A meeting of liberal minds: Oprah Winfrey for US President, Jover Laurio for “Filipino of the Year”

This is not to say US Queen of Talk Oprah Winfrey is anything like “Filipino of the Year” Jover Laurio. Oprah is a pillar of the planet’s mightiest showbiz industry (amongst its most powerful people, by some accounts) who worked her way to the top the hard way. Laurio, on the other hand, is an artefact of the Philippines’ renowned culture of mediocrity that was propped up by a corporate news media industry allied with an all-too-familiar mediocre Opposition that is desperate for a “hero” to rally around.

The similarity lies in how both women were recently awarded distinction by an established news media community — Oprah given a Cecil B. DeMille award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in this year’s Golden Globe Awards and Laurio given a front-page “Filipino of the Year” feature spread by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippines’ largest newspaper in terms of print circulation.

Oprah gave a fiery speech during the awards night that drew collateral from the plight of African Americans and from that latest feminist trending buzz surrounding the institutionalised abuse of rising starlets by Big Bad Hairy Hollywood Movie Moguls. Laurio for her part, since her outing from anonymity (and subsequent elevation into cult status), has fashioned herself into the Philippine blogosphere’s Resibo Queen — a supposed champion in the battle versus “fake news” armed only with screenshots (her “resibos”) that she uses to substantiate the sources of the “fact checks” she “reports” on her Pinoy Ako Blog (PAB).

The similarities would end there if not for the curious way both have become the choice “heroes” of liberals in their respective countries. Video clips of Oprah’s speech have since gone viral over social media and have fuelled a groundswell of emotionalism seemingly on the back of despair over the presidency of Donald Trump emanating from America’s coastal cities. Such is this emotionalism that calls for Oprah to run for US President have already started and has, even more bizarrely, earned widespread endorsement from a who’s-who of voices from the American brains trust.

Considering that Oprah has not explicitly exhibited nor expressed much of a consistent political position over her long career as an entertainer (aside, perhaps, for a reported strong endorsement of the invasion of Iraq and a predisposition to “imperial feminism” among other questionable advocacies) it is worth noting how such a movement (since dubbed “Oprah 2020”) was quick to reach such a resounding pitch on the basis of just the few minutes Oprah spent on the podium.

One needs to remember, however, that Oprah trades — to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — on subjects that elicit strong emotional responses, and an ability to keep an ear on the ground and zero in on such subjects is the core skill that is likely at the root of her success in the entertainment industry. However, with such power comes the inevitable ability to influence events that have more far-reaching consequences than merely giving out good “vibes” to an audience. A 2007 report by the Observer offers insight — albeit in hindsight — into just how much Oprah may have influenced public sentiment surrounding what, at the time, was just talk of a military invasion of Iraq.

In the fall of 2002, during the run up to the war in Iraq, Oprah Winfrey devoted a portion of one of her shows to answering a pressing international question. Do the Iraqi people want America to liberate them from Saddam Hussein?

Ms. Winfrey posed the question to Entifadh Qanbar, a spokesperson for the Iraqi National Congress—an erstwhile group of Iraqi exiles led by Ahmed Chalabi that, at the time, was busy lobbying the American government to overthrow Saddam Hussein. “Absolutely,” responded Mr. Qanbar.

Later, Ms. Winfrey called on an audience member. “I hope this doesn’t offend you,” said the young woman. “I just don’t know what to believe with the media and…” Ms. Winfrey cut her off. “We’re not trying to show you propaganda,” Ms. Winfrey explained. “We’re just showing you what is.”

That episode in Oprah’s show was presumably the subject of a censure issued by the Swedish government back in 2003 for war mongering. Sweden, at the time, was strongly opposed to a US invasion of Iraq which, it asserted, lacked a UN mandate.

“Different views were expressed, but all longer remarks gave voice to the opinion that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States and should be the target of attack,” Sweden’s Broadcasting Commission said.

