Today marks the final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Over at National Review Online, Charlotte Allen, Julie Gunlock, Lisa Schiffren, Cal Thomas, Rod Dreher, Glenn Stanton, Tim Graham, and others, including me, weigh in on the question of whether the show's run has been a net gain or loss for American culture. Looks like most folks had nice things to say. I, on the other hand, offered this:
If you support the widespread practice of pseudo-confessional but ultimately self-justifying defensiveness, the unleashing of hayseed morons such as Dr. Phil and trust-fund prevaricators such as James Frey, the spreading the New Age teachings of “The Secret” and normalization of a generic spirituality that views all religions as equally truthful, and encouraging grab-bag materialism over time-honored virtue, there is no question that Oprah Winfrey has had a net positive on American culture.
What do you think? Net gain or net loss for the culture?