Howard Fineman: Most Powerful and 'Unifying' Media Figures Are 'Oprah, Ellen and The View'
This is a really scary thought.
On this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman actually said the most powerful and "unifying" media figures in the country today are "the daytime women talk show hosts. It's Oprah, Ellen and The View" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: There's a new retrospective airing this Monday night on PBS called "Johnny Carson, King of Late Night." Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BRINKLEY: It is commonly assumed in Washington that once somebody reaches the point where you use them in your monologue, they are through.
JOHNNY CARSON: I hope not.
CARSON: Tonight's monologue is dedicated to President Nixon. I've got a monologue that just won't quit.
[Laughter and applause]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: God we love that guy. Which brings us to this week's big question. You heard David Brinkley there telling Carson he moved America. Who in today's media, across the board, movies, music, everything, has that power? Howard.
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, it's not a nighttime figure, I don't think, and it's not a lot of our culture which is so divided. If there is a unifying figure that could go all the way across the country I would say it's the daytime women talk show hosts. It's Oprah, Ellen and The View.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, WASHINGTON POST: I think that's exactly right.
MATTHEWS: They have an influence.
HENDERSON: I was going to say Oprah, even though her network isn't doing so well now, I think she has tremendous influence. You saw her in 2008, her, change minds.
So Oprah, Ellen, and the yentas on The View are the most powerful, unifying cultural forces in the media today?
There's only one response to this: Oy vey!
But the torture didn't stop there, because when Matthews got his chance to give input, he said, “I'm with Howard on Ellen DeGeneres. I think more than anybody in America, she opened the door to a mainstreaming, a fully acceptance and celebration of a woman and her orientation, and she's done it beautifully."
Much like a plane, this show should be equipped with air sickness bags.