Unfortunately for Filipinos (and, perhaps, for Americans as well), no such strong media watchdog exists to keep media organisations and personalities in check. Fortunately, Oprah’s influence over people who matter utterly dwarfs that of Laurio’s. For that matter, anyone who has read Laurio’s “blogs” on PAB can attest to how thin on intellectual content her contribution to the discourse is. It also remains debatable whether her being featured in that now-infamous Inquirer spread is a reliable indicator of the actual influence she exerts on public sentiment. Most observers, in fact, believe that it is the other way around — that her influence is more a product of strong “assistance” from a media industry controlled by oligarchs allied with the current Philippine Opposition (who are confused liberals, at best).

Nonetheless, the common denominator here is in the way sound bites have become routine bases for kicking off entire advocacies and, in Oprah’s recent case, entire presidential campaigns. In the case of Laurio, work that both lacks substance and, by most measures of content production, lacks quality has managed to capture the support of an entire political bloc and attract the endorsement of an impressive array of otherwise well-educated “thought leaders”. There is remarkable irony in the latter, considering that Laurio was named amongst a distinguished set of “Filipinos of the Year” by the Inquirer on the basis of her being the Philippines’ Joan of Arc in the “fight” against the modern “scourge” of “fake news” gripping society. For those who missed it, that irony needs to be spelt out: What made Laurio popular and what earned her the support she enjoys today is the very thing that fuels the spread of “fake news”: potent emotional appeal of the essentially insubstantial.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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18 Comments on "A meeting of liberal minds: Oprah Winfrey for US President, Jover Laurio for “Filipino of the Year”"

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I’m a foreigner and try to follow the laughable politic news here.. but this Laurio character is nothing but a mindless troll. Looking at PAB there is nothing beyond tagalog ramblings combined with doctored images to stir emotions from the reader. She is nothing more than a circus clown, and an entertainment circus is the MO of the LP, as they conduct their real show in behind the curtains.

Robert Haighton

I dont think Oprah is cut out for the job to become president. After Ronald Reagan (a B-actor at best) and Arnold Schwarzenegger, America should never vote for a celebrity again. In a 1999 interview with Donald Trump he told Larry King that Oprah would be a good vice-president, next to him as president.

Despite the fact that Oprah is a Black Woman, lost of people listen to her, BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE…their are PLENTY of people that will not vote for her for that EXACT reason.The fact that she is ‘RUNNING’ for the Office is proof of how politics has degenerated to Identity Politics in the USA. With the Citizens United ruling by the US SC she is ready to get herself elected by pouring her Billions of USDollars into the contest. Despite the fact that The Woman has NO Credentials to qualify her as competent to run the Federal Executive branch of… Read more »
Seeing as the Democrats are pushing out “White People” for their sins, I’m sure Oprah will have a message that will unite people, especially since there are accusations of her being a pimp for Hollywood scumbags, but don’t let celebrity entrepreneur philanthropist image blind you, most Leftists seems to vote for stupid reasons, like “First Female Black President” instead of sound policies, same reasons they gave when trying to convince people to vote for that warmongering imbecile Hillary Clinton who along with that idiot Obama managed to destroy Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt with their stupendous blunder of toppling regimes… Read more »
Oprah Winfrey, is almost the same of the in mold, as Jover Laurio. Both received awards, for doing nothing. Oprah , may had given impassioned speech, during the golden Globe Award. However, it means nothing to the American electorate. It may mean much to the Liberal Hypocrite of the Hollywood personalities. They have found a Liberal minded savior, to run as their President. Hollywood use the, “Cult of Personalities”, to fuel its entertainment business. Otherwise, no one would go, to buy tickets, and see their Hollywood actors. Giving an impassioned speech, and being a lifetime talk show personality; do not… Read more »

Oprah is really bad for America. She ma be black but that doesn’t mean she’s intelligent or fitting to be a politician.

PS: my account on Twitter @therento is gone. Thanks to Twitter for their selective justice. 😀


The average liberal spends six years of his or her life waiting for red lights to turn green. six years wasted, waiting for permission to move on.


If Oprah Winfrey will become the next POTUS, then USA will become a sh*thole just like Haiti & Africa. Mr. Trump won’t like that kind of scenario. #LOL! 😀

Aphetsky Lasa

“What made Laurio popular and what earned her the support she enjoys today is the very thing that fuels the spread of “fake news”: potent emotional appeal of the essentially insubstantial.” Hence, she is not worthy of being compared, even negatively, alongside any woman. She is a leper.