So it turns out while Oprah Winfrey‘s talk show was a massive success, her cable network OWN is … well, less so. It’s gotten so bad for Oprah that now she has to beg people on Twitter to watch her channel because nothing says “grace and dignity” like a billionaire begging the middle class to watch her channel on a social network where people post pictures of their junk. Only it turns out that’s against the Nielsen Ratings’ policy of not begging people to watch your show, which makes this infinitely sadder than before. The New York Times reports:
But on Sunday night, when she used that powerful online megaphone to make what seemed to be a simple plea, Ms. Winfrey broke a rule that the Nielsen ratings company rarely has to enforce. “Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Neilsen box,” she wrote on Twitter just as a new episode of her interview show, Oprah’s Next Chapter, began.
What seemed to most Twitter users to be a simple, if misspelled and desperate-sounding, call to watch a struggling channel was seen by Nielsen as a potentially serious violation of its policy. Nielsen measures the television viewership of a sample of roughly 25,000 households across the United States, and it works hard to ensure that the sample is not coerced to watch specific shows or channels.
After officials at OWN and Nielsen corresponded on Monday morning, Ms. Winfrey removed the Twitter post at the ratings company’s request. “I intended no harm and apologize for the reference,” she said in a statement.
I’d hate to take Oprah’s side on anything, because let’s face it, the billionaire lady who can buy and sell me on the black market just for shits and giggles does not need the moral support of the guy who writes dick jokes for a living, but how is Oprah asking people to watch her show any different than when TV stars and networks ask people to watch their show on Twitter? Hell, this isn’t anywhere near as bad as when FOX tried to turn “adorkable” into an actual word. That shit is the reason why people think it’s okay to try and sell things they pulled out of the garbage as Etsy jewellery.