RUSH: Oprah Winfrey's account of being racially profiled at a Swiss boutique is not true, according to the shop clerk. "The Zurich boutique clerk accused of racially profiling Oprah Winfrey is firing back -- claiming the Queen of Talk’s account 'is not true' and 'absurd.'" She says, "I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never."
The woman is still unidentified. She's Italian, and she was speaking to a Swiss newspaper on Sunday. "I don't know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl. I don't know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV."
The Oprah says she wanted to take a closer look at a handbag selling for around $38,000, but that the salesperson at the store refused to take it off the shelf. The Oprah claims that the salesperson told her, "Nah, it's too expensive, you couldn't afford it." And so The Oprah went on TV to tell the story. Isn't that a little bit fascinating? Of all places, to go on TV to tell the story? Well, yeah, while she's out promoting this movie, right? She's on TV, and this movie that she's in called The Butler, which is all about racism in the White House, right? So quite naturally she'd be asked about, "Have you ever been racismed against, Oprah?"
(imitating Oprah) "Yeah, you know what, it just happened to me. I was over there for Tina's wedding, and I wanted to buy this $38,000 bag, and this woman said, 'You can't afford it. Now, why would she tell me that?'" And the media was off to the races. I mean, The Oprah didn't come off the airplane claiming this. She was asked about it.
Now, there is a further development here. "Oprah Winfrey says she is 'sorry' a media frenzy emerged after saying she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.
'I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I'm really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I'm sorry that I said it was Switzerland,' Winfrey said 'I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don't expect that you would be able to be there,' she continued. 'I think the incident was an incident in Switzerland, that's all it was. I'm sorry it got blown up. I purposely didn't mention the name." You didn't have to mention the name.
All that has to happen here is The Oprah has to tell a fawning, sycophantic entertainment media in America that somebody was not kind to her when she wanted to buy something and imply it was racism, and the media will pick the ball up and run with it. And don't forget, now, the clerk is saying that The Oprah's version never happened. So this has not yet been fully dealt with here. My guess is that The Oprah didn't expect that there would be any pushback from the store. I think it was supposed to just end, and it is happening in conjunction with the promotion of the movie that, by the way, The Oprah is already being touted as an Oscar winner. She's already being touted as giving an Oscar-winning performance in this movie, no question. So you gotta put all this stuff in context, folks, not leave it in the isolated sense that it sometimes appears.
RUSH: It is the fastest three hours in media, and two of them are already -- yeah, that's right. The shop owner where The Oprah went in and was supposedly told, you know what, you can't afford that bag, look at you, you can't -- the shop owner was at Tina Turner's wedding. So why didn't The Oprah talk to the shop owner there about it? She didn't know her? You know, what -- what are you defending The Oprah for? You believe her? We got a mutiny here.
RUSH: I want to go back to this thing in Zurich with The Oprah. She goes into the store and asks to see -- this is her version -- she asks to see a handbag that costs $38,000, and she gets the impression from the clerk that she can't afford it and is essentially told that. And that the clerk did not go up to the shelf where the bag was and get it down for The Oprah to examine. And The Oprah made clear in the interview on Entertainment Tonight, she asked the question, "What could be the reason? Why would somebody tell me that they didn't think I could afford it?"
Okay, so you factor in that the clerk didn't recognize her, 'cause The Oprah didn't look like The Oprah that day, so the clerk didn't recognize her. So Oprah left us to fill in the blank, and that was that the clerk was racist, looked at The Oprah and saw a black woman and immediately concluded she was in the wrong store. Now, this is the impression The Oprah left. Here on this program we added a component to this, and that is that Oprah is a plus size woman, and there is discrimination against plus size women. You don't see a whole lot of really fashionable, wealthy overweight women. Most fashionably wealthy women are stick thin. They starve themselves, or they're bulimic or they're anorexic or whatever they do to maintain their social x-ray status. But you very seldom see, unless you get into the frumpy, you know, seventies and eighties. But even then it's an exception, to see a very wealthy, overweight, fat woman. So The Oprah could have suffered a double whammy when it comes to discrimination.
Now, what is the possibility that The Oprah's version is true? Well, let's look. Where did this happen? It happened in Switzerland. Where in Switzerland? It happened in Zurich. What is noteworthy about Zurich, Switzerland? Who lives there? A bunch of what? Far-left extremist liberals who are among the most bigoted and racist people in our culture. One of the biggest secrets. Who is it that judges people by how they look? Who is it that sees an individual as, "Ah," groups them somehow, either by virtue of race or gender, and if they want to take a wild guess, sexual orientation, and then they group them economically. But liberals do not look at individuals and see people. They look at a person and they see a victim. They see somebody in a group.
