On the fifteenth of May, in Chicago they say,
In the cool of the studio shielded from the heat of the day,
She held court, enjoying daytime TV’s great joys…
When Oprah the media mogul heard a small noise.
So Oprah stopped talking - just for a moment fear not.
Her heart pounding from that excited feeling she'd got.
She looked towards the sound.
“That’s funny,” thought Oprah. “There’s no experts around.”
Then she heard it again! Just a very faint yelp,
As if some tiny minded person were calling for help.
“I’ll help you,” said Oprah. “But who are you and what’re you peddling and Where?”
She looked and she looked, but could see nothing there,
But a small mote of smoke blowing past through the air.
What lacking in substance it made up for in dazzle.
And wanting to see more in the mist left her in quite a frazzle.
As she gazed into that smoke the hues were amazing,
The lack of substance, her imagination not least was it phasing.
"Enough with the facts, pretty colors hold sway,
suffer greatly will any expert who dares get in MY way."
“I say!” murmured Oprah. “I’ve never heard tell,
Of a small mote of smoke that is able to yell.
So you know what I think?…Why, I think that there must,
Be some substance within this wispy gust.
Some thing of importance that the experts have missed,
But I being Oprah I’ll no doubt get the gist.
Some poor little champions alone with their memes,
Shaking with fear, that their unfounded opinions will be lost amongst real science piled high by the reams."
"I’ll just have to promote them. That's what I'll do.
Because, though there not experts at all,
I’ll accept their statements as facts, no matter the evidence is small."
"Oh thank you, thank you came some very faint crying,
We were hoping you’d not look too closely nor do too much prying.
Those pesky scientists scattered us all on the mist,
but you can redeem us with your mighty media fist."
Said Oprah to this, “Egad who are you? “
"Not ‘who’ was the response - but the champions of Woo,
And we couldn't be gladder to come to know you.
Our town is called Woo-ville, and we spread it on thick,
keeping our answers vague and playing the victim when cornered is our best trick.
Mainstream science conspires against us cause we have little or no facts.
But who cares about science, it’s all about how the lay public reacts!
And cause our message is clearer and unencumbered by truth,
Your listeners will lap it up like they did that silly Book of Ruth."
Said Oprah, "I must agree" ,
So come here and sit down close by me."
So, gently, and using the greatest of care,
she broadcast their woo message over the air.
Each took a turn on the couch next to hers,
And spread their woo message to her legions of listeners.
From Woo-ville came this,
"Causality's not the least concern to myself,
Just place two factors in proximity and my books simply leap off the shelf.
Of course we have mountains of evidence in our support,
I just can’t take time now nor bother to produce the report"
“You mean…” Oprah gasped, “you have evidence supporting you?”
“Oh, yes,” piped the voice. “We most certainly do,
Although it is too small to be seen by scientist’s instruments and I can’t really show you,
But trust me there are vast stores of knowledge in the ethereal vaults of woo…
"Oh joy, that’s more than enough for me,
Let’s book you on the next show and people will be talking about it by three."
“Humpf!” humpfed a voice. Twas a sour old expert,
The perils of woo came he, the public to alert.
And not just one but many came too,
Each in a row waiting their chance to dispel woo.
But legions of scientists who tried to tell her,
Were no match for some feller with a brand new best seller.
“Believe me,” said Oprah. “I tell you sincerely,
My mind is quite keen and I heard what they said clearly.
I know there’s truth in there, though don’t dare ask me why,
It’s all in his or her book that you simply must buy."
"All you expert haters of anything new,
Your journals and meetings are no match for my media empire of woo.
They’ll listen and believe if I say drink the sand,
What I say not what you know holds sway in this land."
Said She,"Facts and figures are dull and make for lousy TV,
Much better an author who smiles large and says 'you must trust me'.
The public eats up whenever an expert is brought low,
Especially by an actor who could not possibly know.
No one trusts an expert who earned his or her PhD,
But they'll trust someone implicitly who played one on TV."
Her legions of followers must certainly have thought,
As they checked out the back cover of that book they just bought.
"She has done great works elsewhere with profits from her fame.
Surely she has an army of fact checkers to verify each claim."
The woos down in woo-ville were beside themselves with glee,
Each shouted. “the residuals alone will make a millionaire of me!
Thank you, thank you, they cried out again,
For without your amplification our voices could not have risen so far above the din.”
So Oprah was contented to roll back the clock,
And receptivity to science did her efforts block.
Study after study might refute what they say,
But that just means they must not be looking in quite the right way.
Said Oprah, to the scientists, “Woo has all my answers and I hear it quite clearly,
And even though scientists can’t see or hear them at all,
I’ll accept them as facts, no matter, how small"
With profound apologies to an American icon. (Theodore of course)