(09-18-2002) An Interferencer's Account at Oprah's Bono Taping - Interference.com

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ONE love, blood, life
Sep 22, 2001
new york city

An Interferencer's Account of the Taping

He did a great job, as did Oprah. I think it will shape up to be a good hour of TV. Keep in mind when you watch it that the audience he is talking to (Oprah viewers are over 3/4 female -- mostly in their 30's, 40's or 50's) for the most part hardly know who Bono is, if at all, let alone all of the information about Africa that we as U2 fans have come to know forwards, backwards, and inside out. So yeah you're going to see all of his usual favorite phrases. How an entire continent is bursting into flames and we're all standing around with watering cans. And how our generation is going to be known for a.) the internet and b.) the africa crisis. Or how there are another potential 10 Afghanistans in Africa. Or how America actually gives .1% of our GDP to aid poor countries.

But FWIW, Oprah herself was great. Funny and intelligent as always. And it was cool to see two of the most powerful, wealthiest people in showbusiness up there sharing their thoughts with each other and with us. As we understood it, they (and all their VIP people) went out to lunch afterwards and -- different as these two people are -- I am sure they hit it off quite well. Two people with not just big pocketbooks, but big ideas and big hearts too.

The basic rundown was something like this (if i remember correctly):

Before Bono came out, on the video screen, they had a little video montage, narrated by Oprah, briefing us on Bono growing up, how U2 came to be, and how they have become relevant in our culture over the years.

The major subject was Africa. Bono explained the concept of debt cancellation to everyone, how it came about, and what the DATA organization is -- he had to make a point to explain it, because it's likely that most people in this audience weren't familiar with it -- which is the main reason he did the show. Because through Oprah he could reach an audience (mostly middle-aged women) that he doesn't normally reach. We're talking about 20 million viewers.

Throughout the show they showed clips of Bono's trip to Africa, usually right after a commercial break, or between subjects.

They talked to Secretary O'Neill as well as Chris Tucker via satellite, and briefly talked with two college students that apparently traveled with Bono (and chris, and o'neill, and that whole big gaggle of reporters, lol) around Africa. Both kids were very moved by what they saw there, and that among other things they touched upon throughout the show, was quite moving. Although I dunno if that will translate on screen. But at some point Oprah commented that you can just feel Bono's passion in the room, and just his being there was inspiring to her.

Then what followed was a lot of Q&A. I don't recall too many of the questions because I was actually busy trying to focus on how I was going to ask my question in a way that would be short and to the point. (Like Bono, I have a tendancy to go on a bit, lol.) But I never got called on anyway....Which on one hand made me feel sorta dumb because Oprah essentially manuvered around me, calling on everyone in my section who had a question BUT me, then moving on to the other section, lol...But on the other hand, looking back I feel really relieved that she didn't call on me. I wanted to connect with Bono, and I had a few things that I thought they'd want to touch on, but ultimately I am glad that I didn't draw attention to myself.

I had been thinking about raising my hand (actually the procedure is to stand to ask a question) and asking Bono for a hug. But I didn't want to be the annoying kid that steered the show off topic, so I opted to wait 'till the After Oprah part. But soon enough, a girl on the other side of the audience had been standing to ask a question, but her question was answered and she was still standing when they called on her. So she coyly asked for a hug. And Oprah was like, "Come on, girl! If you're gonna ask for a hug, ask with confidence!" And I (still standing, lol) blurted out, "Well, she's asking *Bono*! If anything, she deserves applause for her bravery!" And Bono invited her to come sit on his lap for a bit, which she did. And Oprah joked about what the girl would tell her husband about this when he sees her sitting on some other guy's lap on the Oprah show! It was a cute bit...A welcomed lighthearted moment in the midst of all the sobering statistics about Africa that Bono had rattled off, and all the sad videos that had been shown throughout the show.

As for the rest of the questions that were asked...All I can really say is there was a good variety. We had some really good, well thought-out intelligent questions, and then of course there were the ladies who just wanted to tell Bono how great he is. And man, they really buttered him up! lol.

Oh and also of note -- for those of you who have the Oxygen network there is a new show on there called "After Oprah," which they filmed immediately after the Oprah show. Basically they just left the cameras rolling while people asked him more questions, etc.

If you want to look for me, I'm in the center section (facing the audience, it is 2 sections to the left of where Oprah walks out from at the beginning of the show), about 4 or 5 rows up. I have shoulderlength brown hair parted down the middle. And I'm wearing a dark brown-colored blouse. I was one of about 2 people in the audience who did not dress up or have any makeup so just look for the ugliest, most sleep-deprived looking person in the audience and that's a safe bet it's me.


Thank you, PaleBlueDot!
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