Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

Quick, guess the woman:

1. Her mother does not have her cell phone number.
2. Family relatives “doubt” that she was actually ever molested as a child, something this mystery woman has claimed for years.
3. She loves ding-dongs, sour-cream potatoes, chicken and pecan pies.
4. She often refers to herself in the third person.
5. There is a pretty good possibility she once slept with John Tesh.

Give up? OK. That last one gave it away, I know, I know. It’s Oprah. And how do we know these things? Well, that’s because Ms. Kitty Kelley – a so-called “investigative journalist” who has written dozens of “unauthorized biographies” about many a celebrity in her day (word is, Frank Sinatra didn’t have many kind words to say to the writer when confronted with her) – shocked (shocked!) the world by releasing her findings into the life of quite possibly the most popular and successful female talk show host ever.

Question No. 1: How has Oprah become the phenomenon she has become over the last couple decades? What’s her lure?
Question No. 2: In an age of “Gotcha” journalism/media, why is anyone ever really that surprised to find out personal information about idols who almost literally hold in their possession millions of people’s hearts?
And Question No. 3: John Tesh?

Ahh, yes. John Tesh. Liz Clarke, the fantastic Washington Post sportswriter, went on the radio yesterday and brought up a very interesting variable about this entire situation.
“I’ll confess to being interested in her taste,” the writer said with a little bit of laughter. “And to me, I find John Tesh revolting.”
And boom goes the dynamite.

So much criticism is thrust upon the “nothing is safe from the public” world we live in these days, but you would be lying to yourself if you ever tried to dismiss such gossipy news because of one’s privacy. No, I don’t have the least bit desire to know the first thing about Oprah’s personal life, but yes, I do have at least a little bit of interest in knowing things that suggest who she really may be. And yes, there’s a difference.

I know I shouldn’t like it, and yes we can all agree that it is universally wrong to invest highly in such trash-talk reporting, but come on, friends. Gossip is fun. Sure, I may lose a little bit of self-respect, but what self-respecting human being can’t admit to glancing out of the corner of his or her eye to see what exactly it is that is making all that proverbial noise over there?

It’s safe to say that Kitty Kelley is sleaze. That’s fair. And it’s also safe to assume that regardless of her 800-plus sources she reportedly used to write this book, no one is going to take her reporting seriously (especially considering the hold Oprah has on so many women, and the desire many may have to dive into a pit of naivety when it comes to criticizing such an iconic figure). But one of the best differences between men and women is a woman’s natural desire to partake in such gossip-mongering talk. It’s pleasurable and shameful at the same time. It releases a connection with someone you will never have the opportunity to connect with while using that desired, mythical connection to actually connect with someone who may want to feel that same type of, well, connection. Get it? Good.

Now, when’s the next Us Weekly hit newsstands?

And, wait. Who said anything about Gossip?

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