TV Guide Gushes: 'Will Michelle Obama Be the Next Oprah?'

November 1st, 2012 6:14 AM

Even if Obama loses next week, the media goo machine will keep cranking away. The new TV Guide is already speculating: “Will Michelle Obama Be the Next Oprah?” Writer Stephen Battaglio imagines what a star she could become (if her husband loses).

She could be bigger than Oprah? “Michelle Obama is such an appealing TV presence that if she and her husband find themselves moving out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, she’ll have the opportunity to make the transition from high-profile engaging talk-show guest to high-profile talk-show host – arguably the biggest ever in terms of recognition.” Experts agree, like a former CNN president.

“Former CNN president Jon Klein says he’s sure Mrs. Obama will have plenty of suitors in the TV business if her husband doesn’t serve another term. ‘Daytime syndicators are desperate for a new voice, and she is tailor-made for it,” Klein gushed. ‘She’s thoughtful.  She’s committed. She’s a working mom. She’d be a strong voice on issues important to her.”

Keep in mind that Klein was fired in 2010 for chronically low ratings, so maybe he’s not  a credible expert on broadcast appeal. He hired Campbell Brown away from NBC to make her a massive star. Oops.

But wait, Battaglio had more gushing expertise.

“Personally I want to see her in the White House,” says Hillary Estey McLaughlin, president of Telepictures Productions, the syndication company behind the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “But if she were not going to be in the White House, I’d love to have her as the host of a show. She’s amazing...She reminds me of Oprah Winfrey, as someone who has the ability to make people understand complex things in a simple way.”

TV Guide had no space for skeptics who thought Mrs. Obama might have trouble in the ratings with Republican women, or who might suggest Oprah never cajoled anyone to eat vegetables and jog.

Battaglio began the article "While President Obama has been locked in a tight battle for reelection, his wife’s favorability ratings have soared higher than ever.” This is simply not true. The Gallup poll found her approval rating was 65 percent in August, typically high for a First Lady, but lower than the 72 percent number she drew in March 2009.

[Hat tip: Mrs. Graham]