Should Oprah have been TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year?”


Oprah Winfrey at her 50th birthday party at Ho...
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When May 2011 arrives, we will have witnessed probably the greatest phenomenon since Dick Clark and American Bandstand.  Oprah Winfrey will have amassed millions of fans, billions of dollars, and priceless speculations about her life.  She has campaigned for the President of the United States, interviewed the very outspoken Sarah Palin, and even got an enlightening moment from J.K. Rowling (England’s richest woman).  Yet, year after year, after giving away cars, jewelry, computers – there’s most likely only one thing that Oprah really could not have given most of the world, real Hope.  Maybe, this is why TIME Magazine has yet to consider her “Person of the Year.”

Her show started in 1986.  I won’t go into all the details of her life because it really isn’t necessary and that there is documentary everywhere elsewhere.  As her own hope only looked to last maybe ten years, she has continued to bring insight to women everywhere struggling with their own identity and self-worth.  As a child of sexual molestation, Oprah has taught women that it was not their fault what happened to them as a child.  Oprah’s revelation of the “Aha moment” has to be every man and woman’s saving grace.  An eye-opening experience, every living soul feels that a light bulb has come on when they discover an answer to something they have sought for a while.  Her daytime talk show has made Oprah a teacher to many.  Though many have questioned Oprah’s sincerity when she has recommended readings from her book club, such as, James Frey and his “A Million Little Pieces,” she is not afraid to admit her error.  Maybe her staff has started to verify claims and resources for when Oprah comes across a challenging subject.  One would have thought that Mr. Frey had gotten one up on the great O.  But she rebounded…and fiercely.

Still lauded by herself and many as a teacher, Oprah started her own girl’s Leadership Academy in South Africa.  After a promise made to Nelson Mandela, Oprah opened her all girls academy in 2007.  “I wanted to give this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim that light,” said Oprah.  Although this occurred in 2007, it is important to know that just after a couple of years since its opening, there were allegations of sexual molestation made against an instructor of the academy.  The case was later thrown out, even after proof had been submitted (testimony from the girls themselves) by a judge who rendered that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the female instructor and the headmistress of the school.  To make matters worse, Oprah had to even compensate the headmistress due to her not being able to find work after Oprah’s incrimination.

When you see her on television, there are lots of glitz and glamour that covers years of hurt.  With a staff that will never see a day of poverty, there has to be a contract signed so strict that even the slightest mention of the Great One after work will result in near castration.  So many awards under her belt, she even had to remove her name from the Emmy Awards list to give someone else a chance.  But that’s not for everyone.  There will never be anyone else like her.  No one will ever come close.  Not even in any other country.  Can anyone fully understand the reasoning behind taking her audience to Australia?  I mean, she has given away automobiles that haven’t even been made available to the public, she has given away $3,000 watches, gourmet food (that not everyone can get)…but, is the dream of receiving a ticket to one of Oprah’s shows the same as Hope?

Hope.  That is what Facebook gives many members every second, every minute, every hour, every day, etc.  And why?  Because Facebook let’s people connect with millions of other people who don’t even know each other while being able to be anti-social, if they choose to be.  Mark Elliot “Zuck” Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old Harvard College dropout, started the social networking site Facebook with co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes (all of Harvard University).  As the world’s youngest billionaire, Zuckerberg has given away millions of dollars, publicly, to Newark, New Jersey’s Public Schools.  This donation came at a time of the release of the movie about his life, “The Social Network.”  Of course, he would get flack behind his philanthropy.  Though Zuckerberg wanted to make the donation anonymously, it was Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to convince him to do otherwise.  Yet, Mr. Zuckerberg doesn’t have a school of his own.  With his own personal scandals after the start-up of “Facebook,” Mark Zuckerberg has remained the darling and hated darling of the software developing network.  So why has TIME Magazine named Mark Zuckerberg “Person of the Year?”

From “Aha moments” being discovered by many men and women on a daily basis, Mark Zuckerberg has described himself an atheist.  Does TIME not sit well with God?  If anything, there should have been this one-time tie between Oprah and Mark.  Even with Lady Gaga being named as CNN’s Most Provocative Person of the Year, how did Mark Zuckerberg get TIME’s esteemed title when China blocked Facebook’s entrance with their firewall?  I bet the mighty O took time out to get passports expedited for the guests in her audience who didn’t have them before announcing that she was taking them on an all expenses paid trip to Australia.  Okay, I know what you’re saying, “Mark gives Facebook for free,”  That’s why it’s called the Social Network.  This is true.  I think that’s why AOL has failed so badly, because they make one pay to enter one of their chat rooms.  With Mark’s site, you don’t even need to enter your own picture to get action from his site.  Now that’s true Hope.

I guess money does talk.  Mark’s 6.5 billion outshines Oprah’s 2.5 billion.  He goes on Oprah’s show to exclaim his donation of 100 million dollars to New Jersey Schools – probably unbeknownst to Oprah, and even promotes his movie in the meantime.  Maybe if Oprah had acted in the Tyler Perry movie, “…For Colored Girls…,” TIME would have opened its eye.  Instead, a social network in 2010 is better than a 2011 network.  Will 2011 be Oprah’s year according to TIME Magazine?  Only time can tell.  But for now, she doesn’t OWN the world, though many of us feel that she does.  TIME lets us all know that we all have our own time and place.

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