Monday, December 20, 2004

The Oprah Effect

A new study out by Brigham Young University details to what extent the "Oprah Effect" has on our spending habits. The Oprah Effect can be defined as something, in the study's case, a book, which The Great Oprah has endorsed on her show or in her magazine, which suddenly rockets up the sales charts, not because it is an exceptional work, but for the simple reason that The Great Oprah has endorsed it. The studies authors looked at how long that books that that The Great Oprah endorsed on her show stayed on the best-sellers list and how sales were affected when The Great Oprah stopped endorsing books on her show. It didn't take a rocket scientist to notice that books that were endorsed by her did much better than non-endorsed books. The effect can be seen with the rise of Dr. Phil. Before Oprah, Dr. Phil was, um, well, did he even exist? After the touch of The Great Oprah, Dr. Phil now has his own show, dispensing his brand of self-help "fluff" to the mass of Oprah-wannabees around the country.

So, now that we have detailed the Oprah effect, what does that actually mean? That The Great Oprah is a savvy business person and is very successful? Probably, but the real meaning is that the US is populated by large numbers of "air heads" who don't really have a brain of their own and who need someone to guide them in their daily lives. I would say that these people are also pre-dominately "blue-staters" and are not all that religious. So you have The Great Oprah, who can use her show to influence a large section of the electorate in supporting whatever causes that she champions. I'm not a regular viewer (hell, I'm not a viewer period) of The Great Oprah, but it would seem to me that she would support most causes that your run-of-the-mill blue-stater would support, i.e., gay marriage, gun control, abortion rights, etc., and her audience of Oprah-wannabees just sucks it up. Another perfect example of how the MSM and television corrode and corrupt normal values.

Henry Mencken once said that "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." P.T. Barnum also said (ok, he didn't) that "There's a sucker born every minute." It looks like The Great Oprah has taken both these quotes to heart.


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