December 14, 2010
On December 2, as Oprah Winfrey stood on the stage of her TV show, tightly clutching her newest Book Club selection to her chest so that no one could see its title, she proclaimed in her singular, scale-climbing voice, “Dickeeeens for the hooolidaaaays!” Oprah declared that she has “always wanted to read Dickens over the holidays,” and “now [she] can.” Never mind that she could have read Dickens whenever she wanted, seeing as his books have been popular for more than a century. Never mind that Oprah hadn’t chosen A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, or any of Dickens’s other Christmas tales.
September 21, 2010
Freedom By Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 562 pp., $28) A few years ago there appeared in The New York Times a profile of a Manhattan environmentalist who became known as No Impact Man. No Impact Man—his real name was Colin Beavan—had set himself the goal of radically reducing his family’s carbon footprint for a year: no paper products, no food that came from farther than a 250-mile radius of New York City, no fuel-consuming transportation.
Palin and McCarthy
November 30, 2009
A new Washington Post poll of Republicans records the remarkable extent to which today's rank-and-file GOPers can't identify much in the way of any clear-cut Republican leaders.
Oprah Packs Up Her Toys
November 20, 2009
It's all over the news today that Oprah Winfrey will end her syndicated talk show in 2011, after 25 seasons. No need for women--or the book publishing industry--to panic.
From the Archives: The Strange Genius of Oprah
November 06, 2009
Earlier this week, the entertainment industry blog Deadline Hollywood reported that Oprah Winfrey will be moving her talk-show to her own cable network when her contract with CBS expires in 2011. Her production company responded that she has not yet made a final decision.
August 12, 2009
A professor, a genocide, and NBC's quest for a prime-time hit.
The New Newsweek Takes On Oprah!
May 31, 2009
Michael Kinsley's definitive, witty takedown of Newsweek's relaunch is a must-read, but the magazine comes out swinging this week with a lengthy, entertaining takedown of Oprah Winfrey. Somehow I do not think the old Newsweek would have published this piece, let alone put it on the cover. Those of us who pretend not to do not watch Opah have long had the unfounded speculation that the cult surrounding her is vaguely sinister. Weston Kosova's and Pat Wingert's piece does much to further this impression.
December 26, 2008
Update: On Saturday, December 27, Berkley Books announced that it is canceling publication of Angel at the Fence. Click here to read more about it. On February 2, 2007, Herman Rosenblat’s older brother Sam died. When he was on his deathbed, Herman went to visit him in the hospital in Florida. “When Herman tried to talk to Sammy, he looked away,” Sam’s widow Jutta Rosenblat told me on the phone on the afternoon of December 25.
The Oprah Fizzle?
December 20, 2007
Via the Chicago Sun-Times, a Zogby poll* suggests that Oprah Winfrey may have done Obama little good--and perhaps even harmed him--among women voters in New Hampshire. I do think the Oprah tour risked highlighting the sense some people have that Obama is more a media sensation than a serious political leader. That said, the tour garnered Obama a ton of soft media coverage and produced a sense of momentum and success at a critical moment.
The Battle of the Book
December 10, 2007
At last, American society is getting around to the real villain in American culture, the one whose deleterious influence has so far escaped the magical transformation that technology, and its religion of velocity, is visiting upon all of American life: the printed book. Damn the printed book! In many places, and for many reasons, one hears the cry.