I don’t know precisely when Oprah Winfrey went from daytime talk show host to “I’m a DEITY now,” but I know that I missed it. I mean, I like her and all. And I don’t understand the people who hate her — like what has Oprah ever done to anybody? But I don’t exactly know why the world seems to hang on her every word.
Which isn’t to say she didn’t “deserve” to give the commencement address at Harvard University this year. Of course she did. Have you seen the people who have given that speech? When I graduated from college it was Amartya Sen. He’s an economist, Oprah is cash money.
I only noticed she was giving the speech because right wingers are acting like she needs to be shot because she talked about gun control. But apparently she also said: “We all know that we are better than the cynicism and the pessimism that is regurgitated throughout Washington and the 24-hour cable news cycle — not my channel, by the way.”
And that’s funny because the Second Circuit just ruled that her media network might have regurgitated a tagline already owned by a copyright holder…
I’m trying to figure out whether Lance Armstrong is relieved that Manti Te’o upstaged him this week. On one hand, all of the mean, finger-wagging columns on Lance’s lying, like this typically flatulent effort by Rick Reilly, have been pushed to the second page of the Internet by Te’o's (I’m not entirely sure I’m using the apostrophe correctly here) fake dead girlfriend. Although the internet defies all attempts to ascribe a finite supply of oxygen to any news story, there is a finite amount of attention that can be paid. And even though every news organization has dutifully assigned a writer (or moron) to cover the Lance debacle, no one much cares about it anymore. What happens to a scandal deferred? Does it dry up, like a craisin in this pun?
I think the overshadowing of the Lance Armstrong saga probably doesn’t help Armstrong at all. The vast majority of people who will have opinions about him have already formed them and those who may be swayed by a teary confession in front of Oprah now may not even be paying attention. But that’s all public opinion, which is the least of Lance’s worries at this point. And yet, public opinion is almost exclusively Manti Te’o's (seriously, these apostrophes are bothering me) worry at this point. Almost.
Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Not for Lance. His hemoglobin unnaturally oxygenated, Lance was going to hop on his banana seat and literally ride off into the sunset. He was just going to take his ball and go home. And other jokes about his chosen profession and/or lack of testicles, plural.
Tomorrow, Lance Armstrong appears before our nation’s high priestess of contrition to blubber and wail. Lance Armstrong cheated in a sport that very few people in this country care about. I’ve written about this before. And before that. I have great difficulty ginning up the proper amount of outrage, schadenfreude, or whatever it is you’re supposed to feel when a world class athlete and jerk gets nailed like this.
It’s for this reason that the home stretch of this column will be written by a guest columnist. This writer was well-known for thriving in a sport that, like cycling, was similarly plagued by drug abuse and scandal.
* This whole debt crisis has been a little like Deal or No Deal, except that show had a much better host. Howie Mandel can get people to make a deal with the banker in under 60 minutes. Obama? Not so much. [POLITICO]
* Real life intellectual property matters be damned, because even virtual horses need to eat. If a PETA group doesn’t exist yet in Second Life, I have a feeling that one soon will. [Wall Street Journal]
* Reality shows rule, but I’m not sure if an execution can compete with Jersey Shore. The only thing I want to see die on TV is dignity, but our own David Lat has some other interesting ideas. [New York Times]
* New Mercer Law students are moving into the apartment complex where pieces of Lauren Giddings were found. Why would you sign a lease with a place that’s so stabby? [Macon Telegraph]
Oprah is ending on May 25. Like most Americans, I am exhibiting signs of Empty Oprah Syndrome. During this time, as I mourn the loss of my “ultimate girlfriend,” I find myself asking one key question: why does Gayle King get to be Oprah’s actual best friend? I would be way better.
There are a few answers to that question. One answer, I guess, could be attributed to the fact that I have never met Oprah Winfrey. The other answer is that Gayle has something I do not. She has a shared history with Oprah, spanning thirty years. In other words, these women grew up together; they were friends before Oprah Winfrey became Oprah.
Why am I talking about Oprah and Gayle? Because I have Empty Oprah Syndrome, remember? And because there might be a lesson here for small-firm lawyers….
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