5 Fibs About the 'Oprah Effect'

Has she helped him? And is this hurting her?
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2008 2:30 PM CDT
In this Dec. 9, 2007 file photo, Barack Obama reacts as Oprah Winfrey introduces him to the crowd at a rally in Manchester, N.H.    (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
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(Newser) – Is the mighty Oprah endorsement helping Barack Obama… or Oprah Winfrey? Kathleen Rooney, author of a book on Oprah’s Book Club, unveils five myths about the Oprah effect in the Washington Post:

  1. Oprah’s viewers will do whatever she tells them. In fact Oprah’s flock is selective. They ignored her William Faulkner recommendation, and Beloved bombed at the box office.
  2. Celebrity endorsements don’t matter. Oprah’s seems to. Obama says one appearance with Winfrey yielded 10,000 new volunteers.

  1. Winfrey and Obama are a natural match. While they have similar messages, Oprah is not ideological. She asks that her viewers live well but doesn't demand that they oppose anything.
  2. Oprah convinces her viewers to vote Obama. Oprah’s demographic actually broke for Hillary, and now seems to be leaning Palin’s way.
  3. Obama’s success helps Oprah. Oprah’s approval rating has actually dropped from 74% to 66% since she endorsed him.