Sunday, June 07, 2009

Newsweek Takes on Oprah

'Twas great to see that Newsweek magazine took on Oprah last week, echoing what we'd said on this blog way back when (February 2008) about Oprah's embrace of The Secret. Newsweek noted:

"On one of the Secret shows, Oprah gave an example of the scientific power of the concept. She said that once, while she was hosting an episode about a man who could blow really big soap bubbles, she was thinking to herself, "Gee, that looks fun. I would like to blow some bubbles." When she returned to her office after the show, there, on her desk, was a silver Tiffany bubble blower. "So I call my assistant," Oprah told the audience. "I say, 'Did you just run out and get me some bubbles? 'Cause I got bubbles by my desk.' And she says, 'No, the bubbles were always there. I bought you bubbles for your birthday and you didn't notice them until today'."

There are many lessons that might be drawn from this anecdote. One is that if you give Oprah a thoughtful gift, she may not bother to notice it or thank you for it. This is not the lesson Oprah took away from her story. Because the way she sees it, her assistant hadn't really given her the gift at all. She gave it to herself. Using the power of The Secret, she said, "I had called in some bubbles." (Newsweek, May 30, 2009)

But a friend pointed out the similarity of the Newsweek text to language from this blog, back in February 2008:

"Winfrey had a bubble-blowing world-record-breaking champion on her show recently, and in the midst of his bubble-blowing she'd said, "Wow, I'm gonna have to get me some bubbles." Then, when she got back to her desk, she discovered a silver Tiffany bubble-blowing wand with several bottles of bubble solution. She was astonished. She asked her assistant where it had come from and she said she'd gotten it for her as a present several weeks before. And she hadn't noticed. She hadn't noticed a present that one of her staff members had gotten her several weeks earlier. It had just sat there, unopened and unacknowledged, on her desk for weeks.

The message Oprah takes from this — and tells the world — is that this is the miraculous power of The Secret at work and that she is special and chosen and that the universe has pre-ordered her a bubble blower to accommodate her needs, desires, and whims even before she knows she has them. One of Oprah's guests chimed in that Oprah's so special that she doesn't get just any bubble blower — that the universe sends her a silver one from Tiffany's. The message my friend took from this story is that Oprah must be a pretty awful person to work for if she doesn't notice, let alone acknowledge, a present from a staff member that's been sitting on her desk for weeks. Even a present in a Tiffany bag."

I'm happy to share, but attribution is always appreciated.


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