Oprah for president? Junk science enabler?

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Oprah Winfrey’s recent speech at the Golden Globes captured the imagination of countless people with rumors spreading that it could generate a popular well-spring of support that would prompt to her run for president in 2020. But many of the same science communicators and journalists who are concerned about President Trump’s anti-science tendencies are having similar problems with Oprah.

These concerns stem from her long career as a talk show host, the many guests she gave a platform to, and even her O magazine. She has a well-documented list of questionable views on science-related topics. From her featuring of vaccine denialism and crank health cures to her magazine’s demonization of conventional agriculture and idealizing expensive organic food, she has often embraced marginal and even quack views. Vox’s senior health correspondent, Julia Belluz, put it bluntly:

During her 25-year reign as host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, from 1986 to 2011, Oprah repeatedly showed a weakness for crackpots and quack medical theories. One could even argue that she’s one of the most powerful enablers of cranks on the planet

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