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The Oprah: Victim of Fat Bias

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, last week, you remember the story, Mr. Snerdley, I don't know if you were here for this.  Mr. Snerdley was out last week a few days.  But The Oprah ran into some problems over in Zurich.  She walked into an upscale purse store or accessory store or whatever, and as the story went, The Oprah spotted a bag, a purse that she wanted, and the clerk, according to The Oprah, said, "No, that's not for you.  I don't think you can afford that."  And The Oprah said, "Why would she say that?"  Obviously it's racism. Was it Switzerland or Sweden where this happened?  Sometimes I get them confused because of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  It was Switzerland.  All right. 

So the Swiss clerk, according to The Oprah, was being racist here.  And then the owner of the shop said (paraphrasing), "Well, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, we were just trying to be polite.  That bag was $38,000.  I mean, we were trying to steer The Oprah, you know, English problems, person behind the counter didn't speak proper English and all, The Oprah misunderstood."  Then there was a story, the upshot of this is something was referenced about Oprah's size, that there was size bias involved, not so much race bias. That the real bias that occurred against The Oprah was that she was overweight and that the overweight tend to be poor, and it's the rich who are stick thin.  And I happened to make -- I don't even remember what it was but I'm still getting grief.  I am still getting grief over calling Oprah fat, and I did not call Oprah fat.  I simply said, "Is this news to anybody?" 

When the story came out that there was size bias, there are a bunch of people outraged over that, I said, "Well, is it news to people that Oprah -- I mean, she's kind of made it a big deal on her show that she is gravitationally challenged, whatever." So I continue to get grief because it was reported that I called Oprah fat.  Now, there's a the story from the UK Guardian that ran over the weekend after all of this went down.  Oprah faced not just fashion retail racism, but size bias, too.  This is why it's a controversy.  I am the one who posited that it might be because Oprah was overweight.  I guess this was on Friday.  Everybody had a cow.  And I remember asking you in the audience, "Is this news?" 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I, myself, over the course of my life, have also been fat, and I'm under the impression that if you are something, you can say that about somebody else.  If you're black, then you can use the N-word.  If you're not, you can't.  By the same token, if you happen to be fat or have been fat, then you can call somebody else fat and it's fine and dandy, it's okay.  I thought that's the way it went.  But, you see, The Oprah is a wholly owned category of political correctness. 

(interruption)

What do you mean you can never call a woman fat?  I call a fat guy fat.  You can't call a fat woman fat?  Well, what is it, a plus size, is that what you call 'em?  Plus size woman?  Is that the term for it?  Is that what I shoulda said?  Well, anyway, just a couple of days ago in the UK Guardian: "Oprah Winfrey is a successful billionaire with an empire worth $3bn, a woman whose public reputation has been built on self-empowerment. She has been frank about the stresses in her life -- racism and sexism figure often -- and about her struggles with her weight. It is this last aspect that may be the hardest to deal with. Oprah's thyroid condition makes her weight problems unavoidable." And on top of that she's big boned, they say.  Well, "She has to deal with the rebellion of her body." 

This is, by the way, Heidi Moore writing in the UK Guardian.  "She has to deal with the rebellion of her body. She may find sympathetic tailors and fabulous shoes, and accessorize brilliantly," except from that store, "but she likely knows what all women know: shop assistants won't be kind to women over a size 10, and that is especially true of woman of color." It's what it says here in the UK Guardian.  You people get mad at me all you want.  Right here it is in the left-wing UK Guardian, Oprah also had to deal with fat bias from the store clerk in addition to race bias, and big bone bias.  She had big bone bias, fat bias, and race bias, and all she wanted to do was accessorize nicely for Tina Turner's wedding.  That's all she wanted to do.  Oprah walked into one of the stores in Zurich last month, upscale shop, carries clothes from the usual runway names, and the shop assistant refused to show Oprah a $42,000 bag.

Now, this article, folks, this article is hilariously stupid.  This infobabe here, name is, again, Heidi Moore tries to put in as many arguments as possible for why it is wrong to be biased against fat people.  There's a thyroid condition, there's big boned anatomical structure, but in the story she basically admits that Oprah was probably discriminated against for her weight as much as for her skin color, meaning, she couldn't afford it.  This is what all of this adds up to.  The clerk didn't think The Oprah could afford a $42,000 bag because she was black and because she was plus size.  And the story is about how unfair this is.  This is if The Oprah was discriminated against at all. 

The shop owner is trying to say The Oprah was not discriminated against, by the way.  And the author of the story, the writer here, Heidi Moore ends the story by saying these stores need to stop judging their customers on the basis of shallow things.  If people stop judging others on the basis of shallow things, these stores would go out of business.  These stores exist on the basis of shallow things, being desired, wanted, purchased, and used, like a $42,000 bag. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Barbara, Mansfield, Ohio.  Barbara, I'm glad you waited.  You're first on the phones today.  Great to have you here.

CALLER:  Well, thank you.  I'm a first-time caller, super long-time listener.  I used to listen to you just in Sacramento. I raised my kids up in Chico, and thank you for helping me raise good conservative adults.

RUSH:  Thank you very much.  I appreciate that.

CALLER:  I was listening to you on Friday and you were doing the report about Oprah. Before you mentioned what she was wearing the first thing I thought of was, I wonder what exactly she was dressed in when she went in the store.  I used to live in Las Vegas, and I worked in high end retail.  I've been in retail for decades.  By far the majority of people in high end retail, especially those working commission, which most of those stores are, what they look for, what are you wearing? Are you wearing expensive shoes? Are you wearing expensive clothing?  'Cause if you are, you're most likely going to buy more.  If you come in down dressed, they think you have no money and you're just looking, 'cause that's the majority of customers, just looking at what they can't afford.

RUSH:  I'll tell you, The Oprah did go in, she was dressed down. 

CALLER:  She was dressed down.  You mentioned a Donna Karan skirt and sandals.

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  An example, I know one of the stores I worked in, on this particular day, there was a family that came in, a small group of people, and the other sales associate completely blew them off, didn't want to have anything to do with them because the guy was just standing there wearing a hoodie, looked like a punk kid.

RUSH:  Probably was.  The thing I envied was that she got in there unrecognized. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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