Kissing up to OprahPosted: April 21, 2005
Well. Publisher’s Lunch today said that an organization called Word of Mouth writer’s organization has sent an open letter to Oprah asking her to start showcasing contemporary fiction once again. In a nutshell, they site that since she switched to classics (which I found interesting, after her ‘run-in’ with J. Franzen, that she only showcases dead authors who can’t diss her now), readers just quit buying much fiction, because without her, they just can’t figure out what to buy. That was supposedly a testament to Oprah’s influence on the market . . . blah blah blah, smoochie smoochie smoochie.
I know there is no doubt that Oprah had an enormous impact on the book industry, there is no question there. And I LIKE Oprah, I really do, even if I have to cringe at that bit of ego she lets escape sometimes. And heck yeah, it would be incredible for contemporary authors to be featured again. Even when she snubs traditional romance. Actually, I find that a whole ‘nother issue, so I won’t get off on a tangent.
But, like with the Texas Cattle Feeders’ lawsuit after the beef thing, I think it’s asinine to imply that people are so weak-minded that they can’t pick out a book that sounds good much less chow-down on a plump, juicy hamburger without checking to see if Oprah thinks it’s okay or not. That really chaps my hide.
Ok. Maybe I should have stopped to consider another angle, and not just let my fingers do the talking. Yes, I need to admit the Oprah DID bring a lot of readers into the world of fiction that have not been reader before, and that was a positive thing. I give, I admit that. Perhaps I let arrogance get the better of me a bit here. I still feel a bit like I stated before though. But I can concede the point. Here’s the ENTIRE letter.