The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

11 December 2007

Randi Rhodes Blasts Oprah For Going 'Blacker Than Obama'


Libtalker Rhodes Unleashes Angry Anti- Oprah Tirade

In a stunning and unusual outburst, Air America libtalker Randi Rhodes spent a substantial portion of Tuesday's show lambasting Oprah Winfrey, accusing her of "phoniness" on behalf of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Slamming her for using a "black preacher" voice during an event on behalf of Obama, Rhodes unleashed the kind of tirade that would get just any about any conservative talker fired, were they crazy enough to try it.

Later, when callers who appeared to be African- American took Randi to task, she didn't give them an inch, attacking them for defending Oprah's "acting on the stump".

Below are several lengthy excerpts from her show, as well as a YouTube audio / video presentation:

RHODES (HOUR ONE, SEGMENT TWO): Anyone who underestimates the power of the Oprah is stupid, stupid. But she went totally Maya Angelou yesterday, without the scarfs and the hats, but totally Maya Angelou.

She was blacker then Obama yesterday. Do you know what I mean? Let em tell you something. Everyone who watches Oprah, are the whitest people in the world. Yes even the black folk. Even the black men who watch Oprah are white women while they watch Oprah. We all know what we are talking about.

The only time Oprah gets blacks is when she does the ugly cry. Do you know what I mean? But even when she introduces John Travolta, she is whiter then I am. She Ja John Travoltaaaaaaaaa. Ehh she's like a ah ah ah ah ah freaking ah ah ah World Wrestling Federation thing. You know what I mean.

She's like eh she's so unbelievably white, I just think she ca ca, so why didn't she go be her authentic self? Which is what she is always telling me to be. Be my authentic self.

I'm like, yes Oprah, you're right. She totally showed up as her mentor yesterday, who is Maya Angelou. She was le ah ah, I I I couldn't, why is she turning up the blackness a notch or two or three for these appearances? Her appeal is that she's her authentic Oprah. That's why we love her.

RHODES (HOUR ONE, SEGMENT THREE): The truth of the matter is Oprah Oprah Oprah always always always preaches, 'be your authentic self.' And everyday she is on that television show

CALLER: inaudible in background...

RHODES: Oh give me a break. There's a reverse racism problem here. Here's the problem, no no here's the problem ...caller again inaudible...

RHODES: Oh, you know what you don't understand is that Oprah was acting on that stump. For some strange reason, when a black person is white et et um, speaks um what you call white, or just speaks well, you call it white. I don't understand why you say that. I don't understand why you do that. I don't understand why people actually say that. I really don't understand it. However, Oprah speaks a certain way every single solitary day.

Either that's a fake person that I'm watching every single solitary day, or I was watching a fake person stump for Obama. My only question was, which Oprah was the right Oprah? Don't tell me it's versatility. That woman is on stage accepting awards. That woman is on stage doing a show. She interviewed Barack Obama. None of this happened. But she got up on his.

It's like when Hillary when Hillary does it. Hillary does it too. Hillary goes to a black church and Hillary acts. And she changes, (mocking Hillary voice) 'I will not grow weary on this.'

I don't know what that is. I find it disingenuous and not authentic. To tell you the truth, I don't think Oprah needs to do that. The authentic Oprah is the Oprah everybody loves. So, the only question is, why was she acting?

RHODES (HOUR TWO SEGMENT ONE): When Hillary Clinton goes down south and goes to a black church and she starts speaking like Miss Sofia, from ut The Color Purple. Ut people start going, why is she talking like that? Oh, I don't hear the argument, she's versatile. I don't hear that.

I hear, she is phonying up her speech pattern to appeal immediately to the audience in front of her.

But I can't even undertstand why Oprah did speak like a black preacher, in Iowa. Where, if you had the entire black population of Iowa in a room, it still probably would not make a crowd.

RHODES (HOUR TWO SEGMENT TWO): We have had lots and lots of shows on white racism. There's some black racism too, against white people pointing out that when somebody changes the way they speak, their not being authentic when they choose to present themselves for twenty-years as one way, and then show up for a political speech and present themselves in a completely different way, people will call up and yell at me.

That's because you don't like white people saying that. That's racism too. And it's racism against me. And I don't like it. It hurts me as much as it hurts you.

RHODES (HOUR THREE SEGMENT TWO): And when Hillary, she goes to a black church, and she starts saying, 'I don't feel no ways tired', is that because she is black too?

CALLER: Hillary is acting.

RHODES (HOUR THREE SEGMENT TWO): Al Gore does it too. Al Gore does it. Hillary Clinton does it. It's called pandering. It's pandering. Oh, this is crazy!

Aside from the bizarre and unexpected nature of Randi's comments today, can you imagine the kind of firestorm that would erupt if Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly or anyone else on the right were to make some of these statements? How long would they last on the air before a full- scale Media Matters/ Soros-led advertiser boycott would be underway?

To be fair, Rush Limbaugh has taken Oprah to task this week, as have many others on the right. But some of Randi's language is by far more blunt and direct than anything we've heard from her conservative counterparts.

Does anyone believe for a moment that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other so- called civil rights activists will be picketing outside Air America's studios? Will the mainstream media seize upon Randi's racial remarks as examples of liberal racism? Hell, no.

But what are her motivations here? Initially, your Radio Equalizer assumed she did this to help Hillary with the "progressive" crowd, but she also attacks Clinton enough that it doesn't seem probable. She even goes after Gore, but it was probably to insulate herself from the racism charges coming from callers.

