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Piers Morgan Interviews Oprah Winfrey Jan 18, 2011

Piers Morgan Interviews Oprah Winfrey

Few people impress me. So when 2 people I admire and respect...make that 2 people I want to emulate, do a one-on-one, I'd drop everything for it. Such a thing happened when Larry King replacement, Piers Morgan, interviewed one of the most powerful women in America today - Oprah Winfrey, as his debut interviewee on the pilot show, Piers Morgan Tonight.

Piers Morgan
I first saw him being one of the judges in America's Got Talent. While his judging struck me as having substance, he didn't really get my attention...not until I saw his TLC show, Piers Morgan On. I just noticed that I would actually put his show on my online calendar so as not to miss it. I started wondering...what engages me to his show? Is it the show format? Is it him? The answer is both...and then some. Piers has that X-factor that I'd been trying to concretize. Let me count the ways:

  • The show took him to Dubai, Shanghai, Marbella, Monte Carlo and Las Vegas. But other travel shows do that as well without making me a convert.
  • I noticed he asks all the questions racing inside my head - irreverent questions, that somehow he has the uncanny ability to get away with. In the Philippines, Chris Aquino might ask the same questions, but she comes across as tackless (to most people I've talked to, but not to me). He can paint you into a corner, but always with gloved hands. He's actually charming...never loses his cool. I remember a foreigner in the Philippines who said the only way to survive in the Philippines is to put your foot down with a smile...always with a smile.
  • I noticed in his show that he gets unprecedented access to the restricted world of the super rich, super famous and super powerful. I guess that's it. He provides the superlatives.
  • Piers is flamboyant (strutting his Aston Martin on every location shoot) and confident without being obnoxious. He's at ease talking to the biggest names out there. I've never seen him look intimidated.

Perhaps CNN also saw the above in Piers to have him as the first Brit on America's prime time interview show, replacing the iconic suspender guy, Larry King.

Oprah Winfrey
Ah...the great Oprah! What else can I say that hasn't been discussed about her? For me, she's the closest thing to a modern-day enlightened being - and she's not even selling religion. I like that. Her pursuit of excellence in everything she does has long fascinated me. I can truly say she's one of a few who provides inspiration for me in pursuing excellence - pushing the boundaries in search of perfection. At least, in my book, if I have already addressed all known issues in what I'm doing, if I've already given it the most I can, and can't find a flaw anymore, then yes, it's now perfect...until I wake up in the middle of the night with an Aha Moment pointing out a hidden weak link in the system...and the whole perfecting process kicks into gear again.

The Interview
On this pilot episode, Piers was a man on a mission. Somehow, he was hell-bent on creating an impression...specially on a guest as big as Oprah. He used all the tools in his arsenal - being charming, persistent, irreverent, coy, prying, etc. I got this feeling he badly wanted a home run - maybe reduce Oprah to tears, or get her shaken, or maybe get her to lose her cool. But Oprah is not your push-over guest. I found her extremely anchored. No trap or ambush question could destabilize her. Her answers were lucid and full of deliberation and clarity...just what I would expect from an enlightened one...yes, I dare use that word. I appreciated Piers' last-hurrah by asking Oprah how he was as an interviewer. It showed deferential treatment to one who wrote the book on interviews.

Striking a Chord
Oprah said many things in the interview but 2 things struck a chord - one because I want to live it, and the other because I'm already living it as a life tenet.

  • She said she's very mindful about the energies she allows into her orbit. That's very true with me. I'd rather be alone than be with someone with a red flag. I always give new acquaintances the benefit of a clean slate...until I see a red flag. I don't usually wait to find out if the red flad is warranted or not, I just don't allow that person within my orbit. I'm not a spring chicken, and life experience has taught me that my instincts are usually right. Having said that, I keep wondering why people consciously stay in a relationship that doesn't do it for them anymore - that's beyond a red flag...that's an outright deal breaker.
  • Oprah also said she's given away more than $300 million and set to give away everything she has when she's gone. Wow...I've already set out to realize my vision of a social enterprise through wealth building, which essentially gives everything away. But that's the plan - just a theory. At the back of my mind, I'm thinking, at what level will money be for my instinctive greed to get in the way of my being a benefactor for my social enterprise. I'm well too aware of my fallibility. I just don't know where the mark is.

Ending Thoughts
Altogether, it was a fascinating interview. Both players performed exceptionally well in front of a global audience. Personally, I've become a bigger fan of them both. More power to you guys!

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively review a movie for this website (premiere showing, filmfest, now-showing film, etc.), email me.

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