n an episode of Oprah last year, she interviewed the cast of Will & Grace
. At one point, Sean Hayes began talking about how he takes a PSP (pre-show poop) before the taping of every episode. With that comment as a springboard, Oprah launched into a diatribe about how imagining people who intimidate you taking a poop can help relieve the anxiety you feel. Sound familiar? That's right, exactly like my article which posted a few weeks before the show aired
I was inclined to chalk it up to coincidence, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed likely that someone on her staff (or someone who knows her) found my article and passed it along in some form. I work for a company with a major celebrity at its head, so I know from whence I speak. Not a week passes without people passing around email linking to the latest article about, or spoof of, Our Boss. I guarantee the same thing happens within Oprah's company.
Additionally, I mention Oprah by name in my article, which means internet searches for Oprah could potentially result in hits to my site, searches such as "Oprah naked", "Oprah dump", "Oprah boobs", or dozens of others. And with the internet's fascination of photoshopping celebs into faked nude pictures, I find it entirely likely that someone would be performing searches such as those on a regular basis in order to find content potentially disparaging to Oprah's image. I have a gut feeling someone, somewhere, within Oprah's company found my article and the content of it made it's way to Oprah. Hell, if Oprah is the kind of person who ego-surfs (and trust me, most celebrities do, even though they deny it), she may have stumbled upon it herself!
None of this is to say Oprah isn't allowed to have thoughts similar to my own, or that it doesn't happen all the time. Hell, I often hear Jim Rome saying things about the NFL that sound almost exactly like the writings of SI's Peter King. Which I'm sure is just coincidence too. But still, the timing of this thing may be too coincidental. I've noticed Oprah is about 1-2 months behind the curve on things that break on the internet, so this fits perfectly into that time frame. For example, the New York Times article about Justin Berry
published on December 19, 2005 and blew up on the internet, then Oprah had him on her show on February 15, 2006. Obviously, that sort of thing requires a much longer turnaround than regurgitating something read off the internet.
But it does bring up an interesting question. How much of what Oprah says is pre-planned by her writers or by herself? On the show she comes off as wise, earthy, and off-the-cuff, but how much of that is really her, and how much is just part of the carefully orchestrated Oprah brand? How much is part of the illusion of entertainment television? I'm sure what seemed to be an off-the-cuff comment by Sean Hayes was previously approved by Oprah's producers, and Oprah had her response all ready to go. You don't just waltz onto Oprah's show and talk about pooping without first clearing it with the show's producers.
To be clear, I'm not accusing anybody of idea theft or plagiarism or anything like that. Maybe it's a coincidence, but if it's not I'd feel flattered that my thoughts translate so well to daytime television. I'm surely not the first person to think about imagining people dropping a deuce to disarm their authority, but I may have been the first person to write about it.