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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

Oprah May Endorse Obama, But Chris Rose Gets the Shaft

Want a peek behind the iron-clad doors of Oprah's show? Read this very funny and illuminating story by columnist Chris Rose of New Orleans' The Times-Picayune.

Rose has just come out with a collection of stories called "1 Dead in Attic" about life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. A couple of weeks ago, he got a call from one of Oprah's producers inviting him to be on the show -- but here's the clincher... he's not allowed to talk about the book! Oh, and the show is about Katrina. Huh?

Rose writes:


"In fact, I was informed, not only were we not going to talk about the book -- we weren't even going to mention the book. Not a word about it. Nothing. If I as much as uttered the word "book," I soon found out, it would be edited out. It was made crystal clear: Ex-nay on the ook-bay."

A paragraph later, he gets a dig in:

"...Oprah is America's librarian, dispensing reading recommendations she believes will enlighten the masses. ("A Million Little Pieces," yes. "1 Dead in Attic," no.)"


Rose goes on to get "clucked" by Oprah's producer every time he tries to sneak in a plug for the book. He also refuses to sign a release saying he'll never write about the experience of being on the show. At the time he published the column, Rose wasn't sure if they would still broadcast his taped interview, given his refusal to sign.

Turns out, Rose's interview made it on the show and his book is even mentioned on Oprah's website. I'm sure Rose is now a little sheepish, given that his books sales will likely increase from the website mention. Nevertheless, his article is highly entertaining.