple hours in order to save a few bucks.

The KFC promotional offer was inspired by Oprah Winfrey, who highlighted the deal and offered the coupon on her website. Of course, people from all walks of life bum rushed KFCs from sea to shining sea to cash in on the free meal. As would be expected, KFC was not prepared for this onslaught of visitors and ran out of chicken. They had to offer vouchers for those that were unable to satisfy that finger lickin' craving during their visit.

This whole situation raises a serious question: Does Oprah Winfrey have too much influence over Americans? We all know that if she endorses a product it is going to sell well. Simply because Oprah says so. I don't think it's unreasonable to argue that the most powerful person in the U.S. is not a black man, but actually a black woman. I wonder if one day my grandchildren will join in playground version of a game called "Oprah Says."

Catherine Larson, of The Point, offers her feelings on Oprah:

"Now is it just me, or is anyone else just a little freaked out about how powerful Oprah is, to control the reins of the populace like this? Oprah loves The Shack. Everyone loves The Shack. Oprah hails grilled chicken. KFC is inundated by consumers. Oprah becomes an adherent of Eckhart Tolle and his wacko beliefs. Lo and behold, so does your neighbor, and three out of five of your friends on Facebook.
Don't get me wrong, if Oprah-tunity came knocking on my door, I wouldn't turn it down. But just the very fact that her word holds so much power is a little... chilling. I think if she told Americans that standing on their head for five hours a day would cure cancer, the world would, well, be turned upside down."
It is something to consider...

1 comment:

J. Hill said...

Oprah has had an incredible amount of influence on our nation. From New Age religion to the Presidency. It is frightening because most of her influence has not been in favor of traditional Christian values, but an affront to those values. What is even more disturbing is that many Christian's watch and follow her leading without giving the slightest thought to whether or not what she is saying is in conflict with their values.

I remember hearing Oprah give her "testimony" as to how she came to embrace the New Age teaching. She stated that she was sitting in church and heard the pastor say, "Our God is a jealous God!" Most Christian's have the understanding that jealousy of God burns for our hearts and commitment to Him, as appose to other idol god's. Somehow Oprah heard that God was jealous and thought He was jealous of her. She said, "God...jealous...jealous of me?" Talk about thoughts of grandeur. That was her turning point to enlightenment (New Age). She says that she did not return to church after that day.

This is the type of thing that makes Oprah so dangerous. I'm certain millions of people heard her testimony and took it hook, line, and sinker. Her credibility and trust with people have given her the ability to make statements largely unquestioned. Such influence is scary when used for all the wrong reasons.

On a lighter note, if she sticks to giving away cars and free chicken I'm all for that. Maybe, she can tell mortgage companies and college loan venders to cut people some slack and cancel their debt. That would be a magnificent use of influence. For now, chicken will have to do.