Oprah Winfrey’s virtual vanishing from America’s airwaves is the direct result of her political support for Barack Obama, according to the nation’s top-rated radio host.
“Oprah threw away her TV career for Obama,” Rush Limbaugh said this afternoon. “If you want to know why Oprah’s not on television anymore, it’s because she supported Obama. If you want to know why Oprah is flailing away on a cable network that nobody watches, it’s because of Obama.”
Oprah is best-known for her self-titled TV talk show, which became the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally broadcast from 1986 to 2011.
But her latest venture, the cable channel OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, is flirting with disaster, struggling to attract viewers since its debut in January 2011.
Last month, Bloomberg reported OWN may have lost a staggering $330 million since its inception.
“The company needs to provide investors with a roadmap for this business,” said Paul Sweeney, senior analyst with Bloomberg Industries. “Specifically, how long will they stomach these losses before they make a serious change in strategy?”
Limbaugh says Winfrey’s fall is not difficult to trace.
“Oprah decided that she would let her racial association take precedence over her television and broadcasting knowledge,” he said.
“When she decided that … she had Obama on [her show] and made him a millionaire. She put him on TV to sell his first book. It made him an overnight millionaire. It helped establish him as a rising figure in the Democrat Party. It helped get his biography out there. OK, that’s all well and good. There ought to be some gratitude from Obama for that.
“Then Oprah basically throws away her career by endorsing Obama. That’s when her likability number (the Q number, favorable number) started plummeting, along with her ratings. Because it was at that point that Oprah’s audience began to ask themselves – maybe suspect – ‘You know, maybe race matters to her more than all this other stuff that she talks about.’”
Limbaugh says prior to Oprah’s public support for Obama, race was not a big deal with her.
“She was about self-improvement and all that yin-yang that her program was about,” he said.
“But people started now questioning all of that and how sincere it was. So she’s out on the campaign trail, and she sacrificed herself. This is not a sympathy play for Oprah. I’m just telling you what happened. Because in the process of doing all of this for Obama, where’s Oprah now? They don’t even let her in the White House because Michelle hates her, according to [Ed Klein's book, 'The Amateur'].”
“And Oprah is quoted in this book as saying that Michelle doesn’t like fat people ‘waddling around the White House,’ and Michelle felt threatened by Oprah because Obama liked Oprah. The bottom line is, Obama and Michelle ought to have eternal gratitude for Oprah Winfrey, and they don’t. And Oprah gave up a lot for ‘em. And by the same token, Obama ought to have a little gratitude for people that came before – and he doesn’t. He’s a lone wolf; he’s a lone player.”