Punchy President Whacks Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey had achieved just about everything in the TV business, but this week she suddenly gained another pinnacle: She joined the club of TV personalities and non-TV celebrities who have been attacked by Donald Trump.

It is an ever-lengthening list going back almost 20 years. By the TV Blog's reckoning, the list includes Arnold Schwarzenegger (because the ratings for “The Apprentice” didn't hold up when Schwarzenegger took over the show), and Barbara Walters and Rosie O’Donnell (both stemming from “The View”).

Just about every late-night host has been targeted by Trump, primarily via Twitter. Over the years, Trump has lashed out at: Bill Maher, after Maher said Trump looked like an orangutan; Seth Meyers, because Meyers hosted the White House Correspondents dinner on the night when then-President Obama roasted Trump; Jay Leno, because Leno allowed Maher to talk at length about Trump's resemblance to an orangutan on “The Tonight Show” (Trump's tweet then: “Jay sucks!”); and David Letterman, for reasons unknown but probably owing to Letterman's monologue attacks on Trump, among other things.

There was also a dust-up with Jerry Seinfeld that had something to do with Seinfeld withdrawing from a charity event being put on by the Trump family. Trump also went after Robert De Niro in 2011 after De Niro criticized Trump for Trump's obsession with Barack Obama's birth origins.



This week, the president went after Oprah following a segment on “60 Minutes” that she anchored on CBS Sunday night.

In the segment, Winfrey -- in her current role as a “60 Minutes” correspondent -- was seen leading a roundtable discussion about the Trump administration with 14 residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan, seven of whom voted for Trump and seven who did not.

The group had previously convened to talk about Trump on a previous “60 Minutes,” and the show sought to find out whether any of their views had changed after Trump’s first full year in office.

The conversation seemed to proceed with a great deal of balance, with both sides -- for and against Trump -- getting ample airtime. Indeed, one of the reasons “60 Minutes” went back to this group is that after they had first appeared on the show, the group kept in touch and formed friendships with each other, regardless of their political differences.

For some reason, Trump -- otherwise known as the "'60 Minutes' Viewer in Chief" -- objected to this segment and to Oprah herself. Sure enough, his “review” of the segment was encapsulated in a presidential tweet.

“Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes,” tweeted the leader of the free world. “The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”

Of all the Trumpian tropes that connoisseurs of the president's tweets know and love (or hate), it is his liberal use of exclamation points that I tend to notice most. The president is nothing if not adamant about each and every opinion he expresses on Twitter. The exclamation points leave no doubt: He means what he says!

The other thing that we continually notice is the way he loves to associate himself with celebrities. He’s a name-dropper -- a man who measures at least part of his “success” in life by the celebrities he has met.

They all seem to have equal weight too. They could be Hulk Hogan, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton or Vladimir Putin, but they are all the same to President Trump, who does not discriminate when it comes to famous people. If he has rubbed elbows with them, they are important, and so is he.

The hope Trump expressed in his tweet about Oprah challenging him in the 2020 presidential race is not likely to be realized. In the wake of the mini-boom in support of Oprah’s candidacy that erupted following her well-received speech at the Golden Globe Awards last month, Oprah has said she won't run.

Here is a suggestion for an upcoming “60 Minutes” segment, however: Oprah should convene a roundtable discussion of fellow celebrities who have all been attacked by Trump to talk about the experience. And if an orangutan can be persuaded to participate, then that's even better.

6 comments about "Punchy President Whacks Winfrey".
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  1. Kahlil Crawford from Freelancer, February 21, 2018 at 10:43 a.m.

    You're no better than him. Calling names and taking shots. Take the high road.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, February 21, 2018 at 11:34 a.m.

    Oprah started it by making Trumps's supporters in Michigan squirm on 60 Minutes and he responds to her thinly-veiled story. If I've learned anything about Trump, his attacks are seldom first punches. He's a defensive guy and avoiding him is the surest way to avoid counterpunches. The ballot box is the only voice you have anyway.

  3. Christina Ricucci from Millenia 3 Communications, February 21, 2018 at 12:02 p.m.

    I agree with Kahlil. Pointing out the obvious, especially when it’s unflattering, serves no purpose. It’s pretty low to make fun of a woman’s obesity, a man’s baldness, or the absence of height in a guy who’s 4'10. A President who bears a stunning resemblance to an orangutan doesn’t need to be publicly mocked for it.

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, February 21, 2018 at 2:26 p.m.

    Why would he have anything else better to do ? And no, not Vlad the cad. Nostrovya to you too ! (Got to brush up. The only other Russian word I know is vodka.)

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, February 21, 2018 at 5:08 p.m.

    Almost forgot, Gulag is another common word.

  6. pipper donnie from pipperdonnie, February 21, 2018 at 8:11 p.m.

    all this is meaningless unless you can count on New York prosecutor to persecute trump and is family for racketeering with Russian mob like felix sader and Tevfik Arif. that and the Russian child prostitutes that are allow to sue for damages against trump property and estate funded by these Russian mobsters. I mean can you see trump behind bars when all those Obama and Oprah fans?

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