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TV Guide and NY Times say Oprah Winfrey’s Empire is Crumbling

TV Guide’s Chloe Tse article dated 05-27-2008 reports tremors in Oprah’s media empire.

According to TV Guide Winfrey’s new-age spiritualism and political persuasion is jeopardizing her marketability in the media, thereby diminishing her status.

 

Perhaps Winfrey’s longtime reign over the media is coming to an abrupt end. For so long revered as nearly a saint because of her uplifting programming, Oprah is now beginning to receive criticism for her views. It has often been said that one should not talk about their religion and politics. Oprah is defying the odds and daring to do both.

 

I salute her for her authenticity and boldness to express her individuality. Yet doing so is simultaneously hurting her marketability. Nevertheless on the flip side of that argument, we do well to remember that controversy does sell. Who knows the queen of TV could remake herself into an activist for worthy causes and a voice against social injustice. Nobody can dispute Oprah has done and is doing a lot of good in the world. And with such influence why shouldn’t she let her voice be heard?

 

The New York Times says Oprah’s choices are gaining skepticism and audiences are tuning out. According to Nielson Media Research, for the third straight year in a row, Oprah is experiencing a decline in audience viewers.

 

Research shows Oprah’s program has dropped 7% of its viewers this year alone. Oprah’s other projects also seem to be suffering. For example her reality show Oprah’s Big Give debuted this winter with a huge audience and beat every program on television except for American Idol, but also experienced the loss of almost a third of its audience.

 

Winfrey’s readership of O her magazine, which you would think to have increased with the nonstop promotion of Tolle’s book, suffered a beating and loss of 10% over the last 3 years according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

 

Even Oprah’s favorite and highly promoted books in her book club are suffering harsh criticism. Apparently Oprah either didn’t adequately study the demographics of her viewers, or disregarded her viewers beliefs altogether. Women in the deep south who heavily watch Oprah’s program are typically Christian and many supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton.  Hence Oprah has cut her own throat by alienating Christendom with her new age books and shows, while simultaneously disenchanting white women when she endorsed Barak Obama for President.

 

As a Christian who read “A New Earth” and found it a in meaningful book, I understand both how Oprah feels and religious folks who don’t play around with their faith. Certainly not all Christians can eat the fish and spit out the bones when reading spiritual truths originating from another ideological orbit. Politically Americans aren’t very tolerant or understanding either, as evidenced by the great political divide in our country between Republicans and Democrats.

 

I commend Oprah for being true to what she believes in and bold enough to share what she thinks will empower people to live better lives. Her intentions and motives are certainly pure. If Oprah were solely money motivated, she would not continue to promote her spiritual and political views. Yet being already established financially, Oprah is embarking upon larger more meaningful missions to change the world. O Ambassadors is just one new endeavor Oprah is partnering with Free the Children to liberate and educate kids worldwide.

 

Hopefully Oprah who says she is a Christian will not find problems with parents concerned about their children getting sold new-age ideas. I think Oprah is doing a great work and deserves our support. Yet at the same time we who have beliefs of our own should not be any less vocal than Oprah.

 

Anything worth having in life requires a sacrifice. For Oprah it is a drop in viewer ratings, book sales, and magazine distribution. Nevertheless the rewards of the sacrifice should be sufficient to warrant the losses. Often we must first be willing to lose in order to win.

 

It cannot be disputed that ultimately we attract what we are. We cannot please everyone and succeed. We are at our best when we are true to ourselves and transparent about it. That Oprah is and that is why we love her.

 

Beyond touching hearts and putting tears in our eyes, Oprah also makes people think. Now raising eyebrows and making us scratch our heads, Oprah is finding herself as she further evolves. She recently said on her program that she admits to not having enough time to truly enjoy herself.  Perhaps as Oprah becomes more present and lets go of the ambition of sustaining her empire, critics will be silenced and her true spirit will emerge in purity untainted from the labels many have tried to presumptuously give her.

 

Dividing audiences is not always a bad thing as even the Word of God itself divides, while exposing our hearts (see Hebrews 4:12). Although Oprah’s television audience is predominately middle-aged white women who support Senator Hillary Clinton, most Americans are awaking to the reality that we need some color in the White House to truly get real and heal the homeland.

