web analytics

Theatre and Oprah

Written By: - Date published: 6:25 pm, January 9th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: International, liberalism, Media, Politics, us politics, useless - Tags:

Across the front pages of purportedly serious newspapers, column inches have been given over to some nonsense about Oprah Winfrey possibly putting her hand up for the Democratic nomination in 2020. I’ll settle for quoting Bill Galston from the Guardian.

If the idea that anyone with celebrity and 100% name recognition can be president is the legacy of our misbegotten times, that would be the most pernicious idea of all. The contempt for the art of politics has held sway on one side of the political aisle; if it takes hold on the other, God save us.

Actually. To the Washington Post, Guardian, Independent and any other outlet giving any traction to this tosh, no matter how much they’re intending it to be for entertainment value only, can I just ask “Will you please just fuck the fuck right off!”

I mean, I get it that the muddled middle of politics wants to find a way back from endlessly fielding off challenges to its primacy from both the left and the right. And I get that it really doesn’t have anything to offer beyond a new bit of glitzy wrapping on bullshit that no-one wants. But Oprah? Really?!

Is the idea that if she gets a whoosh! of a favourable response, then that will somehow make having Donald the fucking Trump as President better or bearable, because people will be deemed to prefer a different kind of celeb as Pres? (Importantly, a clueless one who will play the fucking game.) Is it meant to suggest that the US Political establishment and any of its minions haven’t completely lost their marbles, or their last connection to the voting public and reality?

“See? We really do know what you want! We understand.”

What a joke.

The sooner the dull clowns of ‘the establishment’ get shoved from their political bandwagons, the better for all of us. Let them trip, skip or tumble (I don’t care how they go) into the darkness of history with all their enabling celebs and their ceaseless downright nonsense. Oh, and maybe they’d like to take their screeds of wasted newsprint, packaged into small designer rolls, that they might put to some practical use when they find themselves lost and desperate on one of history’s forgotten highways.

 

42 comments on “Theatre and Oprah ”

  1. Anne 1

    Bill, that’s one of the best posts you have submitted – at least in my view. 100% support from me. If it ever came to pass then it means the USA has gone to hell in a handcart and will never return!! Trouble is, they’ll take the rest of us down with them.

    Its the ultimate in “politics of hysteria”.

    • Bill 1.1

      Thankyou Anne. The stabby keyboard ones usually wind up having a certain je nais sais quoi about them 😉

      • Anne 1.1.1

        Je comprends. My stabby comments usually end up pure gibberish because I have a bit of arthritis in my fingers. 🙁

        • tony 1.1.1.1

          Anne, I too have arthritis in my fingers and I take a teaspoon of hemp seed oil daily and while I can feel discomfort the pain has gone! cheers Tony

          • Anne 1.1.1.1.1

            Cheers tony. I don’t have any pain as yet. They just don’t work properly and a few of them are a bit crooked hence they don’t always land on the correct keyboard keys – especially if I’m riled. 😉

  2. mauī 2

    Yes, this means we get Dr. Phil as Governor of mental health and Dr. Oz as Head of the Department of Health.

    Democrats answer to Trump is Oprah, lol gotta love it.

  3. red-blooded 3

    I commented in a similar vein on Open Mike today. Yes, Oprah presents a kinder face than DT, and yes, she made an uplifting speech at the Golden Globes, but is that all it takes to become president of the USA? Surely we won’t see both major parties playing that game? (And to be fair, this has just been media speculation, not anything from the Dems.)

    If DT has proved nothing else, he’s proved that it’s actually quite complicated being President. Rich amateurs should stick to what they’re good at. In the US, that includes political donations and endorsements (wouldn’t it be great if it didn’t?), but they should leave running the actual country to the people who have devoted themselves to learning how it works.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Rich amateurs should stick to what they’re good at.

      Like the Koch’s for example? This ain’t no level playing field. I’ve no axe to grind for Ms. Winfrey, and I’m not a US citizen either. So I should probably stfu, but I can’t help noticing that Obama knew the ropes and look how that turned out.

      Assuming she ran, she’d have a pretty decent set of experienced (and crucially from my perspective, not white supremacist, not climate denier) advisers on hand in the Democratic Party. She’d also have fairly broad appeal, name recognition etc.

      At the moment she’s the worst possible candidate apart from all the other ones. Clutch at that straw, I nearly did.

  4. mickysavage 4

    What do you expect from a nation where the TV is king …

    Good post BTW. I was thinking of a similar post myself!

