September 5th, 2008
06:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Winfrey: Report about Palin 'categorically untrue'

Winfrey campaigned with Sen. Obama and his wife, Michelle, in New Hampshire late last year.

Winfrey campaigned with Sen. Obama and his wife, Michelle, in New Hampshire late last year.

(CNN) – Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is denying a report of division within her staff over booking Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin as a guest.

“The item in today’s Drudge Report is categorically untrue,” Winfrey wrote in a statement issued Friday. “There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show.”

Citing sources that had spoken to the news Web site, a story posted Friday morning on The Drudge Report said “Oprah's staff is sharply divided on the merits of booking Sarah Palin.” “One executive close to Winfrey is warning any Palin ban could ignite a dramatic backlash!,” the story also says.

But Winfrey, a longtime and outspoken supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, is flat-out denying the report. “At the beginning of this presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates,” Winfrey wrote in the statement. “I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.”

In addition to holding a fundraiser for Obama, the media mogul has appeared on the campaign trail for the Illinois senator and she attended the recent Democratic convention where Obama became the first African-American to be named the presidential nominee of a major political party. “It filled us with a sense of hope and possibility that, you know, I never even, sort of, been able tap into,” Winfrey said about the convention. “It was beyond anything I’d ever experienced. It really was. It was a transcendent moment.”

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Anne E.

    Sarah needs to be interviewed by the media, not Oprah. But already the McCain campaign is insulating her from the press she so viciously antagonized right out of the gate.
    If she's tough enough to do all the hissing and spitting, then she should certainly be able to handle ANY interview.
    One snarky, snarly speech does not a candidate make.

    September 5, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Fernando

    Obama was in her show, so she should give other candidates the same possibility, as a sign of respect for her audience, her employees, her advertisers and the public. Otherwise, she will become a pundit similar to the conservative talk show radios...

    September 5, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. FR

    spelling correction: Fiance

    September 5, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. MDS

    It's obvious that the Repub spin machine is trying to create a "soap opera like "controversy to keep Palin's name front and center. DON'T FALL FOR THE HYPE!

    September 5, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Ann


    September 5, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. applecrispbetty

    The primaries are over. No more candidates on her show. Sounds fair to me. What's your problem? Palin didn't participate in the primaries.

    September 5, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. jeff

    I love Oprah but this shows she is more about getting an African American elected and her views but not everyones views.
    I love the dems especially Hillary and do not agree with many of the republicans views but Palin did great and if Oprah is about equality then she should have her on. She had Obama and his wife on during this election season
    Double standard

    September 5, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    If I am not mistaken, Oprah has used her her show for the candidate of her choice. She has interviewed Obama & his wife on her show !!!!

    September 5, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. mama4obama

    WTH -Doubts....

    Are you suggesting that Oprah is trying to buy her way to heaven? Might I point out just a few of the things that Oprah does/has done for the poor? Not to mention how inspiring she is when it comes to giving to those in need?

    We dont even have to go over to Iraq or Pakistan or Iran or Afghanistan to get religious freaks....we obviously have them right here at home. Yeeehawww.

    Doubts...dont go away mad....but please do go away!

    September 5, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. willcnnapprovethis?

    Sarah Palin =Dan Quayle

    September 5, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Latoya

    Winfrey is petrified to give Palin a platform on her show, either way Winfrey cannot win, should Palin appear and prove to be that which she is, a formidable and well qualified candidate able to bring in the needed votes, it would defeat her choice of endorsement and negate it with her followers. Should she become victimized on the Winfrey forum, the prejudicial imbalance of Winfrey’s endorsement and the calling on of her following to do likewise will stand out and be highlighted as the beacon of extreme racial prejudice that it is, plain and simple. To many in the black community Obama is the great black hope and the demographic numbers show it.

    The first time in history Winfrey endorses a candidate and for the first time in history that Afro Americans are registering and turning out to vote in such large numbers, the denial is in the facts that race has any reason to play in it, what then is Winfrey and the historically high turn out of Afro Americans voting for if not race and color. Is this racial prejudice not precisely the opposite of what being a Democrat stands for…….!

    September 5, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Joan, MI


    Obama was not ON Oprah's show. She supported him, on her own time, away from her show. Now if you want to know who has been on her show:

    Hillary (before her candidacy)
    George Bush
    Laura Bush

    But she has NOT had Barack or Hillary on her show while they were running for the presidency. And she will not have Palin or McCain on as well. I'd say that was integrity.

    September 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Done with Dems

    John September 5th, 2008 2:08 pm ET

    Republican just wanted to put Palin in every corner as they can, even use fake report

    To John:
    Hey bud, I'm with you. This is definatley a conspiracy. Send me your e-mail and I'll give you my plans for the perfect bomb shelter. The end is near......


