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Oprah & Friends

Aired September 25, 2006 - 21:00   ET



NATE BERKUS: This is exciting.

WINFREY: This is exciting. OK, here we go, oh!

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Oprah and friends, all the questions you want answered with the one and only Oprah herself and the stars of her new XM radio channel, Oprah and Friends. It launched today and they're here tonight together for the hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening. Today was a historic day in American radio, the beginning of Oprah and Friends. The channel made its debut on XM satellite radio on XM channel 156. And, to celebrate, Oprah and her friends joined the CEO of XM in ringing today's opening bell for the NASDAQ stock market and the market immediately went up and so we welcome them all here.

Oprah herself, who launched that channel; along with her is her friend Gayle King, popular TV personality as well, editor-at-large of "O", the Oprah magazine and "O at Home."

Dr. Robin Smith, psychologist and best-selling author, her latest book is "Lies at the Altar, the Truth About Great Marriages."

Jean Chatzky is a journalist, financial coach, money expert. Her new book is "Make Money not Excuses." That book, by the way, comes out tomorrow.

Nate Berkus is the interior designer and style expert, has a complete line of home products in Linens and Things stores.

Bob Greene, the famed exercise physiologist and fitness expert, best-selling author, his books include "Total Body Makeover."

Marianne Williamson, spiritual teacher, her best-selling books include "A Return to Grace."

And Dr. Mehmut Oz, noted cardiologist, professor, and vice chairman of surgery at Columbia, best-selling author, his books include "You, the Owner's Manual." Also a part of this is the noted poet who is not part of the group tonight, Maya Angelou is on once a week, right?

WINFREY: Dr. Angelou, yes, once a week.

KING: Why?

WINFREY: Well, why? I started out in radio, you know. In fact, we did. And I started out when I was 16 and I loved radio and then got called to do television actually. Somebody heard me and then said, "Would you like to come do television?"

And, I love radio. I love the intimacy of radio. And this all started out as an idea. Somebody approached me about putting the Oprah Show on radio and that evolved into all of my friends.

Because you know for years on the Oprah Show what I've been trying to do is uplift and entertain, give information, empower people. These are all people who have been on my show, who do that, and so I now have all of these seven friend who go out into the world.

KING: How did that lead to your own channel?

WINFREY: Well...

KING: I mean we have shows. Some of us had (INAUDIBLE). You have a channel.

WINFREY: I have a channel, channel 156 by the way it is on XM.

KING: I think I mentioned that but if I didn't go ahead.

WINFREY: Yes. So, like a channel because I had so many friends, so you couldn't get them all on one show.

KING: But how does it work they each do what?

WINFREY: Everybody has their own show.

KING: Every day?

WINFREY: Every -- Gayle is every day. Dr. Robin is every day. Marianne is once a week. You're three times a week. You're once a week. Bob is once a week.

KING: And a lot is repeated then?

WINFREY: Yes and then it repeats, yes.

KING: And what do you do?

WINFREY: Well, I am the O of O.

KING: I mean are you on a lot?

WINFREY: No, I'm not on a lot at all. It's my friends who are on a lot. I'm on a -- Gayle and I do a radio show called, it's a reality radio show where our nightly phone calls are recorded. And we're having problems with it because so much has to be edited out because of the things that we say. But it is -- it is our actual phone conversations.

KING: How often do you talk?

GAYLE KING: So you'll be tuning in, huh Larry?

KING: And a lot of people. How often do you talk?

WINFREY: We talk every day, often several times a day.

G. KING: Yes. We've been friends a long time you know.

KING: How did it start?

G. KING: So that won't be hard to have the conversation. What will be hard is giving a conversation that we can share with other people.


G. KING: That will be hard.

KING: How did that friendship start?

WINFREY: We started -- I was in -- I was the anchor on what was it WJX-TV. I was the anchor.

KING: In Baltimore.

WINFREY: In Baltimore and she was a production assistant. There was a snowstorm. She couldn't get home. I said, "You can stay at my house." She said, "I don't have any clean underwear." I said, "I have clean underwear. I'll loan you mine and then you can keep it." That's how it started.

G. KING: But, Larry, you know what's so extraordinary about that in a newsroom. You know newsroom hierarchy. The anchor is here. The production assistant is here. So, it was -- it's unheard of really for a news anchor to invite the production assistant to her home but we were the same age.


G. KING: We liked some of the same things and so for her to extend herself in that way was extraordinary to me.

WINFREY: And, at the time, I was 22 making $22,000.

G. KING: And I was 21, making 12. It still ain't changed.

KING: I don't know if you heard what Mr. Graham said about you?

