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People Should Not Ignore the Good That She Attempts

Let me get this straight. Columnist Brian Lowry (“Perhaps Oprah Is Not Quite Invincible,” Nov. 10) is “relieved” because Oprah Winfrey’s last two productions were not blockbuster successes? Am I then supposed to dismiss all the good she has done, through personal example and through her work? My understanding of her “Change your life TV” is that here are tools that, if I choose to use them, can help me change my life.

My sympathies to Mr. Lowry. He clearly has no idea of the value of what he is trying to trash.

JOY RIDENOUR

Long Beach

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I am tired of all this Oprah bashing. As far as I am aware, Oprah Winfrey has never claimed invincibility or said she was Midas. She just produces programming she thinks is valuable.

Most psychologists recognize that change comes about when one makes a shift in perception. Oprah’s change-your-life segments have that potential. I hope she continues to share the things in life that she finds valuable with those of us who appreciate her generosity. And if that gives her good ratings, more power to her.

STEL FINE

Venice

Perhaps jealousy of Oprah’s phenomenal success is at the root of this media vitriol. What else could explain Lowry’s glee that recent Harpo Productions (“Beloved” and “David & Lisa”) have not met expectations?

Oprah takes risks to expand viewers’ horizons and to, indeed, “change their lives.” Granted, the book club is a continual disappointment to those of us who crave more than sound bites. Indeed, I would like more depth most times Oprah approaches a meaty topic. And her tone of late has taken on a messianic patina that needs to be muted. But she does spur one to further thought, to buy and read a challenging book (I bought and enjoyed “Paradise” after the helpful interview with Toni Morrison) and to go deeper within (I read “Simple Abundance” regularly, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and am enriched).

Maybe Oprah doesn’t change your life in that moment--but maybe she spurs you to continue the process in your daily round. If you can stop bashing her long enough to sift the message from the messiah.

CANDACE HASKELL

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Santa Monica


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