Does it make sense to you that in a very highbrow, upscale purse store in Zurich, Switzerland, that somebody like The Oprah would walk in there and one of these liberal checkout people that lives in Switzerland would look at her and immediately think she couldn't afford it because she was black? Who would make that kind of assessment? The Oprah may be telling the truth; she's dealing with liberals. It is liberals who make these kinds of judgments. We were just discussing this, and H.R., he's white, he looks like one of the Beavis and Butt-head guys sometimes. He walks into Tiffany's, they won't wait on him in there 'cause he looks like he's on MTV, and if you're on MTV, you can't afford anything at Tiffany.
You know, these kind of things happen. When I walk into Tiffany, it's an entirely different, I don't want to go into it, experience. Yeah, they open the vault and say, "You want to go in?" I'm not the focus of this story. A great example, Newt Gingrich went into Tiffany and bought something expensive in there, right? And there were a bunch of stories, "What's Newt doing in Tiffany? Newt doesn't have that kind of money." Newt bought his wife something in Tiffany and the story, "Where does he get that kind of money? He's got no business being in Tiffany." That was exactly right. Where was the Tiffany? Was it in New York? I don't know. I don't know where Newt hangs out.
But this kind of judgment made by retail people, you know it happens. And may be that The Oprah's version happens to be the truth, 'cause they're a bunch of liberals over there making these assessments, making these judgments.
What? Why are you asking me? I don't shop. Snerdley's asking me where are the real places that rich people shop that nobody knows about? I don't know. You laugh, but Walmart, Kmart, yeah, depends, if there's a special on Bic pens or batteries. You're laughing. I'm not kidding. If you've got a special on Gillette Fusion razors, you'll go there. I don't know. I don't shop. I couldn't tell you where the -- Gingrich had a six-figure line of credit at Tiffany and he owed them between $250,000 -- that's what it was. He owed them, that story got out, and people said, "What business is Newt doing in Tiffany? Why does Newt have a credit line at Tiffany anyway," remember the story?
I think the answer to your question is that the stores go to the rich. Do you think, for example, take your favorite rich person, whoever you're thinking about. Do you think they actually go in to a clothing store and search the racks, or is the stuff brought to them, or does the tailor go to where they live and measure 'em. You think they actually go to these places? The barber, the massage therapist, I mean, I think they probably go -- (interruption) Yeah, I think she just shoulda called from the hotel and said, "I'm here, would you bring me a sample of some bags. I want to buy one." But she made the mistake of going there.
Anyway, I want to go to the audio sound bites here because I'm in 'em. This happens to be about The Oprah. This was yesterday on NPR Here & Now. The host over there, Robin Young, speaking to the writer at The Guardian, Heidi Moore. Now, Heidi Moore had a story yesterday about the Oprah and shopping in which there was fat discrimination in addition to racial discrimination. And this is something that I had brought up before Heidi Moore had written the story, and that's what this is about. Robin Young says, "Now, you were saying that race has been cited, and rightfully so, but you also point to another marker of socioeconomic status, and that's weight. How so?"
MOORE: There have been numerous studies that show that when people judge our status, how much we're able to spend, where we are in the social order, they look at our weight, especially for women, and black women who are of size tend to be seen as lower in socioeconomic status. And obviously all of these status markers are unjust, they can be wrong, as we saw in Oprah's case. One of the reasons that women of lower socioeconomic status tend to weigh more is that it's very difficult to get healthy food in many neighborhoods that aren't rich.
RUSH: Do you realize what a crock that is? That myth has been so blown up and destroyed. That's a Michelle Obama myth. There's a word for that, there's a phrase. Food deserts. That's right. It's a myth that the fat poor do not have healthy food stores. That's another one of these myths that the left has put out there. It's just absurd, and it's been nuked, folks. It's been nuked by scientists, political scientists, thinkers and so forth, people have studied it. It's a total lie, that the fat poor do not have stores. What is healthy food, anyway? I mean, this is trying to make it sound like all there are are fast food joints in those neighborhoods. That you can't go there and buy cantaloupe anywhere, or that you can't go in and buy a banana, which is a crock.
Anyway, after Heidi Moore's NPR sounding like answer. She sounded like she could work at NPR. Did you hear that? (imitating Moore) "Well, there have been numerous studies that show that when people judge our status, how much we're able to spend, where we are in the social order, they look at our weight, and especially for women, black women who are of size." I mean, she sounded like she can work at NPR. So the host, Robin Young, then reacted. Heidi Moore basically said that there was fat racism that had happened to The Oprah.
YOUNG: Well, we want to be sure, because apparently Rush Limbaugh is using your column today. You are not saying that it is not about race. You are saying it was also about race, but we have to look at some of these other factors as well.
YOUNG: And weight may be one.
RUSH: Yeah. So, you see what happened here? After she made exactly the same point that I did, I was first with it, then Heidi Moore writes about it, and I cite Heidi Moore, the NPR host jumps in to make sure nobody thinks she's agreeing with me. (imitating Young) "Now, wait a minute, Rush Limbaugh says -- but you're not saying like Rush Limbaugh said, that this is -- right?" And Heidi Moore. "Well, of course not. I mean, who in the world --" They have to draw the distinction.