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Ghoul Talk
Oprah plans one sick show.


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Myrna Blyth

Do you want to die laughing?

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Then you might want to take a look at this query on the Oprah.com website.

Do You Have A Dying Wish?

Do you live in the New York City area and have a DYING WISH?

Do you or do you know someone who has an unfulfilled dream and doesn’t have much time to see their dream come true? Do you have a loved one who is ill and has a wish you desperately want to grant them?

We are looking for people who have a dying wish–something they have always wanted to experience but never did. Before it’s too late, please tell us what you or your loved one wants to do, see, or where they want to go.

If you have an amazing story of someone who has a last wish, we want to hear all about them!
Who are they?
What is their wish?
Why do they deserve to have it granted?

If you live within 100 miles of New York City, we want to hear from you!

Please only respond if you’re willing to appear on television.

Yes, the Fairy Godmother of Daytime TV wants to give away some big-time goodies yet again — this time, though, only if it’s almost too late for you to receive them; and, no matter how sick you might be, only if you live within a 100 miles of New York City. Do they already have enough near-dead from other parts of the country?  I don’t know.

But I do wonder how the producers are going to fact-check those who will appear on Oprah’s “Wish Before Dying” show. A note from the doctor? The grim results of an MRI?

And can’t you imagine the casting call, searching for those who look sick enough to be on their last legs but still telegenic enough to be appealing. I can imagine the scene in the make-up room before the show. The instructions to the make-up person: Absolutely no blusher.

The dying person who is to have his or her last wish fulfilled has to be not only on the brink of death, but deserving as well. Sick is good, but sick and worthy is even better.

I wonder how close, exactly, the person has to be to death? And if someone, after the show, manages to recover, will Oprah give him a tongue lashing à la James Frey?

There will have to be a limit, I guess, to how sick these people can be. Otherwise, the logistics of fulfilling their last wishes also look to be problematic. Or are we to expect something along the lines of a med-evac visit to Disney World?

These sick people and their loved ones surely have only one real wish — to get better. What a shame it is that even Oprah can’t help them with that– no matter how many copies of The Secret she can push.

Frankly, the show that Oprah seems to be planning strikes me as just another example of the media’s dead ear when it comes to good taste and simple decency.

In the last couple of weeks it seems the public has started to wake up to the fact that the media really is lot crasser than they want it to be. That’s why public opinion turned against Imus for slandering a group of respectable young women, and that’s why the consensus is NBC made a big mistake — and for no good reason — when it broadcast far too much of Cho Seung-Ho paranoid ramblings.

It is hard for me to believe that Oprah really is going to do a show where the dying, who have an “amazing story,” will be given some kind of prize, while we all get the chance to watch them express their gratitude to her for cheering their last hours. Lately reality shows have shown us a lot that is distasteful, but for what possible reason would America’s Most Admired Woman turn her girl talk into something akin to ghoul talk?

Just Can’t Get Enough? Steve Salerno has had enough with vacuous nonsense about “empowerment,” as typified by Oprah’s show. Jason Steorts has some fun with The Secret, of which Oprah is so fond. Myrna Blyth and Rob Long have some thoughts on Oprah’s Frey debacle.


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