It’s Cool to be Oprah!

Yesterday morning I was grabbing an English muffin and caught a television ad talking about Oprah Winfrey’s “No Phone Zone”.  She was asking people to log into her website and take the “No Phone Zone” pledge.  The pledge goes like this:  “I pledge to make my car a No Phone Zone. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an end to distracted driving by not texting or using my phone while I am driving.  I will ask other drivers I know to do the same.  I pledge to make a difference.”

The No Phone Zone website is very well done, with some interactive features that indicate how much texting and talking on cell phones can distract your driving and cost lives, including yours.  The web link is:

It’s hard to argue with Oprah on this one.  It seems like every time I see someone driving like an idiot they are talking (or texting) on their cell phone.  There’s no question that driving with a phone is dangerous.  I have a hands-free device in my truck, but even with both hands on the wheel, there has been a time or two when my driving focus has been distracted by my conversation.  I’m certainly not blameless when it comes to good car phone sense.

It occurred to me that unlike the rest of us, Oprah could sign this No Phone Pledge without a great deal of personal inconvenience.  She probably works out of the back of her limo when she travels to her Harpo studio complex on Chicago’s near west side.

Oprah has struggled with “weight issues” all of her professional career.  I have heard my wife comment over the years about Oprah’s dilemma.   It seems that whenever Oprah is fat, it is OK to be fat.  After all, a woman’s identity is much more important than the shape of her body.  However, when Oprah loses weight it is suddenly the coolest thing to do.

As an admirer of entrepreneurs, Oprah is absolutely one of my favorites.  When you’re born in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother, become pregnant yourself at age 14 and rise to host the highest rated talk show program in history, you’re more than a superstar.  As the world’s only black billionaire and the greatest black philanthropist in American history, she is one of the most admired and influential women in the world.

I never watch Oprah, but I don’t watch much television except for sporting events.  My wife watches Oprah a couple of times a year, so neither of us is an Oprah aficionado.  I do remember the occasion when Oprah gave a new car to everyone in her studio audience, only to take criticism when the gift receivers found out they had to pay taxes on the car!  Oprah didn’t pay the taxes for them.  Oprah taught all of us a valuable political science lesson that day; unlike public welfare programs, private welfare programs run on a budget!

Oprah dearly loves Chicago.  Last fall she went to Copenhagen to support Chicago’s Olympic bid.  Her friend Barack Obama went also, but it didn’t work out so well.  I haven’t seen her team up with Barack since; I surely didn’t see her out in Boston helping him campaign for Martha Coakley.  Oprah will never criticize Barack because she is too much of a lady.  But Oprah knows deep down in her soul that she is a proven PRODUCER; a woman of true accomplishment who has EARNED her financial and social status.  Barack is a community organizer, a narcissist, an elitist, and an unapologetic recipient of false entitlement (Nobel Peace Prize).  When a PRODUCER meets a LOOTER things usually turn out badly.  PRODUCERS seldom make a return appearance.

It’s cool to be Oprah!

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