Oprah afraid of Palin? Update: Oprah responds

Perhaps the Carney meme of Sarah Palin being afraid of the media is a case of projection.  Drudge reports that Oprah Winfrey will not invite the first woman on a Republican ticket to be a guest on her show.  Why?  She’s apparently afraid of the damage it will do … to Barack Obama:

“Half of her staff really wants Sarah Palin on,” an insider explains. “Oprah’s website is getting tons of requests to put her on, but Oprah and a couple of her top people are adamantly against it because of Obama.”

One executive close to Winfrey is warning any Palin ban could ignite a dramatic backlash!

One might assume that, given Winfrey’s demographics.  The largest part of her audience is white females over 55 years of age.  Almost four times as many women watch as men, although she does get about 1.7 million men a day to view her show.

How will that audience react to a freeze-out of Palin?  Many want to see Palin speak to their issues, and might assume that the most successful woman in American entertainment would welcome the opportunity to make that introduction.  Instead of making a business decision to do so, though, Winfrey has apparently made a political calculation that Palin will outshine the man she supports for President.

Obviously, someone is afraid of what will happen when Palin meets the American people through the media.  From what I see, it’s not John McCain or Sarah Palin who fears it.

Update: Oprah has issued a statement in response to the Drudge story:

The item in today’s Drudge Report is categorically untrue. There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. At the beginning of this Presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.

TMZ notes that Obama has appeared on Oprah twice, both before he announced his candidacy for the White House.