Puzzle pieces beginning to fit

A woman has been nominated to be vice president, and Oprah yawns.

We don't get it. Except that many in the news and entertainment media are doing their best to get Barack Obama elected. Indeed, he's been on Oprah's show, and she's stumped for him at rallies.

But she has no interest in Sarah Palin's historic candidacy as the first woman on the Republican presidential ticket? She has no interest in finding out more about this strong, popular, family-and-work-juggling new-age woman who just might be headed for the seat of power in Washington? It strains credulity, and tarnishes Oprah's credibility.

That's sad. We admire Oprah and support her in most of her endeavors.

Some are calling for boycotts of Oprah. ""We are deeply disappointed in Ms. Winfrey's decision to sit out the greatest political moment in the history of women since suffrage," says Linda Ivell, head of the Florida Federation of Republican Women, which is calling for the boycott.

We're not sure a boycott is the right way to disagree with someone politically. And Oprah has done so much good with her celebrity and wealth.

Certainly she has the right to do with her show what she wants -- although she may not always have that right: If Democrats capture both Congress and the White House, it's quite possible they'll reinstitute the "Fairness Doctrine," in which the government monitors political speech on the nation's broadcast outlets and requires shows to provide equal time to competing ideologies.

Under Democratic rule, Oprah might have been forced to host Sarah Palin on her couch.

Still, Oprah's not the issue. Media bias is. The unabashed, unrelenting attacks on Palin by CNN, US Weekly and others -- set against the backdrop of the same media's near-total disinterest in Obama's background -- has all the feel of an attempted coup. They seem desperate to get him elected, whatever the cost.

People aren't sheep to be led around by the nose this way. They sense what's going on, and the backlash against the media has begun.

Oprah's choice to champion Barack Obama and ignore Sarah Palin's groundbreaking nomination is just one more piece of a troubling puzzle.

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