If Oprah Had A Y2K TV Show -- What Should She Cover?

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If Oprah Had A Y2K TV Show -- What Should She Cover?

Im interested in preparing some T.V. Y2K show suggestions to send to Oprah. Its clear that Y2K is not going to be completely fixed in time, and I, and others posting here, strongly feel that given its broken, we need a balanced, mass consumer, Y2K information awareness strategy, independent of government and military directives. I believe the television and newsmedia is the best way to nudge an awareness on the positive things individuals in this country can do to create community and calmly prepare for the uncertain and unknown global repercussions of Y2K.

Not a particular fan of daytime T.V., last week I just happened to watch the Oprah show, guest starring Brad Pitt. (Now theres a real human, being). At the end of her program Oprah made an appeal to help the people, the survivors of Hurricane Mitch. She illustrated the problem, then offered a solution. She told viewers what they could individually do to help these people -- not numbers, not statistics -- others, the still living, just like us and our families. A solution was to send donations to the American Red Cross International Relief fund.

This responsible media presentation/appeal is exactly the kind that can be developed for Y2K. The idea is to suggest pulling together shows -- not just for Oprah -- that illuminate the Y2K concerns, what we do know, what we dont know, and what we need to know about the possible local, state-wide, national and international repercussions of Y2K. Ideally programs would show what is being done, offer additional solutions to that which may not be fixed in time, and encourage communities at all levels to search for creative solutions to our common problems. Then demonstrate to viewers what they can do at an individual level to calmly prepare, and where to go for additional information.

Oprahs tag line, Remembering Your Spirit is exactly what we all need to do to prepare for Y2K.


* * ' * * ' * * ' * * ' * * ' * * ' * * '

Suggestions? Other potential Y2K program hosts? Alternate ideas?

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 18, 1998



Best of luck.

Some possible guests: Mr. Youdon and his daughter, Congressman Horn, Ed Yardini, the man who started Y2kToday.com (he used to be president of the AP, I think), Cory Hamasaki, Paul Milne, Jo Anne Slaven, Rick Cowles, Capers Jones, Jim Lord.

No doubt her show could draw some very important people.

But I think the best possible guests should be regular people from around the country, if not the world. People who are preparing.

Oh, and what about stars that are worried or preparing. They're people too and many are very computer literate. Perhaps we can find some of Hollywoods elite who might consider speaking on the show. That's what we need to do right now. We need to find people that the regular folk will believe. There is a movie in production which would play right into this staring Chris O'Donnell http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Tip/Lord/lord9824.htm.

Good luck Diane.

Mike =========================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), November 18, 1998.

Diane, I don't watch much television, but have seen enough "clips" from shows to know that Oprah has some sort of "angel network." I don't know much about it, but it's my understanding that it is people helping others. If this is the case, the route I would go: I would write and let her know about the reports from Medicare/Medicaid, WIC and Welfare showing that it is very unlikely they will make their deadlines. I would appeal to her sense of wanting to help people in need (this will certainly affect many seniors, single moms and children, for example) and ask her to begin to encourage others to help these people prepare. Those who are currently dependent on Government help certainly don't have the resources to prepare. IMHO they will suffer greatly after 2000. Maybe approaching it from this angle, she would be willing to discuss Y2K.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), November 18, 1998.


Links please. I suspect this may be an educational process for my potential contacts. I doubt they would consider doing anything until after the Xnas holidays, but at least the seeds can be planted now.

I will also pursue the angel angle myself since I've personally had a "close encounter." (A back door strategy). Any ideas on getting to her other than knocking on the front web-site door (http:// www.oprahshow.com/)? Anyone know someone who "really" knows her? Someone who works at Harpo Productions in Chicago?? E-mail address?

Mike, Absolutely Ed and Jennifer Yourdon -- that's a given.

Has anyone else noticed any of the "stars" mentioning Y2K preparations???


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 18, 1998.

http://www.mercurycenter.com/breaking/docs/066891.htm Posted at 6:12 a.m. PST Wednesday, November 18, 1998

Ventura makes talk show rounds

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) -- Minnesota Gov.-elect Jesse Ventura charmed the cameras and the crowds with two separate late night talk show appearances.

Standing in the narrow backstage hallway at NBC's ``The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,'' Ventura was a picture of cool in a tailored, dark suit, pinstripe shirt and tie...

Hummm. Diane

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 18, 1998.

Just get de Jager and North onto Rivera Live and let 'em battle it out.

-- Buddy (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), November 18, 1998.

