Dr. Phil vs. Katie Couric vs. Oprah Winfrey: who would you let interview you?

On January 13, Lance Armstrong  sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an extensive 2-hour interview, where he finally — after years of denial — admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.

On January 24, recent Notre Dame graduate Manti Te’o sat down with ABC News anchor Katie Couric, breaking his silence regarding the incredibly weird girlfriend hoax story.

And this week, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo — who allegedly perpetrated the hoax — sat down with America’s favorite psychologist, Dr. Phil, in a desperate attempt to seek psychoanalysis for his bizarre actions.

Hmm, I am sensing a common theme here.

It appears that, amid all of the media that exists these days, the interview is now making a comeback. You know, that old-school style of reporting where you actually sit down and speak directly with the source, rather than basing news stories off of hearsay and conjecture?

The funny thing, though, is that it seems like when there is a hot news item, all of these different people and networks rush to try to get first dibs on the interview. Oprah got Lance. Katie got Manti. Dr. Phil was stuck with the other dude.

But it brings to light an interesting question — if you, for whatever reason, had some type of information that you needed to divulge, who would you choose to speak to about it?

With that, I am going to run down our list of candidates, and point out the pros and cons of each one. Hey, I’ve got nothing better to do with my time.

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil McGraw interviews Ronaiah Tuiasosopo during taping for the "Dr. Phil Show"

Pros: It’s pretty easy to tell why Dr. Phil is so easy to talk to. He looks like your uncle. Like your bald, awkward-looking, good-humored uncle. Not only that, but his physical appearance makes him look like a priest, a guidance counselor and a therapist — combined. I can’t imagine having a conversation with him and not subconsciously spilling my deepest and darkest secrets somewhere along the way.

What would start as a simple conversation about the weather would somehow end with me realizing that I have fear of commitment and intimacy.

Woah. See? Just thinking about Dr. Phil helps me realize things about myself.

Cons: The cons about speaking with Dr Phil? Well, for one thing, whatever happened to doctor-patient confidentiality? If I’m spilling my guts to a psychologist, it’s because I want a true and honest assessment of my actions and behavior.

Dr. Phil, while certainly a qualified psychologist, has an alternate agenda — to lure viewers. Therefore, how do I know that his analysis is not based on his willingness to help me, but to draw people to watch his show?

Sorry, but real doctors do not air their sessions on television. Therefore, Dr. Phil is just a glorified talk-show host. He’s no better than Jerry Springer or Maury Povich.


Katie Couric

Katie & Manti

Pros: I’m not going to lie. I don’t watch too much ABC News, however, you rarely hear people talk poorly of Katie Couric. She’s professional. She’s philanthropic. She’s serious.

Plus, she has really nice legs.

Katie Couric may be the best-looking 56-year-old around. So if you’re going to be revealing some type of embarrassing information about yourself — which is a lose-lose situation to begin with — then you might as well do so by telling it somebody who is at least pleasant to look at.

Cons: Katie has worked for three of the major networks in her career. She started out at NBC and became famous for her work on The Today Show. After 15 years, she made the move to CBS to host their nightly news program and to basically become the face of the network. During her five years at CBS, she made a smooth transition from daytime to nighttime TV.

But then once her contract expired in 2011, she moved yet again, this time to ABC. Last June, she signed a $40 million contract to host her own daytime talk show.

Katie Couric is a consummate professional, no doubt. But she also doesn’t seem to be able to stay in one place for a long period of time. In fact, one might go as far as saying that she has her own loyalty issues. She’s flipped between networks, as well as back-and-forth between daytime and nighttime television. Is she really the ideal confidante? I think I might want somebody a little less flaky.


Oprah Winfrey

Oprah & Lance

Pros: I mean, come on. It’s Oprah. There is nothing that she can’t handle. After all, she was the only one who was brave enough to interview that woman who had her face torn off by a monkey a few years ago. Don’t worry, I won’t post a picture.

She’s one of the richest women in the world, and she’s one of the most altruistic women in the world. So if you’re such a hot commodity that Oprah Winfrey requests to interview you, then it means she really wants to talk to you. And if that’s the case, then how can you not acquiesce?

Talking to Oprah is the closest you can come to talking to the Virgin Mary herself.

Cons: Oprah may be a great person, but what is she really qualified in? Listening? If you really need to get something off your chest, then what benefit will Oprah give to you? She isn’t qualified to offer advice or subscribe medication.

The main reason people go on Oprah? Damage control. Oprah tries her best to make everyone look like a saint. Therefore, you really have to screw up badly to warrant the attention of Oprah Winfrey.

So bearing that in mind, I am going to hope that whatever it is that I did, it was not something that was so bad and so regrettable that it meant I needed to be interrogated by Oprah in order to redeem myself.


Well, there’s, uhh…

I guess that pretty much concludes the list of candidates.

The lesson that we can take out of this is that maybe we don’t need a celebrity television personality to talk to during times of need. Maybe we can confide in somebody a little more familiar to us, like our friends, or our family, or maybe a psychologist who doesn’t have his own television show, and whose primary motive is actually to help you.

Or if that isn’t an option, then you could always do what Jimmy Stewart did, and confide in a six-foot-tall invisible bunny rabbit.

Harvey the Rabbit

That’s right. I’d prefer an invisible life-sized rabbit to Dr. Phil, Katie Couric and Oprah Winfrey to spill all of my secrets to.

Because nothing screams “fully cured” more than an imaginary farm animal.

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