Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oprah Winfrey Believes Zach Anner Did Something to Deserve Cerebral Palsy

Oprah Winfrey, probably the most powerful human being in the entertainment industry, has a cable network called OWN which is apparently so hard up for material/hosts that they are hosting an online competition to find new on-air talent.
Oprah and reality TV super producer Mark Burnett (SurvivorTM & The ApprenticeTM) are joining forces in search of the next big TV star. Do you have a big personality and a big dream for yourself? This could be your BIG BREAK - the chance of a lifetime to host your own TALK show...on OWN. If you think you have "IT" - upload your video audition or go to an open casting call. You can also help decide who wins - keep coming back right here to view auditions and vote for your favorites.
One of those "favorites" that "YOU" are voting for is a very charming, funny young man called Zach Anner. Mr. Anner has cerebral palsy, and is pitching a show that would take a humorous look at travel from the perspective of a differently abled person whose vacations don't always go as planned.

That's a good idea for a show. It helps that Mr. Anner is, as I've already mentioned, charming and funny. If you don't believe me, watch his pitch by following the link in the paragraph above, or if you feel uncomfortable leaving the safe confines of this blog, I've embedded from YouTube here:

His YouTube page has some other rather enjoyable videos, which you can view here.

Anyway, Mr. Anner is winning in a landslide, kind of. He was winning the online voting for awhile, then someone called Dr. Phyllis was in the lead, and then Mr. Anner retook the lead again.

So far, that doesn't sound suspicious. The internet is a harsh mistress. One day you're on top of the world, and the next day you're lagging behind Dr. Phyllis.

Watch Mr. Anner's try out, then take a look at Dr. Phyllis's by following the link in the paragraph above. Or, if you're uncomfortable leaving the safe confines of my blog, just stay here and don't watch it. You're better off.

She wants to do a show about teachers! Teachers have interesting lives and we should all learn more about them. They're so dedicated to their students, who apparently carry guns to school. Or something. This is what Dr. Phyllis says. She also insults one of her students' parents. Her students are gun-toting thugs with ugly parents! Sounds hilarious, doesn't it? Ready to watch her yet?

In fairness, I'm not exactly sure what she said. The try-out was unfocused and irritating. She is one of those annoyingly perky and pretentiously down-to-earth type people that should not be trusted.

Some people speculate that there is chicanery around the voting. For instance, YouTube user f0nz0man has suggested that Ms. Winfrey is rigging votes against Mr. Anner, in the provocatively titled video entry, "Oprah Rigs Votes Against Zach Anner":

Because f0nz0man mentions it in his video, I'll explain the reference to the racist-penised John Mayer. Mr. Mayer was apparently so moved by Mr. Anner's video that he took to YouTube to post his own video in support of him. That video can be viewed here, if you feel like leaving the safe confines of my blog to watch it. I don't feel like embedding it here.

Now the website Geek O System has an entry in which they suggest, in more detail than f0nz0man, that the voting might be rigged.
[Zach Anner] has become an internet sensation via 4chan and Reddit, and for a week up until June 22 was the strong front-runner.

But in the span of an hour around or just before 3pm EDT, the woman who had been trailing Anner for some time, Doctor Phyllis, took the lead. And she did so at what sounds to be an unbelievable rate. The Huffington Post reports an increase of 300,000 votes in 20 minutes. Reddit reports 600,000 in an hour. Either way, the voting rates being bandied around are astounding, corroborate with what many Internet denizens who have been following the proceedings saw, and justly aroused suspicion.
The rest of Geek O System's entry has lots of code and technical mumboese that I don't fully understand, so I encourage you to follow the link if you're interested enough to leave the safe confines of my blog to find out more about this developing scandal.

What I want to talk about is much more important than whether or not Ms. Winfrey is rigging the votes to give the annoying Dr. Phyllis a leg up on the cerebral palsy-stricken Mr. Anner. Possible vote-rigging is beside the point.

You see, Oprah Winfrey believes that people with cerebral palsy did something to deserve it. As I so eloquently noted back on April 13th of this year, Ms. Winfrey has used the platform of her massively popular daytime talk show to promote a hateful piece of pseudoscience called "The Secret."
The Secret makes claims that go well beyond such prosaic self-help advice as writing down your goals, keeping a daily success journal and tackling your fears head-on. The Secret claims that science has discovered mysterious forces at work in the cosmos that when properly tapped can unleash unimaginable wealth, happiness and success.

That force is called the "law of attraction." Like attracts like. Positive thoughts sally forth from your body as magnetic energy, then return in the form of whatever it was you were thinking about. Like money. Byrne and her success sycophants think a lot about money. "The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts," we are told.
You don't need science to prove The Secret is codswallop--just a modicum of thinking. If wealth and poverty are the result of nothing more than our thoughts, should we blame those poor starving Zimbabweans for being just a bunch of pessimistic sourpusses? And what about the victims of Auschwitz? If the law of attraction is true, then every oppressed, enslaved or exterminated group in history had it coming. That idea is beyond wrongheaded--it's evil.
Yep. Oprah Winfrey believes in "The Secret." And she believes that Zach Anner must have done something to deserve his cerebral palsy.

Ms. Winfrey devoted a lot of time on her show to promoting this evil codswallop. In fact, her website still, after all this time, promotes it.
No matter any criticism for The Secret , Oprah says she still believes it's valuable. "I'm grateful that for so many millions of people the door was at least opened to the idea that we are each responsible for the quality of our lives," she says. " The Secret was really just the beginning."
That is still up on her website today, June 23rd.

So, maybe Ms. Winfrey is rigging the voting against Mr. Anner.* But that is small beer compared to her attitude toward him and his cerebral palsy.

I voted for him, but I kind of hope Mr. Anner doesn't win this contest. He deserves better, and I have a feeling that someone, somewhere will give him a show. I've got to believe that -- there are too many cable channels out there, and too many of those channels have too many personalities who aren't half as entertaining as Mr. Anner.

*And if she is rigging the voting against him, well, she believes that he did something to deserve that, too.

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