Oct 31, 2006

Thanks a lot, Oprah!

"I really do think that it's the best gift I can give this audience, so thanks to our friends at Bank of America -- they thought this was a good idea, too . . . you will each go home with $1,000! . . . One thousand dollars! Okay?" Oprah asked, rhetorically.

Wildly enthusiastic audience response -- though, in truth, nowhere near the level of studio hysteria achieved when she gave audience members those Pontiacs. Still, a pretty happy crowd.

Then came the Trick.

The $1,000, she told them, will be doled out in the form of debit cards, and recipients must spend all of their money on a charity of choice. What she was actually giving them, Oprah said with all the patronization of a woman whose financial worth has been put at $1.5 billion, is "the best feeling in the world."

Definite dimming of enthusiasm in studio to level now far below car giveaway, which has become the gold standard of audience giveaway hysteria.

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