G. KING: Yes, oh yes I watched. KING: Friday night and he was very kind.

G. KING: I thought that was very nice.

KING: (INAUDIBLE). Do you -- are you angry at the rumors?


KING: I know you denied it.

WINFREY: Well, of course, I denied it.

KING: Why did you even have to do that?

WINFREY: I didn't just deny it. It's not true. I didn't just deny it. It's not true.

G. KING: Right.

KING: Why did you even bring it up?

WINFREY: Because we were doing an interview with my magazine and that was the first question that came up and I...

G. KING: The first.

WINFREY: The first question and, you know, if I had known that it was going to become this firestorm of, you know, rumors I never would have said anything. So, I heard your question to Stedman Graham last Friday. Should we have ever brought it up? I think the answer is no.

KING: That's what he told me.

WINFREY: Because what he said, what you focus on expands. So, if we never said anything about it, I think it would have been better.

KING: How did it harm you, Gayle, if at all?

G. KING: Oh, I was -- I don't feel harmed at it. I don't feel harmed by it at all. And what bothers me is there's this impression that we have to "clear our names" about something that if it was true -- that's what so troubling about it, Larry. If it was true, we would so tell you.


G. KING: Because each of us believes...

WINFREY: Why don't you ask the friends?

G. KING: Because each of us believes there's nothing wrong. There's nothing wrong with it.

WINFREY: All these people know -- Bob Greene has known me for how long? How long? A long time. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A long time.

BOB GREENE: Fourteen, 15 years.

WINFREY: Yes, 15 years, and every -- you know...

G. KING: And anybody who has a true friend knows what we're talking about. There is no question in their mind about it.


G. KING: It's so stupid.


G. KING: But I...

WINFREY: I will never address it again. I knew you were going to bring it up but I am never going to address it again because I've said many...

G. KING: What will you say if somebody asks you?

WINFREY: I will say "I'm never addressing it again. Get the tape of the Larry King show" because I have said it and said it and said it and so I think the principle that what you focus on expands is true and the more attention you give to it the more people talk about it. And, apparently people must think I'm a liar because I've said it isn't true.

G. KING: Which would bother you even more that people think you were, yes.

WINFREY: Which really is troubling to me and I don't think there's anything wrong with being gay.

G. KING: Right.

WINFREY: And, if I were, I would tell you.

G. KING: Tell you.

KING: Why, Gayle, do you think in association you've become a fuel of the tabloids?

G. KING: Well, Larry, I'm divorced. There's no one in my life.

KING: So is 80 million people.


G. KING: Yes, but I mean but...

WINFREY: No, but I think it's because we're always together.

G. KING: ...we spend a lot of time together. WINFREY: We spend a lot of time together.

G. KING: We spend a lot of time together.

KING: How about that road trip?

G. KING: Well, we did the road but, you know, we go different places together.

WINFREY: A road trip, don't bring that up.

G. KING: But, Larry, stuff that you do with a friend, stuff that you do with a friend.

WINFREY: Yes. And every woman out there who has a best friend knows what we're talking about. They get it.

G. KING: Yes, absolutely.

WINFREY: So this is -- I'm not discussing it anymore.

G. KING: Now, if I was married, if I was married I don't think we would ever have this -- this -- nobody would bring this up if I was married.

KING: You did eleven days in a car?


G. KING: Yes, we did.

KING: From Santa Barbara to?

WINFREY: New York.

G. KING: I thought it was a great time. She feels differently about it. I had a ball.

WINFREY: It was not a great time for me.

KING: Who drove?

WINFREY: We both drove.

G. KING: We both drove.

WINFREY: We switched driving, yes.

KING: What kind of car?

WINFREY: A Chevrolet.

G. KING: A Chevy Impala.

WINFREY: That was the whole point to see the U.S. in a Chevrolet. You remember that commercial right? KING: Oh, 100 years ago.

WINFREY: Yes, it wasn't 100.

KING: So you drove in one of those old Chevys?

WINFREY: I drove in (INAUDIBLE) a new Chevy. I don't want an old Chevy.

G. KING: No, it was a 2006 Chevy.

WINFREY: No, no. But the new Chevys got smaller. The old Chevys used to be bigger.

KING: I know.


KING: Did you do features along the way?

WINFREY: Yes, we stopped and met people and things.

KING: Because it wouldn't have taken 11 days if you just drove.


G. KING: Well (INAUDIBLE), Larry, some people can drive across country in three days. I don't know how you do that. And we were going at a pretty good clip, not that we were speeding but a couple times we hit 80.

