We Don't Know When There Will Be Cable TV On Pluto…

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…but when there is, they'll love Oprah there too:

More than a year after the pan-Arab satellite station MBC started broadcasting "Oprah" on its channel 4, it made a discovery: The show's ratings were higher than those of any other English-language show. The interest was coming from an untapped audience in the largest country in their coverage area: young Saudi Arabian women. And what these young women wanted was even more "Oprah," as well as other programs like it.

NEXT: Cordially, WFB

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  1. The first thing you have to do Ahmed is realize that you’re not angry at America you’re angry at yourself! Take responsibility for your actions! Your country sucks because your attitude sucks!

  2. Great. Now they’ll have another reason to hate us.

  3. Coming up next: This rug merchant’s wife wants him to take a second wife–and it’s her sister! But she doesn’t know he’s already secretly married to her mother! We’ll be right back after these prayers!

  4. The poor sods.

  5. The wheels of American pop culture hegemony turn slowly but surely. Welcome to daytime TV; do not resist, for you WILL be assimilated.

  6. I dunno guys, we could do a lot worse for an Ambassador to the Arab world.

  7. So many of my comments on Hit and Run are lame jokes, so I run the risk of being ignored when I try to write something serious. What I am about to write is no joke.

    Oprah is a great symbol of the United States of America. Her last name is not Bush or Kennedy. She was born a poor, black female in the South. It was through her hard work and talent that Oprah became the most powerful person in her industry.

    I love books and I appreciate Oprah’s promotion of the joy of reading. Her book club introduces literature to many poorly educated Americans. She has probably turned more people on to books than our public schools have in the last few years. For this alone, I love Oprah.

    Oprah has featured many charities on her show, and she and her audience have voluntarily given millions to those charities. I see no evidence that her philanthropy is anything but a sincere attempt to make the world a better place.

    Oprah is a tremendously positive addition to the culture in Saudi Arabia. Her show that featured a Saudi woman who survived a brutal beating at the hands of her husband was very important. Oprah showed that an impoverished American woman watching a rent-to-own television in a rundown trailer park is freer than any woman in Saudi Arabia. When Oprah said, “Thank God we live in America,” her words resonated with her large audience of young Saudi women who yearn for the liberty that American women take for granted.

    When Oprah teaches American women to get organized, to get educated, to take control of their lives and to take no shit from men, her lesson takes root in the fertile minds of Saudi women. When the Saudi totalitarian theocracy collapses, give Oprah some credit for undermining the authority of the fundamentalists.

  8. What Twba said.

    You don’t have to agree with all of Oprah’s views to see the good in this.

  9. Oprah is one of our arsenal of cultural weapons of mass destruction.

    Our pop culture, cheap merchandise, and style of do business, has already transformed vast swaths of the earth’s population. Once it hits the Islamists their culture is doomed as their women become free and thier young become slackers.

    Would you like some hummus with that 😛

  10. That may be true twba but god her shows sucks.

  11. I can’t wait for the episode where Oprah buys every woman in Saudi Arabia a car.

    – Josh

  12. I often watch MBC4 in teh morning, as they have likve feeds of the overnight ABC news shows.

    I sometimes wonder who’s paying for it. There is basically no advertising on this channel, yet it is full of syndicated US shows that obviously have hefty licensing fees. Maybe this is another one of Uncle Sam’s propaganda exercises. A successful one, it seems.

  13. Those poor, poor women! Free Buicks and they can’t even drive!

  14. What Twba said.

    I say we airdrop 20 million IPODS preloaded with No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” and an arabic translation of the lyrics into every city on the Arabian penninsula.

  15. 40% of women are soap opera fans. It’s been going on forever.

    What’s new is that the news media have discovered it (thanks to Princess Di).

    Now that 40% of women, 20% of the population, edits the news everybody gets ; and is the target audience of today’s soap opera party, the Democrats.

    Were there a bigger, comparably easy to attract, audience, there’d be no problem. But there isn’t. So here we are.

    So it’s 40% the world over now. It’s not cultural. (Is this news?)

  16. Joe: lol. Side note: gave my notice yesterday as my basement neighbor has expanded his operation to daylight hours and out to our apartment’s driveway. Landlord says he is upset about it as me, but his hands are tied (its no big suuuurprise). Hopefully I will make it 60 days before neighbor decides to kill the snitch.

  17. Don’t like Oprah, but you have to give her props. She is a great symbol of what a woman can accomplish in a free and open society. Between Oprah pushing empowerment in the Kingdom and well armed women in Iraq giving orders to well armed men, I’m betting the next generation of Arab women won’t be quite as accepting of the status quo. As another formidable female icon might say – It’s a good thing.

