In the late 1990s Oprah did a show on mad cow disease and during the show she was alarmed to learn that U.S. cattle were being fed some kind of beef derivative. “But cows are herbivores,” remarked a concerned Oprah. She turned to the audience and said “now doesn’t that concern y’all just a little bit. It has stopped me COLD from eating another burger!”
Shortly after the show aired beef prices hit their lowest point in ten years and that feeding practice was banned, improving the safety of U.S. beef. Citing her enormous influence, Texas cattleman blamed Oprah for the drop in beef prices and using an obscure veggie libel law, were able to sue her for $10 million, arguing that she slandered U.S. beef to get ratings. Even worse, the law suit would take place in Amarillo Texas, the beef capital of America. Even worse for Oprah, there were people in the town with bumper stickers that said “The only mad cow in America is Oprah”
As a black woman entering an all-white Southern pro-beef Texas town, Oprah was entering enemy territory.
“She messed with the wrong state,” one Texas redneck told Entertainment Tonight.
Early on Oprah reached out to Dr. Phil who though not famous at the time, was important in legal circles for how a court room psychologist. At first they did not get along because Oprah could only spare an hour to meet with him.
“It’s not my ass being sued, if that’s all the time she has, I want to know part of this”
When she decided to give him more time she said, “a lot of people think I should settle this case, what do you think?”
“Absolutely not”, he replied, explaining “the line-up at the sue Oprah window gets a whole lot shorter if you take this all the way to trial and send them home with nothing”
“Boy I like the way you think,” replied Oprah. Dr. Phil’s gift for delivering homespun common sense in succinct sound bites resonated with Oprah.
During her time in Texas, a mysterious old black lady dressed in black handed Oprah a note then quickly vanished before Oprah had a chance to enquirer. When Oprah opened it up, it said:
Did you ever think you’d see the day when a black woman was on trial for having too much influence?
During the trial Oprah slipped into a depression. She kept asking “why is this happening? Why am I being sued over burgers? How can this be happening?”
Dr. Phil took her aside and said “It IS happening, and you need to get in the game, and fast, or those good old boys are going to hand you your ass on a platter!”
“No they wont,” replied a defiant Oprah, and Dr. Phil knew in that moment that she would win.
During the trial, Oprah was the best witness Dr. Phil had ever seen in decades as a court psychologist. The louder and more hysterical the cross examiner would get, the calmer Oprah would get.
“Free speech not only lives it ROCKS” shouted Oprah when she won the trial. Beaming with superhuman charisma, she held a newspaper on her show with the headline “OPRAH WINS”
After the trial Oprah said to Phil “over the years I’ve had every psychologist in America on my show and none of them have made as much sense as you. And I don’t want to be selfish with that, I want to share it with millions”
At first Oprah’s audience hated Phil and flooded her show with complaints and her producers strongly urged her to drop him. But Oprah used her marketing savvy to turn it around. She began calling him “tell it like it is Phil” and told anecdotes about how Phil had told her like it is.
Before long, Tuesdays with Dr. Phil became the highest rated shows of the week.
Other TV producers began offering Dr. Phil his own talk show, but he was smart and loyal enough to not stab Oprah in the back the way Joan Rivers allegedly did to Johnny Carson. He would tell Oprah about the offers and she would say “anytime you want your own show, let me know.” But since Phil already had a successful litigation company in Texas, he didn’t have time to become a full time TV personality.
But after several years of being a popular weekly guest, Oprah decided he was finally ready to have his own show so her company Harpo, partnered with Paramount to give him one.
Oprah recruited the King brothers, the big husky rednecks who helped Oprah get so rich, to syndicate Dr. Phil’s show too. The King brothers took a gamble syndicating an overweight black woman like Oprah all over America at a time when the country was anti-black, and to repay them, Oprah was now taking a chance on a big husky redneck Dr. Phil at a time when the country was increasingly anti-working class white.
The big husky King brothers made all TV stations who wanted to air Dr. Phil sign a contract that he would never be aired opposite Oprah. As a result, Oprah remained #1 and Phil instantly became number two. By owning the most popular talk shows in syndication, Oprah became the World’s ONLY black billionaire for THREE STRAIGHT YEARS and the most influential woman on the planet.