Diane, you can start with this one. Also, check out the thread about the new GAO report.


-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), November 18, 1998.

According to the August issue of Y2K New Magazine, "Pat Boone has recorded a PSA for radio broadcast offering free Y2K resources." You can contact David Bradshaw or Anna Hammond at www Y2KNet.com or phone (800) 289-2646 re media interviews with Pat Boone. So, he's available! Should Oprah actually do this, I would like to see her urge what Douglass Carmichael, a lead Y2K consultant advocates: schools should be ready to be emergency shelters with food, water, and warmth. (My thought: classrooms could become family bedrooms, with lunchrooms for day time gathering places.) You can find more about this at www.cbn.org/y2k and look for the article, YEAR 2000 COMPUTER EMERGENCY: DEADLY SERIOUS TEST OF AMERICA. If we citizens neglect taking responsibility for this, with maybe a little help from government agencies (Natl'l Guard, police, fire, schools, etc.) government may use our neglect to its own advantage. A couple weeks ago, our Puget Sound/Seattle ABC affiliate presented an excellent Y2K program on "Town Meeting." Individual preparedness was emphasized, even tho some of the "officials" insisted there was nothing, or very little, to be concerned about--some said they weren't preparing at all. I wonder whose door step they'll be on about the end of Jan. 00??? God bless you in your endeavors with Oprah, Diane!

-- Holly Allen (Holly3325@juno.com), November 18, 1998.

Oprah has her own web site now. It's at http://www.oprah.com/

-- Bobbi (volfnat@northweb.com), November 18, 1998.

Thanks Bobbi!

Perhaps we can all send Oprah an email urging her to do a show. Keep it short and friendly. Maybe mention how scared we are for our family and our communities. What do you think?

Mike =================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), November 18, 1998.

The "Y2K Oprah Show" will happen whether you write to her or not, after something grabs John Q. Public's attention. I do not profess to know exactly what the 'Get It' point will be for John Q, but if things start to wrong in ways that cannot be ignored (such as the beeper debacle this past summer) you will see a HUGE difference in the news shows, and on the 'Talkies'.

The media personalities, IMHO, will hype this issue once there is some sort of "proof" that will allow them to stick their necks out, but not so far as to have it chopped off.

The ratings will demand it.

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), November 18, 1998.

I never imagined I would say this, but I just e-mailed Oprah.

-- Steve Hartsman (hartsman@ticon.net), November 19, 1998.

Look what "Eating Beef makes You Sick" did to Oprah. Do you think she'll do "Banks will Run Out of Cash" or "Worldwide Depression 2000"? I can see Oprah concerned about electricity failure (oh my), martial law (oh my!), her $500 mil. net worth gone (oh Sh*t!) "You mean my Gulfstream may not fly?!

Come on, if she does a show about 1/1/2000 it will be on the Best New Years Eve Parties, Y2K Fashions, etc...

Give me the old Morton Downey, Jr. Show. He would have Paul Milne on to call Sen. Bennett & Co. "buttheads". Put North and de Jeager on the Jerry Springer show (Go Gary, go Gary, go Gary)

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), November 19, 1998.

Diane, Great Idea concerning "Oprah" and "Y2K", Have you ever noticed how a suggestion to a person always leads to results?? Especially if it's their idea...

-- Furie (furieart@gte.net), November 19, 1998.

I wrote to Oprah from her web site. I got an acknowledgement email back saying that due to volume, she cannot personally answer each one, but that they are ALL being read. I outline why I think she should do a show on Y2k. Perhaps if enough of us do this also, she will consider it. I also listed a bunch of links and told her to research it for herself (y2k and related info) Well, we shall see I guess. Bobbi

-- Bobbi (volfnat@northweb.com), November 19, 1998.


If we try to reach her from many, many angles, I trust somehow she'll get the Y2K message!!! Go team! (I'll fire mine off later today, still composing).


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 19, 1998.

I think there should be a Y2K chat on Hockey Night in Canada during the intermission.

Don Cherry could then tell the world that Y2K is a serious problem, but we could fix it if only we would quit hiring the Swedes.

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), November 19, 1998.

FWIW: I had a friend that several years sent Oprah a "packet" of information for an idea for a show. She followed up with (it took several) phone calls. To make a long story short, my friend was told that Oprah herself can not (does not?) read the volumes of mail that comes to her, she has a staff that handles those kinds of things. Granted my friend did not use her website. I think an e-mail "blitz" tho would be a good idea. They would have to take notice of so many folks being concerned they would almost have to report it to her!! Who knows where it might lead?!! I had also thought about Montel Williams but I think that Oprah carries more "punch." I will send off an e-mail to her also. Great idea Diane! Donna

-- Donna in Texas (Dd0143@aol.com), November 19, 1998.


