Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, August 31, 2007

Excuse me, how do I get to O's House?

If you are going to the Barack Obama fundraiser in Montecito -- our friends at EdHat report that you have to park at Earl Warren where the Rodeo types park....does this mean it won't be reported in the News-Press as none of us know her address? In any event, we can't provide O's address anyway because it is against our policy at BlogaBarbara. She is entitled to privacy!

Still, what's up with Oprah making people that must be paying thousands to see Barack and her together making them travel so far to have AN AUDIENCE with the Queen of Daytime TV and the Cause Celebre of the Democratic Party? I can see the corporate, network reporters now asking whether America is "ready" in front of Oprah's mansion (why is that so common?). Still, the juxtaposition between the two is an easy PR MEGA MOVE for both of them.

I've been waiting for Oprah to become more like us and get involved with local non-profits but perhaps she is more like them....time to reassess? She does great things but does she live in Santa Barbara County or not? I will hurt for a long time on this one as Oprah does so much good -- but where has it shown up where she lives? I am probably wrong and please tell me about it...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrote: "
I've been waiting for Oprah to become more like us..." LOL - surely you joke!

She lives in Chicago and Montecito. I don't know what she does in Chicago but here she does good things by hiring workers. Her house off East Valley Road used to be an ordinary rich person's big house, but Oprah has developed a veritable mansion with (water-intensive) lawns and so forth. All of which, inside and out, require handy people. Most of the other rich people don't do anything for the County; why should she?

8/31/2007 9:48 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

We should be so proud...I'm not sure I know what you are talking about. SB has more non-profits per square mile like Isla Vista and Hong Kong has more people per square mile...doesn't that mean that a lot of rich people are funding non-profits that are local? Either you make a difference where you live or you don't really live there....are you saying this about Lady Ridley Tree or Leni Fe Bland? Even The Wendy gives more locally -- been to The County Bowl lately?

8/31/2007 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think the NewsPress will publish Oprah's address?

8/31/2007 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peek into Oprah's back yard, or anyone elses including your own for that matter on -arial real estate photos:

9/01/2007 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't walk across the street to hear Obama's silly liberal regurgitations. He is barely qualified to serve in the Congress let alone the White House. Now a days any elected official who is a minority, and can fog a mirror, is automatically considered a future governor, senator or president.

9/01/2007 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oprah's fundraiser may be in sb, but it really isn't for us. contact the bacara, etc. and ask how many rooms are blocked out for the event? locals don't need hotel rooms.

9/01/2007 10:34 AM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

O.K. Sarah .... I think you may be correct. I haven't heard of any activity on Oprah's community involvement since shortly after she first moved here. I recall a report that Oprah had some kind of quasi-required properly moneycity/snooty barbara social "coming out party" at the boys and girls club. And other than the reported proudly shaking the hand of a homeless man during Fiesta a few years back and taking fresh eggs from over the fence from one of her folksy neighbors...well that's about it.

Don't get me wrong I do not disparage Oprah at all ...just stating what I recall from reports from the media. The fact that she is hosting this Obama rally is really fantastic. Is "America" "ready" is your question. But I wonder... is Santa Barbara "ready?"
The answer to both questios is "no" too many red necks, righties and racists.

9/01/2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Oprah has been very involved...hands to the girls recognition involved with Girls Inc. in Santa Barbara. Seriously, none of you know where her place is? There's no secret...and I don't even live in Montecito!

9/01/2007 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:04- that isn't the property, hers is much bigger

9/01/2007 6:23 PM  
Blogger craigsmithsblog said...

Oprah was the headliner at the annual Girls Inc. of S.B. 100 Committee luncheon in 2003. The event was a huge success. Since then, she has shown up as a guest at one of the subsequent 100 Committee luncheons and basically stole the show by her mere presence in the audience. She also made a drop-in visit to Girls Inc. of S.B. on Ortega Street. If I recall, the News-Press was there to take photos.

9/01/2007 6:46 PM  
Anonymous mike jordan said...

Topics sure seem a struggle these days.

"O" seems to do significant philanthropic work, but is dissed cause she is doing it somewhere else. Is everyone doing it here held to the same standard and should they also be doing work outside the community? She, more than most (more than any?), has the ability and means to contribute on a national or international level. I don't think those you mention above are in her league.

I'll bet she can sleep just fine at night. Your opening narrative seems trite an less than grateful.

9/01/2007 8:38 PM  
Anonymous anon. at 9:48 said...

True: Lady Ridley Tree and Leni Fe Bland have done a huge amount for SB; others have given also. Especially many contribute to the Santa Barbara Foundation which then helps many non-profits.

However, I stand by my statement of "most"in the sense of hands-on help. That's what I meant and was careless in phrasing. You'll see few of the rich actually working with the homeless or the injured wildlife or the drug and mental problems here.

If you've got millions as so many in Montecito do, it's pretty easy to dole out hundreds or even thousands. It's considerably less easy to actually help — and myself helping in non-profits over the years, I've seen increasingly few Montecito rich getting their hands dirty.

Time was 20 or 30 years ago that many did get involved. That was then. The area and demographics and, apparently, values have changed.

