CNBC airs a news special tonight at 9 p.m. called "The Oprah Effect." It's a look at how businesses get a boost from having their products given away by Oprah during her various shows.
It's a little ironic, because Macon was the last-ever recipient of the "Oprah's Favorite Things" episode, when she deposited about 300 fridges with TVs built into them and other goodies among the locals.
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After the downturn in the economy, the episode was considered to be in bad taste, so she isn't doing it any more.
If nothing else, the program will likely show how one person can create a fad. Writers live and die these days by seeing if they can get their books as part of Oprah's Book Club. (Ask James Frey how well that worked out). So coveted is that status that a New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist, who had written a book about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, was not allowed to mention his book while being a guest on the show -- even though the episode was about Katrina! After arguing this point incessantly with the show's producers, the writer dropped out.
Why Oprah is the be-all and end-all of what is good and bad in this country remains a mystery to me. Certainly, her 20-plus years on the air has allowed her to build a massive fan base, but people seemingly basing their lives around what Oprah likes is a wee bit extreme.
I'm hoping the show includes a segment about the recent KFC debacle, in which the restaurant had to disallow coupons because Oprah gave so many away. I never sent my coupon back to the KFC corp for a different coupon; I've just decided to boycott KFC instead for irritating me. It's much easier.
I also hope that CNBC looks further into the talks between Oprah and possibly insane activist Jenny McCarthy, whose mission in life is to link vaccinations to autism even though there has never been a shred of scientific evidence linking the two. That McCarthy might get a piece of Oprah's vast audience to spread her irresponsible beliefs is truly frightening.
THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: On a lighter note, ESPN will be carrying the later rounds of the 2009 Spelling Bee before the finals on ABC at 8 p.m.
Might as well enjoy it, since the only other new thing is "So You Think You Can Dance" on Fox at 8 p.m.