Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Our cult of celebrity marches on

I like Oprah Winfrey.

I think she's a fabulous entertainer, talk show host and interviewer.

I don't think she should run for president.

Her crackling speech at the Golden Globes on the issue of sexual harassment and where we go from here catapulted her to the top of the list of possible presidential candidates.

It was a dynamite speech. Really Oprah doing what Oprah does best.

"A new day is on the horizon."

But an Oprah presidential candidacy would not be a new day. It would be a repeat of something we've seen before. And not that long ago.

Didn't we just go through this? And aren't we neck-deep in the results?

This is the fallout of the celebrity culture we worship - and crave - in this country.

If we have learned anything in the past 11 months, it should have been to value the qualifications of the person we elect to sit in the Oval Office.

Do I think Oprah Winfrey would be an improvement over Donald Trump?

Without question.

But it's a low bar. I still don't think Trump is qualified to be president. Neither am I. Nor Oprah for that matter.

I realize there area lot of people who would disagree, who would insist that is precisely why they got on the Trump bandwagon, to change things in Washington, to "drain the swamp."

How's that working out for you?

The Trump candidacy should set off serious warning alarms for the media and how we go about covering campaigns.

Trump became the runaway leader for the Republican on the backs of non-stop, 24-hour coverage of everything outrageous thing he said, every mocking nickname he hurled at one GOP opponent after another, his non-stop attack on "Crooked Hillary." Getting elected didn't change Trump a bit. He's still at war with Hillary and anything he can do to erase the legacy of President Barack Obama. You know, the guy Trump insisted was not born in the USA and thus should have been disqualified as presidential timber.

We're not electing a reality TV show host, folks. Though I admit at times it's hard to tell.

Nor should we be ready to get behind another media heavyweight and talk show host.

Looking for the most popular person in the U.S.? Oprah just might be your candidate.

President? I don't think so.

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