WINFREY: No, she was -- she -- she -- I'm an 80 mile driver. She drives like 100 because she doesn't like to have any cars in front of her.

G. KING: I don't know if it was 100.

WINFREY: It was 100.

G. KING: I don't know if it was 100.

WINFREY: It was 100, yes.

KING: Why did you hate it?

G. KING: Good question.

WINFREY: Good question.

KING: We'll get to all of you. We haven't forgotten you.

WINFREY: Yes, a lot of bad...

KING: Oprah said at the beginning, by the way.

WINFREY: I said, "Don't pay any attention to him." KING: "Don't pay any attention to me" which is...

WINFREY: Yes, focus on all my friends.

KING: That should be called in heaven good luck. What didn't you like?

WINFREY: I didn't like -- first of all, I never estimated what -- how long it takes to drive and that you're in the car. I don't know what I thought.

G. KING: And how grueling it is.

WINFREY: It's grueling. That road is grueling. You can't take your eyes off the road (INAUDIBLE).

G. KING: You got to pay attention.

WINFREY: A lot of bad hotels. I was thinking that my...

KING: Did you stay in like...

WINFREY: Bad hotels, yes.

KING: You stayed in a bad hotel?

WINFREY: Yes, bad, smelly, moldy hotels. That's what I didn't like about it.

KING: Did you have a camera crew in the car?

G. KING: There were four cameras in the car.

WINFREY: There were four cameras in the car, yes.

G. KING: And camera people behind us but four cameras in the car, so you capture every single moment in the car.


G. KING: You have to watch.

KING: Did you eat in KFC's?

WINFREY: No, we ate at...

G. KING: Dairy Queen.

WINFREY: We ate a lot of -- we ate a lot of bad food.

G. KING: Cracker Barrel.

WINFREY: Dr. Oz, Bob Greene, we ate a lot of bad food because there's bad food on the road.

G. KING: Well because we stopped at convenience stores, so you're getting pork rind. Nothing against pork rinds but we're eating pork rinds.

WINFREY: And barbecued Fritos.

KING: Do you still find the same allure of radio that you had when you started?

WINFREY: You know what I love about radio it's like talking to one person. It feels so intimate.

KING: There's nothing up tight about it.

WINFREY: Nothing. It's just, yes. When I listened to it like the other day I was listening to Dr. Oz, I thought he was just talking to me. Maya Angelou has a voice for radio, so I feel like...

KING: Theater of the mind.

WINFREY: Yes, is that what it is?

KING: That's what they call it.


KING: Of course, you can make it anything you want.

WINFREY: OK that's fantastic.

KING: You can picture it any way you want.

WINFREY: It's theater of the mind my friends.

KING: No, you go on radio and say "Here I am sitting on the side of a mountain." Who cares?

WINFREY: Who cares?

G. KING: I'm going to try that.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Oprah and Friends. And we'll meet them all right after this.

WINFREY: Let's meet them all.


G. KING: Oh, boy. (INAUDIBLE) anxiety before it's over.

WINFREY: What does it say the sign over there?

G. KING: Well...

WINFREY: You should know the last time I pumped gas 1983, Baltimore. Oh, this can't be possible. Okay.

G. KING: Ms. Winfrey is losing her pleasing personality and it's not pretty. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you dining alone?

WINFREY: I'm sure Gayle will be in when her song is over.




BERKUS: Hey, everybody it's Nate Berkus on the Nate Berkus Show.

DR. ROBIN SMITH: Welcome to the Dr. Robin Show. It's about learning.

DR. MEHMET OZ: This is Dr. Oz. This show is about getting folks to appreciate the most precious thing they've ever inherited, their own bodies.

JEAN CHATZKY: I'm Jean Chatzky.

BOB GREENE: The Best Life program with Bob Greene is what this is all about.

WINFREY: And my dear friend, Dr. Maya Angelou and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson round out the XM crew.


KING: We're back with the group. And I'll mention the name and we'll go around and Oprah will tell us a little bit about each and how they got to be part of this offering, which started today on 156, XM 156.

WINFREY: One fifty-six.

KING: Who is Dr. Robin Smith?

WINFREY: Well, Dr. Robin Smith is a psychologist. She used to have patients before she came on my show. She came on our show and I loved her because she was -- she has not just psychological advantage in terms of analyzing people but she also has such common sense. And she can answer any question. I don't care what the problem is she has an answer for it.

KING: Why do you like doing it?

SMITH: Because it allows me to really show up for who I am and invite the caller to show up. I mean in a real way, in a way that's unencumbered and un, you know, trapped by looks and what someone is afraid in terms of judgment.

KING: Do you miss patient-to-patient relationships though?