  5. francesca 5

    Thank you Bill
    Couldn’t agree more

  6. Muttonbird 6

    Whoopi Goldberg would be a way better servant for socially responsible policy.

  7. Anne 7

    Its as if they imagine that a Dem/celeb would be the perfect antidote to Trump. God Almighty… as my late father would have said. No, he wasn’t a religious man. 😈

  8. Macro 8

    Whoever is elected President in 2020 should beware….
    With only 2 exceptions every POTUS elected to office since 1840 in a year divisible by 20 has died in office.
    https://www.snopes.com/history/american/curse.asp

    1840 … William Henry Harrison
    1860 … Abraham Lincoln
    1880 … James A. Garfield
    1900 … William McKinley
    1920 … Warren G. Harding
    1940 … Franklin D. Roosevelt
    1960 … John F. Kennedy

    Just a little irrelevant observation. But I would think that people would be rather reluctant to chance their arm on becoming President in 2020.
    😈

  9. TB 9

    I’d be all for the reincarnation of FDR…

  10. Ken 11

    Why are Americans unable to speak without breaking into Martin Luther King-style rhetoric?

  11. SPC 12

    What the media needs is more celebrities providing click bait headlines to distract the American people from the end of the nations economic and political and diplomatic leadership.

    Trump soap opera meltdown, pussy grabber faces spectre of reality TV competition,, times up for white man incumbency, doubts over intel of little fingered social media addicts, on fathers taking daughters to work day POTUS declares Ivanka his running mate for 2020, Oprah chooses Chelsea Clinton as running mate, Trump appoints the UN Ambassador Secretary of State, Megyn Kelly appointed to key role in Oprah campaign team …

    • Graeme 12.1

      And really, what is all that different to “traditional” political progression and discourse. Especially in a USA context with their almost continual, and overlapping election cycles.

      US politics has been a reality show since inception, and I’m not sure we’re much better. It’s about influencing people (voters) to buy your product or ideas. So political entities do what is required.

  12. North 13

    Bill – can’t but agree with Anne @ 1. Your post is excellent……redolent of a first draft slammed out off the top of the head of an author having no cynical regard to ‘packaging’. The broad question I see posed is this……”America, are you addicted to shiny things ? Don’t you in reality just love ‘Swamp’ ?”. The question’s relevant here too as Graeme says @ 12.1. Faaarknhell !

      • Anne 13.1.1

        I have witnessed the Winfrey method first hand and seen the results. An American woman I know came to live in NZ 10 years ago with her husband. He left her two and a half years ago. She was understandably devastated and plenty of people rallied around trying to help her get through it. Then she got into the ‘self help courses’ that have proliferated since the Winfrey phenomenon went global. She wanted to grow her self esteem… learn how to be a leader… how to ‘think outside the box’ and all the rest of the hocus-pocus described in North’s link.

        Three years later she’s broke. Her self-esteem is what it was from the start – basically normal. She’s a nice person but she ain’t no leader and she has no idea how to think outside the box. In short, she is who she is… and 90% of the money she spent on these profit making courses was a complete waste.

  13. roy cartland 14

    Of colour: check
    Female: check
    Has political experience: [tumbleweed wind blows]

    What about Michelle Williams, who started the meeto movement that all those m/billionaires are now taking credit for? Or Ksharma Sawant, the elected socialist behind the 99%?

    God forbid we ever have someone who isn’t sitting on top of a massive stack of money telling us what to do from the highest office.

  14. red-blooded 15

    Well, the Guardian are now reporting that she’s considering it, saying on Monday CNN reported that she is “actively thinking” about it, citing two close friends, whom it did not name. And the Los Angeles Times quoted Stedman Graham, Winfrey’s longtime partner, as saying: “It’s up to the people … She would absolutely do it.”.

    She’s got the whole “American Dream” backstory ✔️
    She’s seen as empathetic and caring ✔️
    She’s a woman (✔️ from me, but from the US electorate..?)
    She’s supported the Dems openly in the past ✔️
    Donald Trump has spoken about her glowingly and said at one stage that he’d like her as a running mate ✔️
    She’s a bloody good orator ✔️
    She’s got powerful friends and allies ✔️
    She’s got lots of crossover appeal – a strong following in the working classes, esp women (good for spiking Donny Boy’s guns) ✔️
    She’s a hell of a lot smarter than Trump ✔️

    BUT I agree with the discussion North linked to at 13.1 – Winfrey’s message is essentially a neoliberal “You don’t need to change the world, just change yourself” line. Plus, I agree with the political scientist quoted at the end of The Guardian’s piece: Bill Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution thinktank in Washington and former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton, said: “If the idea that anyone with celebrity and 100% name recognition can be president is the legacy of our misbegotten times, that would be the most pernicious idea of all. The contempt for the art of politics has held sway on one side of the political aisle; if it takes hold on the other, God save us.”

