Did Oprah and Rosie Burn Their Brands By Going Political?

It wasn’t long ago that Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell represented two of the most beloved personalities on TV.

O’Donnell was the reigning Queen of Nice for her sweet as pie talk show, and Winfrey’s power was so vast she could hold up a book on camera and make it an instant best seller.

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Then each decided to share their political views with their audiences after years of being mostly apolitical, and their careers haven’t been the same.

Winfrey wholeheartedly backed then-Sen. Barack Obama for the presidency in 2008. O’Donnell, freed from the constraints of her touchy, feely show, ranted her 9/11 truther conspiracies on “The View.”

Now, both are having trouble drawing a crowd on OWN, Winfrey’s much ballyhooed new network. Winfrey’s new talk show garnered only a fraction of the ratings her old talk show drew. And O’Donnell’s “The Rosie Show” isn’t faring any better.


It may be too soon to tell, but it’s hard to imagine anyone who heard some of O’Donnell’s rants on 9/11 seeing her in a warm, affectionate light once more. And when Winfrey refused to give a platform to Gov. Sarah Palin before the 2008 presidential election, despite Palin’s historic emergence as the first potential female vice president, it showed her subverting her feminist beliefs for her own selfish purposes.

Now, audiences may be showing both stars that they haven’t forgotten those crude political stances.