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RSS By: Steve Cornett, Beef Today

Read the latest blog from Steve Cornett.

Revisiting Oprah's Beef with Beef

May 24, 2011

One hates to brag on one’s local newspaper, but Chip Chandler did a very nice story recounting the Oprah Winfrey mad cow debacle of 1996.

It’s history I suppose. But you still see the occasional bumper sticker around town that says “The only mad cow in America is Oprah.”

At the time of the incident, I was thinking a couple of the smartest cattlemen I’ve ever known had made a mistake in taking on Oprah, who at the time polled as the most respected woman in the world.

Paul Engler apparently disagrees to this day. And he makes some good points.

I remain convinced that the bigger mistake was on the part of Ms. Winfrey and her producers for airing such a biased and --as subsequent history proves—inaccurate show. She bought into a panic and scared her viewers needlessly.

Which is not to say I’d have found her guilty of causing the market crash. That honor goes to the traders. They’re like a herd of baby calves, sniffing up to the pickup just hoping something scares them enough they can throw their tails in the air and start bucking and running. Traders love a stampede. All Oprah did was give them an excuse.

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