It may be that Wendy McCaw's serious generosity to the Wildlife group is more valuable than any time she might actually spend helping. The extent of her generosity to non-profits is little equalled - and, anyway, the issue was Montecito, rather than Hope Ranch.

At least Oprah has gone to lunch with the girls of Girls Inc. and probably given some money. But what else? What has Rob Lowe done? or the other movie people infesting the Montecito hills?

9/01/2007 9:16 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Mike -- with all do respect perhaps she is not in theirs. Oprah has done plenty but there is a different flavor between the old and new school riche. I have no problem with all she has done -- which has been wonderful, but isn't there a different sense to it?

9/01/2007 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume that all charitable contributions from anyone, however rich or small, are deemed as what they are: charity. I am completely ok with anyone who does not give to charity. And those who do give to charity, for the right reasons, I can only guess are lucky to be in that position and must consider it a rush to do so much good.

The people out there that evaluate who's better than who at charity are the losers of the world. They are part of the Generation of Entitlement, and the world is unfortunately full of them.

9/02/2007 8:27 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

In the modern world we love to watch every little thing celebrities do, and judge them mercilessly. But really, what do any of us know about Oprah's charity work? She appears to me to have a good heart and I am sure she contributes time and money here and elsewhere. Maimonides says the highest form of charity is that which is given anonymously, with no way for people to know the source.

9/02/2007 10:21 AM  
Anonymous i tevo oprah said...

Sara, you're envy and prejudice of rich women is heavily exposed here on your blog. I hope that whatever you're overcompensating for gets better. But judging others so harshly won't get you there. Good luck.

Oprah is a fountain of inspiration and support for millions of people.

9/02/2007 12:27 PM  
Anonymous mike jordan said...

anon 8:27am's last sentence is much closer to my thoughts than I was able to express, and wineguy is also right on point. Society seems to think we have some type of ownership of another's celebrity, personal gain, or even fall from such.

Old school and new school comparisons are not valid, one reason being the specific entitlement attitude that is expressed and measured when one does good.... kind of like no good deed gone unpunished on a grander scale of personal finance than I can imagine.

Maybe she does whatever, and nobody knows. Is she under some kind of obligation to publicize and meet some kind of standard set by others? I say bless her for what she does, judging is a tricky ledge to balance on.

(Seems a couple more names come to mind in that zip code, can't say that I ever hear of them around town, and whose claims to fame are simply multiple business ownership and contributing to the employment of lots of construction workers.)

I would have much rather you revved up the rhetoric on what hosting this event really means in the big picture, or the lack of access to local community members, or a discussion of Barack and Rudy both here within days of each other.

9/02/2007 1:32 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

i tevo -- Oprah is a fountain of inspiration for millions and she is rich. I have not a problem with that! Harsh judgement? Not really -- just think she should do more here, that's all.

9/02/2007 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i tevo -- Oprah is a fountain of inspiration for millions and she is rich. I have not a problem with that! Harsh judgement? Not really -- just think she should do more here, that's all.

The fact that you use the word "should" reveals a lot about yourself.

9/02/2007 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so interesting that so many people presumably without great sums of money have such strong opinions about what those with it should do with theirs. Hint: Make a lot of money and then YOU spend it on all your own little pet projects. It might look a little different when the money's in your pocket than it does when it's in someone else's. This whole discussion about hating the rich is quite demeaning to those who engage in it.

9/02/2007 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oprah has a very nice success story and has done a lot for American popular culture, as well as African American culture (with her very white glamour and straightened hair BTW), but I have never understood what exactly that popular appeal is.

I don't get her TV appeal, her program format, her adoring fans devotion. Can someone please explain this? Thanks.

9/02/2007 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public records indicate this is the place, now worth $89 million according to

9/02/2007 10:41 PM  
Blogger Cookie Jill said...

All I want to know is when do working peeps get to meet Obama?

It's a sad state of affairs to say that with all these zillionaires in our midst, a public school can't come up with $25,000 a year to keep their PE teacher.

9/03/2007 10:59 PM  
Anonymous i tevo oprah said...

Dear Cookie Jill,
That sad state of affairs is brought to you by government misusing everyone's tax dollars--yours, mine, the rich, the poor.

9/04/2007 6:51 AM  
Anonymous eggs_ackley said...

From where I stand, it appears that we are all feeding the celebrity infatuation fire. Are our own lives so in sync that we can stand atop the mountain and cast stones at those who don't fit our ideal?

Nothing better to do but criticize others for your own perceived shortcomings? It's certainly easier to castigate others on an anonymous blog than to get your hands dirty and actually do something that directly addresses any of our myriad of social ills.

Perhaps I am part of the problem.....

9/04/2007 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching Bill Clinton on Oprah today, along with plenty of ordinary folks who have raised incredible amounts of money to help others was quite inspirational. Check out, where any of us can make a tiny, life-changing loan to someone halfway around the world. It's part of Oprah's heart-touching magic that transcends the rational. Does she do enough in SB? Who cares, her reach is truly global.

9/04/2007 5:03 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

An extension of this conversation is going on at George's Blog.

9/04/2007 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working peeps may get a chance to meet and greet Obama Saturday. Save the date.

9/04/2007 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama will be at SBCC - West Campus Saturday - noon to 1pm.

9/06/2007 7:27 AM  

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