  18. Re:Oprah book club
    I love books. I think books are to a certain extent sacred just for being books. I think book burning is always wrong and libraries as temples of knowledge. I do applaud every new reader Oprah has helped to create. However it needs to be noted that Oprah is powerful because she is popular and like all popular celebrities, her popularity rests on her ability to appeal to the third grade mentality of the masses. Her book club for all the good it does, is just another part of her mass appeal, and as such primarily pushes piss poor literature.

    So, yea! more people reading. But I’d be much more excited about someone who inspired a mass increase in the quality of works being read.

  19. I have this sinking feeling in my stomach that Oprah Winfrey will be President of the United States someday. Oh, God, I think I’m going to be sick.

    I’m no fan of Oprah, but what’s a little pop American culture between friends? Maybe liberty and free markets will reach the Arab world through osmosis or something.

  20. FYI, Warren, Oprah’s book list includes many great literary works, including Anna Karenina, As I Lay Dying, The Good Earth, East of Eden, A Lesson Before Dying, and The Sound and The Fury.
    Books many Americans would never have even heard of and that most would certainly never have picked up.

  21. I pity the poor Arabian women. They are shackled by their society and religion. Men treat them like servants/housepets. And now they have to suffer Oprah telling them how to live their lives. What’s next? Martha Stewart to lead them to the pinnacle of anal retentiveness? Doctor Phil to make them feel guilty about every thought and action they ever had? If we think the Muslim world hates the West now, just wait until they have had a steady dose of American television! Every Muslim with a TV will be strapping on a bomb vest or will start taking flying lessons.

  22. So, people who don’t read what you like or watch shows you don’t like have a third grade mentality?

    Is it lonely in your ivory tower Warren?

  23. Pity the poor Arabian women. They already suffer at the hands of their male overseers, and now they have to suffer daytime American television. Shit, we will be converting every Muslim to a suicide bomber. Wait till they have an overdose of Oprah’s smug superority, or Martha Stewarts’ anal retentiveness, or Doctor Phil’s universal guilt trip, or a heaping helping of religious bile from Pat Robertson. If the US wanted to drive a wedge between the West and the Muslim world then this is a roaring start.

  24. Oh, no, Crushinator–you’ve got it backward. Pity the poor Arabian men! Not that they will ever, ever, have any pity fom me.

    Arabian women won’t have to suffer daytime American television–they can watch it if they can get it. Love her or hate her, Oprah is all about empowerment, and how can that be a bad thing for Arab women? Sooner or later, Arab men are gonna get their due, and all the better if Oprah’s very existence hastens it on its way.

    As for driving a wedge, that’s already been done. Islamist extremists’ whole problem with us is our culture of free expression and personal empowerment. When people all over the world want the same freedoms, it’s difficult to control them.

  25. ralphus,
    Yes it is. Very very lonely. So c-c-c-cold. Won’t you come up? I can make some tea.

    and for context, I think DUNE by Frank Herbert is the greatest tome ever assembled in the English language. So, there you go.

  26. I apologize for the redundant posts – the cranky H&R server fooled me by delaying my first comment so I regurgitated it.

    April – I am in no position to dispute your support of Oprah’s impact on the Arabian world. I have never watched her show. The few glimpses of her that I have experienced did not endear me to her. She seems to be a self-annoited messiah who can’t stop telling folks how to live their lives. And the last fuckin’ thing that American women need to be goaded into is more empowerment!

    You have swallowed the neocon canard that the Islamist extremists hate us for our culture and our freedom. The Bushites push the party line that as soon as the Muslim world shares the same freedoms we have that they will stop attacking us. This is complete bullshit. The Islamofascists will not stop hating us as long as we practice any other religion. Simple as that. Osama Bin Laden did not direct the 9/11 attacks because he thought the Fonz was getting too much pussy. He did it because we had American troops on what he considers sacred land. The Islamist extremists believe that the entire planet must become Muslim. They don’t give a flying shit about personal empowerment and freedom.

    Proof of this will come when we finally pull out of Iraq. When the Iraqis gain unfettered control of their political system they will create a theocracy that is operated under Sharia law. This will be a conscious, deliberate, and totally voluntary choice on their behalf. Bush is crazy if he believes they will establish a Western-style democracy that is governed by secular laws. Iraqi women will be far worse off in the future than they were under Saddam’s reign.

  27. I?d love to come over. I rarely get out of my own tower these days. It would be nice to have someone else to look down upon the world with.

  28. I look at so many of these posts and think how spoiled we are. Not that I would take any bit of it away, but a show doesn’t have to be something that appeals to the spoiled, cynical, ironic, overeducated types (and yes, I’m one of them) of America to be the sort of thing that will represent us to people living abroad in vastly different circumstances.

  29. When do the Muslims get their version of the “Numa Numa” fellow?

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