    Here in NZ, some have argued that Jacindamania was based in part on this, but Ardern has given her life to politics and is an experienced operator. She may be new to leadership of the party and of government, but she’s been a policy wonk for years and has proven herself in opposition.

    Anyway, interesting times…

    • North 15.1

      Wasn’t noting Jacinda when I commented @ 13 on the disturbing phenomenon of the “shiny things” and the measure by which it seduces here in New Zealand. It was the Crosby Textor/Michelle Boag construct John Key.

      • red-blooded 15.1.1

        Fair enough, North. I wasn’t thinking of your comment when I mentioned Jacinda Ardern – just thinking about some of the early commentary in the wider media when she took on the leadership.

  15. Xanthe 16

    I am not so quick to dismiss, one thing about Oprah is that her funds are not derived from political patronage or dirty dealing. nor is she beholden to the DNC . These are a very significant plus for me

    • Et Tu Brute 16.1

      One thing to remember; celebrities don’t face as much negative attention and probings as politicians. It is comparatively easy to look clean as a celebrity, there isn’t the same ‘public interest’ argument. Of course you can royally screw up, but it is also easier to hide behind a smile. You can bet right now there are funded research teams preparing background papers on her and investigating her various investments around the world. I know, for example, there were a few headlines on sexual abuse in her schools in Africa – not her fault and when you employee so many people across continents it happens – but you know how political operatives can exploit this.

  16. Stuart Munro 17

    So – say Oprah gets in.

    What’s the next populist debasement the Republicans trot out to contest the election – remember it must be so seedy it almost makes people yearn for Trump, the way Trump almost made people feel about W.

    Or would the worm finally turn – because turning against a black woman president would be so much easier.

  17. North 18

    Mad thought but let’s say the Dispositionally Bent Orange Gropen Fuhrer Genius get’s rolled (or simply loses in 2020)……chances of violent insurrection in the US ? Kooks of the NRA, KKK, Go[o]d Ole Boys, “Blood and Soil” Nazis, Rust Belt Trailer Trash, the “God Gave Us Trump” brigade ? Nothing ‘US’ would surprise frankly.

    • Anne 18.1

      the Dispositionally Bent Orange Gropen Fuhrer Genius…

      What a magnificent description of you know who. 😀

  18. mosa 19

    You only have to look at the people in the audience who were supporting this insanity to realise that none of them live in the “real America ”

    It seems to me that Oprah is trying to do a Hillary and capture disillusioned female vote who by supporting her will be bitterly disappointed when they see through all the make up, face lifts and bullshit.

    She has no remedy or answers to the malaise that effects the majority of non wealthy Americans.

    If the Democratic party endorse her then they have failed again to nominate a candidate who can really reflect what they once stood for.

    Glitz , celebrity status and glamour over substance and the courage to act.

    Mr Sanders must be watching and becoming more horrified by the day with this ridiculous spectacle.

    • North 19.1

      @ 19 – “…….will be bitterly disappointed when they see through all the make up, face lifts and bullshit.” Mmmmm…….will wait until mid-terms to see whom you’re actually talking about there Mosa. Not discounting of course that in the round outcomes won’t say much in a union of “very fine people” (Nazis), women (news anchors) “bleeding from wherever”, and one (pathologically narcissistic) child “genius”.

  19. eco maori 20

    I say Oprah will make a good President of the United States.
    1 She made her own fortune 2 she a lady that’s +10 alone to me 3 one can see she is genuine 4 She’s intelligent one has to be to get to were she is.5 She humane 6 she backs equality for all people.
    7 She’s a excellent person FOR OUR young ladys to aspire to 8 she backs the Democrats who are pro sustainable energy 9 She’s brown this is good for all the Brown people on our Papatuanukue.
    10 The first African American lady as President of the United States of America. Kai pai

  20. Jum 21

    You’ve had Reagan and Bush’s, backed by the ultra-greedy. She’d be an improvement, but didn’t a psychic say Trump would be their last president?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago