Oprah Watch

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Oprah was not about easing us into the week this Monday. Her opening show blew the lid off internet child pornography, exposing the startling prevalence of sexual predators and the deeper lows they’re sinking to in the abuse of children and infants. Some shocking stats: 30 to 40 percent of those downloading child pornography are molesters themselves, yet law enforcement for this type of crime is so underfunded that only two percent of leads are able to be investigated. Girls who had been victimized spoke bravely about their experiences, sending the message that the “stranger danger” we warn our kids about could be right next door. When we thought we could handle no more, Oprah thankfully ended the show by providing viewers with an action plan to help eliminate this epidemic. This was a difficult program to watch filled with tears and lacking a single clap of applause, but this is clearly an under-reported topic that deserves our immediate attention. Way to go, Big O.

Oprah and Dr. Oz kept the jaw-droppers rolling on Tuesday with a review of this summer’s medical marvels. The headliner was Linda Rittenbach, the Oregon woman who recently had a 140-pound tumor removed from her stomach. How does a tumor the size that Jennifer Hudson claims to be live inside of a human being without her noticing? That she was more than 300 pounds to begin with contributed, but more damning was that she waited far too long to get a second opinion to counter that of her family doctor’s, who claimed she just needed to lose weight. Next up Dr. Oz schooled us on dry drowning, which was especially horrifying because no one had ever heard of it, but he turned our frowns upside down with the news that an exercise pill is in the works. Woot!

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On Wednesday Oprah chatted with Gwyneth Paltrow, and we realized we didn’t care that much about what she had to say. [Ed note: Disagree! I love me some Gwyneth. —ML] Gwyneth was there mostly to talk about how lean and toned she is, but she works out 2 hours a day, 6 times a week and doesn’t eat any four-legged animals, so...yeah. Things got more interesting when Mario Batali joined them so he could promote his and Gwyn’s new PBS show, Spain...On The Road Again. They whipped up two meals: a Spanish paella and a 15-minute gourmet family dinner while viewers at home Skype-cooked along with them. Beat that, Rachael Ray.

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Thursday was a follow-up from last week’s show that explored the mystery behind why men cheat. Apparently Oprah’s viewers were not trying to hear that it’s a woman’s responsibility to keep her husband from skirt-chasing, so M. Gary Neuman returned to the stage to clarify. He reiterated that his theories, encompassed in a book titled The Truth About Cheating, are not about blaming women, but rather about empowering them to bring out the best in their husbands, which in turn will grant them the love, affection and loyalty they want. Oprah was on the train so the show kept rolling under that assumption. While last week’s show named the number one reason men cheat, this one bestowed upon us the number one way to affair-proof your marriage: appreciation. Apparently the more you give the more you get back. Everyone was pretty much drinking the Kool-Aid until one frustrated audience member had the gall to challenge The Oprah, telling her she was being too nice and should stick it to these cheating men. Infidel! However, Oprah very tenderly explained her point of view, and with a nod to the power of insight and information, she coaxed this lost lamb back into the herd like the good shepherd that she is. Sigh of relief.

Today’s show is one of Oprah’s random hodgepodges. It begins with another follow up as Oprah welcomes back Charice Pempengo to belt out a duet with Celine Dion. Ty Pennington shows up later for some secret mission that probably involves a bullhorn, and finally, Oprah reveals her latest Book Club pick. We hope it’s one of ours.

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