Yell it on the net and to your e-mail friends! That should get Oprah's staff's attention.

Shift happens, one day at a time.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 19, 1998.

First, I love it Diane...and I'm making a t-shirt if one does not already exist: Shift Happens!

Second, and an aside,...my daughter in law is the manager of a major bookstore chain store. She has said on more than one occasion that if you have a book that you want to hit the bestseller lists...send it to Oprah and try to get her to do it on her segment where they all sit around the well-appointed table with wine discussing it (Oprah's Book Club). Guaranteed, the book will hit the bestseller list within two weeks.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), November 19, 1998.

Diane...another good thread and one that went out and around and got to the y2k Weatherman (Dallas) who has the y2k Watch and an e-mail mailing list of over 12,000. Just got an e-mail from the Weatherman asking everyone to immediately e-mail Oprah and ask for a y2k program.....I've now been there and done that...and I hope others on this forum will do likewise. To e-mail, go to the Oprah site hhtp://www.oprah.com/email-oprah.html fax: 312 633-1995 snail: Harpo Productions P.O. Box 909715 Chicago, Il 60607 She is the ideal y2k messenger as her program reaches millions daily and as Diane Sawyer said, she is "arguably the most powerful woman in America." The Weatherman is asking that we e-mail prior to Monday so it will have some impact on her staff.

-- ronbanks (phxbanks@webtv.net), November 20, 1998.

If Oprah had a Y2k show...

Not a question of "if", but of "when"...Oprah and the other shows will have many features on y2k over the next 11 months and well beyond. The question is when will it surface and how often it will come up again after that.

Letters to the Oprah show can be reposted here to form an archive, and later the Oprah website can link to this thread, giving Oprah a convenient place to read what's being said to her by people in this group. Sort of like her personal Y2k suggestions mailbox.

What should be covered

The source of the problem, its prevalence, what is being done to troubleshoot and fix each problem, and what amount of critical system failure to expect over the next few years. What does this mean to Average Joe.

Oprah should make a video using computer graphics as well as location shoots around the remote areas to illustrate different levels of individual and community awareness and preparation responses. The complete video is then given out free as streaming RealVideo etc. on their website.

Other shows

The Jerry Springer show has 25 million viewers (10% or so of US), send a couple of pro wrestlers on as "Brothers who disagree on Y2k".

-- Jon (jonmiles@pacbell.net), November 21, 1998.

Good thoughts, Jon.

Anyone who feels compelled to do so, please write her an e-mail -- and tell a friend, to tell a friend, and so on...!


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 21, 1998.

Diane: Great Idea. Uncle Deedah has it right about ratings. In T.V. they are everything. The first really popular show (like Oprah) to do Y2K will be taking a chance though, unless there is already a popular demand for it. Also, we don't know how they will actually treat the subject (we don't want another 'Readers Digest polyanna'. Telling (recommending) guests to her that we all know would do a good job is critical. You can't explain Y2K in a soundbite, so I think you are on the right track with a show like Oprah.

FWIW, "Shift Happens" is also a reference to Planetary Alignment Day when the planets will line up with the Earth in a line. 5/5/2000. check out www.survivalcenter.com ( they actually have posters of it!) got to learn how to post with hotlinks......

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 21, 1998.


You never know where a pebble dropped in the internet pond will ripple.

Robert, I've taken the time to watch Oprah about five times over the past two weeks. She's very balanced. I suspect she'd do a good reporting job, plus she, and her staff knows so many caring "luminaries" that just getting her behind the balanced Y2K awareness cause, may have global repercussions.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 21, 1998.

Robert Michaels

>FWIW, "Shift Happens" is also a reference to Planetary Alignment Day when the planets will line up with the Earth in a line. 5/5/2000.

FWIW, the planetary alignment on 5/5/2000:

1) will NOT cause any noticeable effect on the Earth.

If one takes the trouble to actually calculate the gravitational effects on 5/5/2000, one finds that they will actually be smaller on that date than on many thousands of other dates that have come and gone in the twentieth century with no catastrophes.

2) will be _less_ straight than a planetary alignment in February 1962. Did the Earth's poles shift in 1962? Continents sink? No, and they won't in 2000 either.

3) is being milked for money by folks such as Richard Noone who prey upon superstitious beliefs.

