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(DV) Osama's Book or Oprah's Book







Osama's Book or Oprah's Book
by Rosemarie Jackowski
February 1, 2006

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The queen of trivia does it again. Am I the only person on the planet who is outraged with recent Oprah Shows? Usually the trivial nature of the topics she chooses is enough to liquefy brain cells. That is not the worse of it. Recently she seemed to enjoy her one-upsmanship in the book scandal with author James Frey. The frying of Frey was troubling because there are more important lies out there. Hey Oprah, remember the big WMD lie? What about the lies about the numbers of homeless among us? What about the lies about the causes of poverty in the USA? 


What about the lies about the number of civilians killed in Iraq? Killed kids should at least rate a nod from someone in the US media.  


On the topic of liars. I hope that Oprah will google Liars for Hire. Now there's a topic for a show for you. Oprah, you could do a whole series on that topic.  Liars for Hire, otherwise known as Expert Witnesses, have placed our entire justice system in jeopardy.


Maybe ratings are the only consideration. If another show about how to apply eye make-up is aired, I will cancel my cable service. Sometimes I have to rush to the TV clicker, to get a bit of C-Span therapy. 


Right on the heels of the Frey debacle, Oprah does a program with William Ginglen. I don't know about you, but to me, there is something very offensive about one of the wealthiest women on the planet, brow-beating a man who stated that he had sent out 500 resumes. It appears that his effort did not produce any job offers. I know many people who have sent out many resumes and failed to get even one job interview. That aspect of the Ginglen case is an important issue that Oprah ignored.


William Ginglen is the Grandfather who was turned in by his three sons for bank robbery. Ginglen says that his gun was not loaded. I am not about to make the recommendation that everyone should drop by his local bank with a gun on the way to the Unemployment Office. I do, however, believe that there are some very important issues here that Oprah and her on-site psychologist failed to recognize.


One issue is that of the inability of many in the USA to find employment that pays a livable wage. Come on Oprah, let's get behind the Livable Wage Campaign. When is the last time that you did a show on that topic?


Another often ignored issue is that of age discrimination. Has Oprah ever tried to get a job at the age of 64? Try it. You won't like it. Wrinkles and gray hair are about as welcome in the job market as a history of felonious assaults on little children. How about a program on poverty among the elderly? If that issue is not addressed in a timely manner, there may be more Grandfathers making Creative Withdrawals from their local banks. 


There are many important issues today that are not given any on-air time. Those who have access to a national audience have a sacred obligation. When Osama makes wiser book choices than Oprah, we have a problem. Hey Oprah, ever hear about that other author, William Blum?  


Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. She was arrested, tried, and convicted for her participation in a peaceful protest of the war. The conviction is currently under Appeal in the State Supreme Court.  She can be reached at: dissent@sover.net.

Other Articles by Rosemarie Jackowski

A Small Matter of Justice
* Cuba, We Need You
* Things That Bosses Say: Just Another Day in the Life of a US Worker
* New Rules for Liberals
* Proper Etiquette During a Holocaust