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re: The company you keep
by guest memo writer Ari Vitali, MD

Ms. Winfrey (I'll stay formal, as I don't know you as well Julia Roberts does),

In the interest of self-disclosure, I did listen to you once, by way of a former girlfriend. See, this ex-girlfriend followed your book club. One time, she bought a copy of I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. Karen insisted that I read this book, as it was a glimpse into how schizophrenia affects families. I'm a psychiatrist (just to let you know; please don't tell Tom Cruise), so anything dealing with mental illness tends to pique my interest. But this isn't about me, Miss Thang. This is about you because we all know that you haven't gotten enough attention lately.

Ms. Winfrey if I may be blunt: you bring narcissism and self-promotion to levels that only, say, Hilary Duff can only dream about. The minds of millions of soccer-moms are in your thrall. You tell them what to read, which celebrities to admire. You show them the utter goodness of Being Oprah. You give away cars (but don't pay the taxes on them), you act like everyone's girlfriend. Shoot, I even see your face plastered on a magazine Every. Single. Freaking. Month. We cannot escape you. I wish we could, but we can't.

And now, in the interest of saving Brand Oprah, you have been spinning more than the Mad Tea Cup Party at Disneyland. Just tell the truth, Ms. Winfrey: you were hoodwinked and bamboozled by the greatest of cons. James Frey had you wrapped around his finger with his "memoir." All you could do was blame the publisher. You had Mr. Frey on your show, as I heard, a second time, to confront him. I'm sure the Cult of Oprah will now forgive you. That's just amazing.

And what was that deal in Paris with that Hermès store. Oh my goodness, they didn't let you in because you were black? I don't buy that for a second! From what I read, you showed up after the store closed. Hey, store hours are store hours, even in Europe. Does the Cult of Oprah even have a branch office in France?

Now, please do me a favor. Pass this memo over to Stedman. OK? Good.

Stedman, dude. How long have you been with Miss Thang? Ten, maybe twelve years? Wow, and I thought I had problems with commitment when I proposed to my fiancée; it was almost four years for me. First of all, what do you do? Second of all, let's look at reality: you're a prop, Stedman. You're window-dressing. Are you ever going to get married? I mean, just fish or cut bait, man! Get back to Memo To: when you commit, deal?

Ms. Winfrey, you're as phony as the proverbial three-dollar bill. You're not every woman's neighbor. Maybe is happy with your proclamations of good reads, but enough already.

Finally, I have two more words for you: prenuptial agreement.

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