    September 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Myownanalysis

    CNN cut off Sen Obama speaking to voters about issues and switched to Gov Palin who had a canned speach praising Sen McCain. First why did CNN do this? Choose the new "Celebrity" over Sen Obama. Why can't people see that Sen Mccain likes to do is hear about his POW status. Everytime he speaks it's Hanoi. I am a retired war Vet of Dessert Storm. Myself and other veterans cannot go around talking about our service. We have to compete for jobs like everyone else. I have video tapes of "Song Bird McCain who fellow POW mates tell a different story of how he told the Viet Cong everything. Can his stories be verified by Viet Cong Guards? If McCain wants to keep using the Vietnam era for his campaign, I know of another behavior that went on during that time. I cane in the military in 1978 just after the war and any of the Vietnam vets bragged about how the young teenage (12, 13 etc) were fun to have. Unlike today where this is seriously frowned upon, in those days Asia was seen as the get your groove on.....I wonder what we would dig up if we decide to walk in his shoes before he got captured? Hmmmmmmmm Any reporters want to travel to the ports where sen McCain docked at? I wonder what we will find.

    September 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Tim Hutchins

    Oprah should be prosecuted for election funding laws violation, as she has contributed much more than is allowed, especially when you look at all the "free" electioneering for Obama on her TV show.

    September 5, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Tedd, NY

    Shame on Oprah.

    She claims that she wants to keep her TV show politically neutral. Of course, she say this after she's already had Barack "The Messiah" Obama on her show.

    What's the big deal Oprah? Afraid that Sarah Palin just might convince some of your viewers to vote for McCain?

    September 5, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. crashMD

    Hate to point this out; but yes it is in the Bible that a camel can get through the eye of a needle faster than a rich (sic) person can get to heaven then where does that leave a goood majority of Republicans including the McCains and one of my favorite fellows Joe Gibbs (former coach of the Washington Redskins and founder of Joe Gibbs Racing).

    September 5, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Charlotte

    Why is Oprah suddenly Winfrey? Didn't she have the Obamas' on her show? As far as I know her book club has not had either of his books as, must reads. Thanks to her and others, we will lose the White House. Funny how Obama is parading female surrogates to help with the womens' votes. I am a Hillary supporter who did not vote for Hillary because she was a woman. So don't patronize me with feeble attempts to put women on display as if it will palltiate the actions of the DNC to select an inferior candidate. The more Hillary supports an incompetent candidate, the less respect I have for her. This Reagan Democrat isn't buying it. My vote is important to me and I can't vote for this empty suit. Even his VP, Biden, doesn't think he is qualified, and I totally agree. I may not agree with McCain on all the issues, but at least I trust him.
    PS. Who cares how much he pays for a pair of shoes, or Cindy pays for an outfit. I don't expect a rich person, as most politicians are, to walk around in Payless shoes, and Walmart dresses, get real people

    September 5, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. mel b

    This is to the comment that Doubt made quoting scripture. I am not a fan of Oprah Winfrey Show but I am a fan of who she is. She has done so much to improve the quality of life for so many minorities and for the have nots that so many politicians seem to have forgotten about.

    I am a bi-racial woman who can relate to both sides of the campaign including the fact that my own father was in Vietnam and a reciepient of two purple hearts. I also had an uncle who served in Vietnam who was killed on American soil by a civilian the day before he was to come back home after his serivce to our country. I wasn't voting for Hillary or Obama because she was a woman or because he is a black man but because of their beliefs feeling as though they could relate to me.

    I commend Oprah for standing her ground and stand up for her beliefs. Proverbs 31:10 says... Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies....26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.....30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

    September 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Dan

    In keeping with the republican way of looking at things she signs the checks, I guess I don't see the problem, it is her show.

    September 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Pat from Chico, CA

    Oprah already used the public airwaves to interview her candidate, Sen. Obama. Why am I not surprised that she's now refusing to give equal time to Sen. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Palin? Double standard, anyone?

    September 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Crystal Fisher

    Oprah also had Bill Clinton and HIllary Clinton on her show...does that make her racist?

    September 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. therealslimshady

    What is she today ? The victim or the pitbull.

    September 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Jerry

    Oprah doesn't owe Palin anything!!

    Now, Jerry Springer?

    He owes Palin a prime time spot!

    Let her bring her hillbilly clan and park the double wide on his stage where it belongs!! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

    September 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Dave

    Yeah, Obama was on her show before. Her show bites anyway. My wife finally swore it off when she started promoting the New Age agenda with that Tolle book (he is not a bearer of truth).

    September 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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