Published September 05, 2008
Oprah taking sides?
The queen of talk says it ain't so.
Winfrey reacted strongly Friday to a report posted on the Drudge Report that claimed she and "a couple of her top people are adamantly" against booking newly minted Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on her show.
"The item in today’s Drudge Report is categorically untrue," Winfrey said in a statement sent to news organizations in reaction to the DrudgeReport.com posting. "There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. 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. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over."
That said, Winfrey used her show to introduce Barack Obama to America's women voters, and has endorsed and campaigned with the Democratic nominee. She also was very visible at Obama's acceptance speech last week in Denver.
Winfrey's staff reportedly is sharply divided on booking Palin.
"Half of her staff really wants Sarah Palin on," a source told Drudge. "Oprah's Web site is getting tons of requests to put her on, but Oprah and a couple of her top people are adamantly against it because of Obama."
Oprah last year blocked an appearance by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, timed to a promotional tour of his autobiography.
The Drudge Report also cites Oprah and her executive producer Sheri Salata as big contributors to Obama's campaign.
Obama has been on "Oprah" twice — in January 2005 and again in October 2006 — before he announced his run for president.