And no, we’re not referring to her book club sales. In “Why Health Advice on ‘Oprah’ Could Make You Sick,” Newsweek takes on the lifestyle maven’s disturbing tendency to traffic untested or discredited medical therapies and theories, to provide advice that defies logic and common sense, and to offer up plain-old wackiness.
The article, provided for free online, finds that too often these 45-minute shows simplify things so much so as to distort the truth. What’s worse, celebrities with a cause–be it “natural” hormone therapy or (largely unproven) vaccine-related autism–can drown out expert voices and allow dubious cause-and-effect connections to go unchallenged.
It’s a good read and a worthy attempt to push back at the notion that televised tonic can ever hold the cure to what ails us. As the article notes:
“At some point, it would seem, people will stop looking to Oprah for this kind of guidance. This will never happen. Oprah’s audience admires her as much for her failings as her successes. In real life, she has almost nothing in common with most of her viewers. She is an unapproachable billionaire with a private jet and homes around the country who hangs out with movie stars. She is not married and has no children. But television Oprah is a different person. She somehow manages to make herself believable as a down-to-earth everywoman.”
The bottom line: In life, there is no such thing as a quick fix and no substitute for hard-headed discernment between fact and fantasy. Subscribe to Newsweek here.