 

Angry criticism of new-age spiritualism and political disputes though a common message thread on the message boards from her website, Oprah will continue to transcend the accusations and come out on top as she honors the God of truth.  Love rejoices in the truth and we should do no less.

 

Next up for Oprah is OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. featuring programming that will reflect Winfrey’s vision of what she considers empowering programming.   

 

You can’t go wrong when you touch, teach, and transform your audience.

 

It’s not about being the queen of the media as much as it is about living a meaningful life of purpose to impact humanity.

 

Paul F Davis – international speaker and author

http://www.PaulFDavis.com

RevivingNations@yahoo.com

 

 

Paul F. Davis is a world-changing leadership & diversity speaker who has touched over 50 countries & 6 continents building bridges cross-culturally and empowering people throughout the earth to live their dreams!

 

Paul is the author of 14 books. Paul has appeared on numerous internationally broadcast radio shows from Oprah & Friends to Fox News Radio to talk about conflict resolution, peacemaking, foreign policy, and diplomacy. Playboy Radio host Tiffany Granath calls Paul an “awesome” relational coach and recommends his books on love, dating, and sexuality.

 

Academically outstanding Davis was trained in transformative mediation & conflict resolution (Hofstra Law School); strategic negotiations (Harvard Business School & U. of Washington); advanced interrogation (Reid & Associates founders of the polygraph); and NLP & Life Coaching (NLP & Coaching Institute of California).

 

Paul humorously and elegantly transforms individuals and organizations.

 

Paul’s organization Dream-Maker Inc. builds dreams, transcends limitations, & reconciles nations.

 

Paul worked at Ground Zero in NYC during 9/11; helped rebuild a home at the tsunami epicenter; comforted victims of genocide in Rwanda; spoke to leaders in East Timor during the war; inspired students & monks in Myanmar; promoted peace & reconciliation in Pakistan; and has been so deep into the bush of rural Africa where villagers had never before seen a white man.

 

Paul empowers people to love passionately and live fearlessly.

 

http://www.PaulFDavis.com

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What Do Google and Saddam Have in Common? What Can Google Learn from National Geographic?

Dr. Trita Parsi (President of National Iranian American Council) and Babak Talebi wrote on article on May 14, 2008 titled What Do Google and Saddam Have in Common? originally published in The Huffington Post worthy of our time and attention.

It seems Google has a funny way of doing business — one that involves muddying politics in the Middle East. In recent months, the organization has taken the unprecedented step to rename internationally recognized bodies of water. Google Earth has begun using the controversial term “Arabian Gulf” to the body of water traditionally and internationally identified as the “Persian Gulf.”

Much is in a name as a name reveals an intended purpose and ideological persuasion.

In the Middle East, nothing is just a name. The Hebrews name their children intentionally using names that carry meaning and invoke their desirable destiny for each child.  With more than 180,000 US troops in this unstable region, being oblivious to the politics of geographical renaming is dangerous.

Historically, the accuracy of the term Persian Gulf is undisputed. Several legal documents from the United Nations as well as the United States Board of Geographic Names confirm the legitimacy of the term, as do millennia of classical history. For example, the ancient Greeks called the Persian Gulf, “Sinus Persicus,” the Romans called it “Mare Persicum,” and the Arabs called it, “Bahr al-Farsia.”

The political campaign to change the name Persian Gulf to the “Arabian Gulf” began approximately 50 years ago, as part of a pan-Arab strategy aimed at diminishing the status of non-Arab influences in the Middle East, including that of Iran and Israel.

It is a term whose very purpose has been to create divisions in an already divided region. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser used it to rally the Arab masses against Israel and Iran. A decade later, Saddam Hussein used it to mobilize the Arabs in the war against Iran. Today, the term is frequently used by radicals and militants in the Middle East — again, with the aim to create divisions and fuel conflict.

Google now has the dubious distinction of joining Nasser and Saddam Hussein in this political campaign.

In February 2008, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) sent a letter to Google’s CEO, Dr. Eric E. Schmidt, to explain the political background of the term and request that Google refrain from entering into the politics of geographical renaming and let the Persian Gulf remain the Persian Gulf.