>check out www.survivalcenter.com ( they actually have posters of it!)

... and there's another place that's milking 5/5/2000 for money by spreading misinformation!

For those who don't mind some mathematics and physics, there is an explanation at The May 5, 2000 Planetary Alignment And Its Destructive Potential.

For a less technical argument against the 5/5/2000 doomsters, see Planetary Conjunctions.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), November 21, 1998.

No Spam Please: I have enough on my mind with Y2K and never looked into this alignment thing. Thanks for saving me the trouble. The only thing I can recognize in the night sky is the moon. I ordered some of the 6-day candles from them and the picture of the planets was on the cover of the catalog with the phrase 'shift happens' . Perhaps my previous post should have stated this.

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 21, 1998.

Well well well, Joseph E. McIsaac is at it again - this time *NOT* wanting y2k to be discussed on Oprah.

Why? Because this guy is a shill for the Banks and does not want Bank runs - keep your finger in the Dyke Joe, you never know, it might work...

-----Original Message----- From: Joseph E. McIsaac Newsgroups: comp.software.year-2000 Date: Saturday, November 21, 1998 6:45 AM Subject: Re: Oprah.. Y2K call to action days

>Pjwin2 wrote: > >> If Oprah does a show on Y2k, the panic and stampedes will begin in force. The >> talk show herds must be led gently a few at a time or all hell will break >> loose, much earlier than expected. Maybe Martha Stewart could do a story too, >> and tell us all how to serve those beans and rice with panache, perhaps with a >> sprig of mint. Or how to grow thinner with style... >> >> pjwin > >pjwin -- I think it is _for_ the stampede that the letter campaign is being >suggested. Why else would the targeted channel of promotion be a program of >entertainment sure to distort and play up whatever angles get the best ratings? > >

-- Andy (andy_rowland@msn.com), November 21, 1998.

Well, at least theyll read it! -- Diane

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Oprah Winfrey. This is just a quick note to let you know that your message has been received.

Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming amount of mail that Ms. Winfrey is receiving, she regrets that it is impossible to answer each and every message personally. You can be sure, however, that we do read every single message.

We appreciate hearing from you and hope to see you again soon at http://www.oprah.com!

Sincerely, The Oprah.com Staff

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 22, 1998.

My wife received an e-mail from Karen Anderson (Texas) who has a good y2k web site and does an e-mail list on y2k for women (Dear Karen). People are asking her to get on the Oprah show and she indicated she would be happy to do so if asked. Karen is doing a good job spreading the y2k message and I am betting we will see her on Oprah in the near future.

-- ronbanks (phxbanks@webtv.net), November 23, 1998.


Please post Karen Anderson's web-site link. Thanks.

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 23, 1998.

Diane, Karen Anderson is the lady who does Y2K for women. Here is the article. (www.y2kwomen.com)

Effects of the Year 2000 Problem (Y2K)

By Karen Anderson

Copyright (c) 1998 Karen Anderson

Issue #19 November 23, 1998

Topic: The Media and Y2K Recommendation of the Week

Dear Karen,

I was just wandering why the main stream media has not addressed this issue in depth. Are they afraid that it would cause an economic and social panic? Have you tried getting on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk about Y2K? This show would reach your target market of women. I am a college student and a new mother. I am concerned with this matter deeply, but if it is such a big deal how come the main stream media isn't talking about it?

Thank you, Sherry

Dear Sherry,

Great questions! On June 2, 1997, Newsweek magazine ran an article entitled, "The Day the World Shuts Down." Now that wasn't June 98 but June 97. It detailed and outlined what the probable problems Y2K could cause and the profound ramifications on our society. What was the response to this article? Basically nothing. A few people began to see the implications of Y2K but for all intents and purposes, absolutely nothing happened. There are three reason why I think nobody responded.

1. It was too "early" - meaning Y2K still seemed too far away. If I told you today that you should start being concerned about what was going to happen in the year 2003 would you do anything today? Probably not. There wasn't much public response until June of 1998 - the 18 month mark. Then it seemed like the Millennium change was around the corner.

2. We are fairly used to sensationalism in the media. We don't pay much attention to headlines these days because they all sort of blend together after awhile. I remember my favorite headline a few years ago that was on a tabloid magazine next to the checkout counter at the grocery store. It read, "New Diet Soap Washes Away Fat." It didn't seem believable so I ignored it. (I only wished that it were true!)

