Lance Armstrong, the biggest drugs cheat in sport, is having a friend over this week. The pair may compare inspiring quotes - both have spawned industries in them - and talk about the spiritual enlightenment that grows in adversity.
There will be a confession - or so says the press release - and there may be tears and a hug. Armstrong may even try telling the truth for the first time in a decade or two.
But let’s not get carried away. Armstrong has had five months since he was outed as a slimebag to practise his best version of honesty, the one that is least likely to lead to lawsuits and most likely to spark the first flickerings of public support.
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The idea of a book club is so much better than the reality.
In a perfect world, a book club would be custom-made group of close, reliable and relaxed friends who sit in front of a roaring fire contributing witty and considered insights between sips of wine.
But that’s a far cry from the real version that starts with the best intentions and ends up notoriously hard to arrange. Not only is it impossible to find a date that suits everyone in the group, most people are too busy to read the book in time for the catch up anyway.
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So US tourist numbers are down since Oprah’s “Down Under” fire sale of our national dignity and the much-wished-for Oprah cash has failed to materialise.
The idea of letting a foreign talk show host turn our country into giant television studios smelt dodgy from the start, but after yesterday’s revelations, it stinks.
The news yesterday that US visitor numbers have dropped by 0.8 per cent in the last year just leaves you wondering how this ever got so out of hand.
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“She deserves to be here,” sobbed Dani, with her big puppy dog eyes and glossy black hair.
What a tragedy. Cleo, one of the most popular chefs in the Masterchef kitchen, had ignored the rules to prepare both her toffee dish and her chocolate ganache at the same time. Her elimination was inevitable. Her dream was over.
And we all sniffled too, as the ever-stoic Cleo departed the Masterchef kitchen and returned home to her miniature poodles. Ad break. News headlines. Oprah.
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Welcome to this week’s episode of I Call Bullshit. Today we’re going to look at Oprah. Oprah Winfrey is the sort of mega-star who often leaves people breathless. With wide-eyed adoration, gasping sycophancy, or cynical shock that she is indeed such a mega star.
She is worth gazillions, and her passing endorsement of any old product is worth millions, even billions. Her gift is that people dwell on her every word. But is she full of pearls of wisdom, or is she full of the proverbial? Let’s look at some of her more famous quotes.
I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.
Utter tosh. I am not becoming a crispy-topped piece of melt-in-your-mouth pork belly.
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Did someone say “Oprah”? No? Are you sure? I could’ve sworn I heard someone say “Oprah”.
Over the past few weeks the Talk Show Queen’s name has been noticeably absent from the nation’s media – which probably has something to do with the fact we were quite preoccupied with devastating floods, rampaging cyclones and horrific fires.
Those Oprah-filled days seem so far away now – almost dream-like.
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Hi. Sorry I’m late. Just back from the McCafe. Been hanging out there since really early this morning because, as Oprah’s American audience learned yesterday in a McDonald’s-sponsored segment, that’s what we Aussies do. All the time.
Lucky she reminded me about these “hip hangouts” really. There I was, about to buy a rack of spring lamb for dinner, and a beautiful fresh tray of Bowen mangoes for the fruit bowl, when bing! I remembered that in fact, what I actually craved, on a deeply-ingrained cultural level, was in fact that most Australian of treats, the American Choc Brownie Slice ™.
Or I don’t know, maybe some Cookies and Cream Cheesecake washed down with a caramel latte frappe, a beverage which demonstrates beyond question our love of a classic, untainted, good quality cup of real coffee.
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If we are to believe America’s small-screen bible, TV Guide, one of the “greatest moments in television history”, occurred on September 13, 2004, when an over-excited talk-show host went whirling like a dervish amid her studio audience shrieking: “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!”
It was the opening episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show’s nineteenth season and even back then, the title of Daytime Television Queen was beginning to feel inadequate for Oprah. For her millions of fans, the very name brought positive energy. Oprah wasn’t just a celebrity any more, she was a state of being.
And that day her devotees got their “loaves and fishes” moment. Oprah kick-started the season premiere by revealing to her 276 live audience members that they would each receive a $30,000 Pontiac G6 sports sedan.
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The screams are still ringing in my ears.
Oprah’s audience, and every Australian Tourism authority, are no doubt still trying to recover their composure after the mass hysteria that followed her pronouncement that she and several hundred of her bestest fans were bound for the positively Jules Verne-esque destination of “the other side of the world”.
Later this year, Winfrey and her troop of ardent devotees will be flown to our shores courtesy of Captain Kangaroo himself John Travolta. The Opera House will form the particularly scenic backdrop for the taping of an episode of her talk show which reaches 44 million people each week.
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Dearest Oprah, can we start by saying: ohmygod ohmygod ohmyGOD.
We can’t thank you enough for getting us out of the little marketing pickle we have found ourselves in ever since the Lara Bingle Where-the-Bloody-Hell-Are-You business (yes, what were we thinking?). For your enjoyment we have enclosed some photos from inside our marketing department from the moment we heard the news that you have decided to shoot your first ever overseas show in Sydney. As you can see, there was quite the excitement.
A few more pictures follow. We will of course have a full itinerary ready by the time you arrive but now that we’re locked in there are a few preliminary things you might want to think about that we’ve listed below.
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Welcome to Tuesday @ The Punch
Is this the most influential woman in the world? Today in 1986 was the launch of her now infamous talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Forbes has named her richest African American of the 20th century. While reported to be worth $US 260 million Oprah is also known to be one of the most philanthropic people of all time. What do you think?
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