Could it be Rhodes was merely having a honest and candid program, one where she felt no need to serve the interests of Democrats? Is this how "progressives" truly feel?

While the partisan hypocrisy is clear, there's a curious side effect: Randi (perhaps accidentally) hosted a rare example of entertaining and compelling liberal talk radio. It's as though she suddenly decided to break free of the anal- retentive, NPR- inspired libtalk "rules" and do something interesting for a change. If Air America had set out to do this kind of show three years ago, it would have been much more successful.

At the same time, few conservative hosts would be able to survive after utilizing this kind of blunt rhetoric.

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  • RHODES:And when Hillary, she goes to a black church, and she starts saying, 'I don't feel no ways tired', is that because she is black too?

    Right wing hosts have made the same exact point, and Media Matters did not think it was a big deal,mmmm it is actually true, Cliton put on a black southern accent..
    Randi has honest and entertaininbg shows all the time, her show is nothing like NPR.
    I dont see anything contraversal in her points, she after all is obsessed with Oprah.

    I personally, would rather listen to Pacifica and at least learn something, than listen to Rhodes talk about Oprah for 3 hours, but that's just me, and I tuned out quickly when it became all about Oprah today

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 12 December, 2007 00:09  

  • Do you think some self-medicating is in play here, Brian?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 December, 2007 00:38  

  • I love when moonbats starting eating their own!

    By Blogger Capitalist Infidel, at 12 December, 2007 09:12  

  • Brian, why does outburst and RandiRhodes and unusual seem so strange.

    It was either day one or within the first two weeks of Air America when she jumped ugly on Ralph Nader for daring to run in the '04 election (has time flown so much since that time?). It was totally despicable and I never listened to her again.

    By Anonymous flyswatter, at 12 December, 2007 10:49  

  • What exactly is racist about someone merely pointing out the fact that when Oprah speaks to her TV audience, or receives an award, or in any other setting, Oprah has a "broadcaster voice"? But when she is in front of a large audience in South Carolina (this is where Randi might have been wrong, because most of the clips I heard from the Oprah-palooza were from SC, not IA, but I digress), she had very much a southern black girl drawl?

    That was the first thing I picked up when hearing clips. I was like, Oprah does not talk like that! What is she doing? It felt very strange to hear Oprah talk like that, for me, and it obviously did to Randi as well. That is not racist, that is just calling it as it is.

    Honestly, given the reaction Randi received from African American callers, I would not be surprised if Sharpton called on her to apologize, even though she did not say anything racist or offensive. It just obviously touched a sensitive nerve. It is not like she called Oprah a "nappy headed hoe."

    By Blogger The Other One, at 12 December, 2007 11:32  

  • Infidel still with his catchy slogans,m projecting as usual. 26.4% of Americans as of today are still Republicans, so once more you project as you are the moonbat!!!!!

    projectionism at it's finest, as the nation continues to vomit at the idea of another GOP dominant White House, "moonbats" is all the psuedo-cons have to say!!!!! Rhodes is hardly a moonbat and Oprah, richest woman in America, doing pretty well for a moonbat, no Michael savage worshipping, trash, YOU ARE THE MOONBAT

    By Blogger hershel, at 12 December, 2007 12:54  

  • I love it when MoPoop demonstrates his I like only WHITE Liberals in power attitudes.

    Hey, MoPoop, you still hurting from being dumped by a Black Woman?

    By Blogger PCD, at 12 December, 2007 13:14  


    By Anonymous Sharon, at 12 December, 2007 13:19  

  • "While the partisan hypocrisy is clear..."

    What a red herring! This is based on what MIGHT happen were a conservative to have said this. But since that hasn't happened, the only hypocrisy in evidence is in Brian's mind.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 December, 2007 16:07  

  • So now it's racist to call a spade a spade. How pathetic. Let's all lie, live in denial, and skip merrily down a delusioned lane.

    By Anonymous Flicka, at 13 December, 2007 08:22  

  • if you had the entire black population of Iowa in a room, it still probably would not make a crowd.

    There are approximately 68,000 African-Americans in Iowa (in the last census; I expect more in the next), or about twice as many people who showed up to hear Oprah on Saturday.

    I wonder if any of them were listening to Ms. Rhodes.

    By Blogger HeatherRadish, at 13 December, 2007 18:17  

  • So when a republican talk show host makes a questionable comment that is judged as a racist remark; it's blasted as a racist and he is demanded to be removed from the airwaves. But a democrat is flat-out busted for making a more than obvious racist remark and a white radio-host accuses Oprah Whinfrey of being "less-black" than their selves; It's amazing how the media has decided to turn it's own head to the EXACT circumstance that has unfolded on both sides. Don Imus is judged before having the chance to defend himself. Rhodes is given a pass even though displaying its obvious predjudice.

    By Anonymous AdamC, at 15 December, 2007 04:50  

  • First of all, Adam, I'm not sure Imus could be described as a "conservative talk show host".

    Secondly, what differs from what Imus said and what Rhodes said is that Rhodes made a criticism of Oprah based on racial considerations, whereas Imus just hurled an out-and-out racial slur.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 16 December, 2007 01:11  

  • Valuable resource of oprah news summaries:

    By Blogger ng2000, at 20 September, 2008 20:10  

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