3. We believe everything will have a "happily ever after" Hollywood ending. It's seems everyone these days is comparing Y2K to the Titanic. The Titanic movie was a blockbuster hit and everyone can clearly and graphically see the consequences of lack of planning and foresight. But my point in looking at the Titanic movie, one that is most absurd to me and one that the American public has overlooked, is the movie, Titanic, has a happy ending. If you saw the movie (and the ticket sales demonstrate that many, many people have seen it) the two main characters, Jack and Rose, are surrealistically reunited at the end of the movie. She waltzes into his waiting arms, they kiss and you assume they live happily every after (although the fact that they are dead doesn't seem to play into the emotion of the final scene). My point is, Hollywood has put its spin on the Titanic story and we are able to leave the theater feeling good rather than feeling the tragic loss of the many deaths. Is it any wonder we don't think anything bad is going to happen?

All this is to say that it doesn't surprise me that even when the media has shown Y2K, nobody has paid all that much attention to it. So, where does that leave us? With very little time left to get the word out.

One of my main goals right now is to be a guest on Oprah (although I promise you, if it happens, I'm going on a rigorous diet and exercise program! ). And I want to be on there soon! Because you are right. The best way to reach the most women is with Oprah. And the part that excites me is that Oprah reaches women everywhere and in all walks of life - I'm very concerned about the lack of awareness on the part of African American women, Hispanic women (my site is going to be up in Spanish soon!) and other women who might not be getting the information they need to protect themselves and their families.

So who knows? Maybe it will happen. But I'm going to start my exercise and diet program now - because when the opportunity comes to tell women about Y2K I want to be ready.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), November 23, 1998.

Interesting piece of news -- how timely!! Wonder if they can step up their new release timeline by about six months? -- Diane

San Jose Mercury news http://www.mercurycenter.com/breaking/docs/014089.htm Posted at 6:52 a.m. PST Tuesday, November 24, 1998

Report: Oprah to form cable network for women

NEW YORK (AP) -- Three of the most successful women in television are banding together to form the Oxygen Channel, a cable network be aimed at women, The New York Times reported today.

Oprah Winfrey, former Nickelodeon president Geraldine Laybourne and producer Marcy Carsey are expected to announce their new alliance today, the newspaper said.

``I obviously think this is a very big deal to bring in partners like this to help me create a network to superserve women, who are the most underserved audience in cable television,'' Laybourne told the Times.

Oxygen would compete with Lifetime, the only established cable channel that caters directly to women. Lifetime, which is already seen in 72 million homes, has consisted mainly of movies and reruns but recently added women's basketball and original programs to broaden its appeal.

Oxygen, which is expected to make its debut Jan. 1, 2000, would offer a wide range of programming.

A morning block, called The Hive, would be talk oriented; the midday block, called Working Lunch, would deal with issues facing working women; and the afternoon block would focus on teen-age girls.

There would be a comedy block at night possibly using some shows produced by Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Co., such as ``Roseanne,'' ``Cybill'' and ``Grace Under Fire.''

All three women have long histories of success in the television industry.

Laybourne helped build the Nickelodeon children's network into one of the most successful channels on cable and served as president of Disney's cable channels. She left Disney in May to form Oxygen Media, a cable TV and online company that will produce programming for women and children.

Carsey is part of the successful production company responsible for such network television hits as ``Third Rock From the Sun'' and ``The Cosby Show.'' Carsey-Werner-Mandabach would be chief programmer for the Oxygen Channel.

Winfrey, whose talk show has dominated daytime programming, would produce programming for the new channel through her Harpo production company.

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 24, 1998.

Thanks Leska for the lead! Keep sending Oprah a weekly e-mail please! It's worth the effort. She's hot!! -- Diane

Variety http://www.variety.com/article.asp?articleID=1117488918 Oprah sweeps past Springer By CYNTHIA LITTLETON, November 30, 1998

The just-wrapped November sweep was pretty much business as usual for the daytime syndie yak pack, although the Jerry Springer Shows stratospheric rise has slowed since the May sweep.

Springer finished second to Oprah Winfrey with a 5.2 household rating and 15 share in Nielsens 44 overnight metered markets, which cover 60% of U.S. TV households. By contrast, Springer delivered a 7.0/22 last May, at the apex of the media feeding frenzy on the Jerry Springer phenom and its attendant controversies.

With Springer cooling off, Winfrey enjoyed a commanding lead this November with a 7.3/19 average, essentially on par with last Mays 7.4/20, as well as its showing in the November 97 sweep (7.3/20).

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 30, 1998.

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