More than three months later, Google has yet to formally respond to NIAC’s letter. In fact, the closest response NIAC has received is an ambiguous April 8 blog post on Google’s Public Policy Blog: “As the publishers of a geographic reference tool, we believe that Google should not choose sides in international geopolitical disputes. For this reason, we’ve chosen to implement a uniform policy of “Primary Local Usage.”
But what exactly is “Primary Local Usage”? And what is Google’ threshold of measurement?

Google defines its current policy of primary local usage as a combination of three separate markers (primacy, commonality, and locality) that they believe help Google avoid choosing “sides in international geopolitical disputes.”

According to a post on their public policy blog, the primacy marker means that out of each possible name only the most common name(s) for each body of water will be used. As for the commonality or the frequency of its use, a name must be widespread and not subject to arbitrary government renaming. Their final qualifier is the input of the neighboring nations that have a “stake” in the body of water; meaning that the deciding factor will be that neighboring nations all have input in potential names.

Although Google claims that this method allows for an “optimal combination of neutrality, objectivity, and legitimacy,” this unusual and uncharacteristically amorphous standard counteracts any “sensitivity” Google had hoped to convey.

In fact, it makes Google the very political tool it claims it seeks to avoid becoming.

In defense of its methods, Google has said that its safeguards will prevent a ruler from naming “the Pacific Ocean after her mother,” by requiring any potential name be commonly accepted by the general populace. Contrary to Google’s purported intentions, however, this policy actually opens the door for politically motivated geographical renaming.

By bypassing traditional academic sources, Google has turned itself into an enabler of those who would use name disputes to fuel conflict.

Had Google Earth existed in 1980 when Saddam Hussein first attempted to use the label “Arabian Gulf” as a way to rally support for invading Iran, it would have embraced the Iraqi dictator’s policy. By Google’s standards, Hussein’s arbitrary renaming would be (and is) a justifiable manipulation of geographical naming for political and divisive goals.

In fall 2004, the National Geographic Society (NGS) made a similar misstep by using the term Arabian Gulf for the Persian Gulf; but after a campaign led by the National Iranian American Council, the NGS recognized the folly of getting involved in the politics of geographical renaming and corrected their mistake in their 8th Edition maps.

Google could learn a thing or two from the NGS’s sensibility.

http://www.niacouncil.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1116&Itemid=2

International speaker and author of United States of Arrogance Paul F Davis interviewed Dr. Trita Parsi at the National Iranian American Council headquarters in 2008 discussing for an-hour-and-a-half foreign policy in the Middle East and most importantly between the U.S. and Iran. That video can be obtained by writing RevivingNations@yahoo.com (or) gmail.com

http://www.PaulFDavis.com

Paul F. Davis is a world-changing leadership & diversity speaker who has touched over 50 countries & 6 continents building bridges cross-culturally and empowering people throughout the earth to live their dreams!

Paul is the author of 14 books. Paul has appeared on numerous internationally broadcast radio shows from Oprah & Friends to Fox News Radio to talk about conflict resolution, peacemaking, foreign policy, and diplomacy. Playboy Radio host Tiffany Granath calls Paul an “awesome” relational coach and recommends his books on love, dating, and sexuality.

Academically outstanding Davis was trained in transformative mediation & conflict resolution (Hofstra Law School); strategic negotiations (Harvard Business School & U. of Washington); advanced interrogation (Reid & Associates founders of the polygraph); and NLP & Life Coaching (NLP & Coaching Institute of California).

Paul humorously and elegantly transforms individuals and organizations.

Paul’s organization Dream-Maker Inc. builds dreams, transcends limitations, & reconciles nations.

Paul worked at Ground Zero in NYC during 9/11; helped rebuild a home at the tsunami epicenter; comforted victims of genocide in Rwanda; spoke to leaders in East Timor during the war; inspired students & monks in Myanmar; promoted peace & reconciliation in Pakistan; and has been so deep into the bush of rural Africa where villagers had never before seen a white man.

Paul empowers people to love passionately and live fearlessly.

http://www.PaulFDavis.com

RevivingNations@yahoo.com


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