When Oprah met Facebook: The live-video mind-meld

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If you were suffering from Oprah withdrawal now that she’s no longer on daytime TV, her interview Thursday on Facebook Live was pure manna. But judging from how profusely the self-actualization hooey poured forth from Winfrey’s mouth, perhaps she was really missing her daily soapbox as well.

Streaming from Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Winfrey sat down with the company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg for a one-on-one format that wouldn’t have been out of place on “Inside the Actors Studio.” But oddly enough the sycophancy wasn’t directed as much host to guest as it was the other way around. Winfrey fawned over Sandberg as if she were, well, the top-rated talk-show host in the universe. She described their first meeting at the Allen & Co. mogul-only getaway in messianic terms Moses might have reserved for the Lord Almighty.

Winfrey and Sandberg lavished each other with praise, but not only on a personal level. It seemed they were attempting some sort of branding mind meld, describing their respective organizations not as if they were for-profit corporations but fellow compulsive do-gooders who just happen to be raking in billions of dollars along the way.

“You want to connect people all over the world,” Winfrey told Sandberg.”We want the world individually empowered.”

Winfrey also revealed that everyone at her company’s offices in Los Angeles and Chicago are required to meditate twice a day, though she noted staffers are so intimidated by the term “meditation” that she prefers to just call it “quiet time.” While Sandberg responded, probably jokingly, that she would institute the same policy as well, it’s probably not required because in Winfrey’s eyes, the employees of Facebook are already on an elevated spiritual plane.

“As I walk through Facebook offices, I see people fully themselves,” said Winfrey. “Nobody in this entire space is pretending to be anything they’re not.”

Again and again, Winfrey returned to the notion of people maximizing themselves by using meditation to access the “space” within themselves that holds their inner potential. So many references were there to “space” that Winfrey might have been better off cross-promoting her appearance on MySpace instead of Facebook.

But Winfrey isn’t entirely perfection. She admitted to needing to overcome fear in order to launch the OWN cable network, but warned it’s a venture not for the faint at heart.

“It’s a lot harder than I ever imagine,” Winfrey admitted. “If anyone asks you to run a network, think about that.”

We will, Oprah. We will. Right after we’re done meditating.

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