SMITH: I still see a few people who I've seen for years but, no, not really. I mean I did that for a long time, so to be honest. The other thing I just want to throw in, if I can, is when you were talking about the issue of friendship and Gayle and Oprah.

I mean one of the things that the Dr. Robin Show on Oprah and Friends, XM 156, is going to talk about, the issue of their friendship being misunderstood is really an indictment, Larry, on our country because we don't understand what genuine connection is. We have no clue about what real friendship and what real intimacy is. So when we see it, we don't recognize it.

WINFREY: Don't know what to call it.

SMITH: And so we start labeling it and mis-labeling it because when I don't understand you, instead of being curious and maybe even thinking like I like what they have, I get jealous and I become critical. And so, part of my show is to help us awaken.

KING: So the problem is us?


SMITH: Very much so.

WINFREY: And this is what I want to say too because for years I've done the shows where people were on with their best friends and their best friend slept with their husband or their best friend -- and I never understood that kind of friendship.

G. KING: How this could happen.

WINFREY: I said, "Well that must not be -- that's not the kind of friendship we have." Isn't that right Marianne?

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON: That's what you said she's not a real friend if she slept with your husband.

WINFREY: That's not a real best friend that can sleep with your husband.

KING: Jean Chatzky, who is she, Oprah?

WINFREY: Well, Jean is our financial expert. We did a series this past year called the Debt Diet, where we tried to put millions of people on a financial diet to look at their lives because this country is, as you know, in debt and so many people live their lives trying to keep up with everybody else.

And, Jean was so fantastic on that show helping those people that I -- we became fast friends because her common sense, no nonsense approach to financial difficulties is exactly what I think the country needs.

KING: Why are finances so hard? Why do most of us fail economics?

JEAN CHATZKY: Because you're talking to somebody who got a C in economics in college and the problem is that we don't have anywhere real to talk about these things. We grow up in homes where nobody talks to us about money.


CHATZKY: We'll talk about sex. We'll talk about everything else under the sun. We won't talk about money because we're embarrassed and ashamed. We feel bad. We feel that we're not doing as well as we possibly could.

WINFREY: And parents never tell their kids about money because they want them to think -- they always say "We don't have enough money" but they never say how much money we really do have.

CHATZKY: Right and parents want to be...

G. KING: I still don't know what my father made. I remember asking my mother how much does my father make and she said, "We don't talk about that." That's a rude question.

CHATZKY: Well she may not have known, right? She may not have even known how much.

G. KING: I do think -- I do think she knew because she was doing the checkbooks but she said that's a rude question to ask somebody and you should never ask anybody how much they make.

CHATZKY: Well and it's not a rude question anymore because what we're going to do on my show on XM 156 we can all say that and then we'll get it out there enough times.

BERKUS: I'm not going to say it.

CHATZKY: OK. We're going to give people a place where they can say, "Hey, I'm worried about my money. I don't understand this." There are not stupid questions. We'll give them the answers. We'll bring in fabulous guests, let people call in, and enable people that come to terms with owning their money.

KING: As we go around and meet everybody and then we'll have wide open discussions here. Nate Berkus, how did he come to you?

WINFREY: He is our cutie pie decorator. We call him cutie pie. He came -- Nate, where did you come from? You've been with us four years.

KING: Are you making an advance here?

WINFREY: No, I'm not making an advance. I'm covered. I'm covered. So, where did you come from? You were on the show one time.

BERKUS: One time and it was the small space makeover and...

WINFREY: Four hundred square feet.

BERKUS: Yes and...

WINFREY: He did a -- he redecorated somebody's apartment that was 400 square feet. I've never seen anything like it.

KING: Because most of America knows him from the tragedy of losing his friend in the tsunami.

WINFREY: Oh, that's right in the tsunami. But he had been with us already a couple years when that happened.

BERKUS: Yes, yes, that's true.

WINFREY: Yes. And then when Nate was caught in the tsunami, you know, our whole team was trying to get him out.

BERKUS: The first call I made, called the TV producer.

WINFREY: Call the TV producer to get you out. Get me on CNN.

BERKUS: I didn't lose any time. I called the TV producer.



WINFREY: The producer got him on CNN, called CNN and then he got on CNN.

BERKUS: Yes, that's right.

KING: How does interior design work on the radio?

BERKUS: You know, actually yes it's funny because I actually heard that you, Oprah, thought it wouldn't be that great of an idea at first.

WINFREY: Yes, I did at first.

BERKUS: OK. So which is a really great thing going into a new radio show thinking (INAUDIBLE).

WINFREY: (INAUDIBLE). It's so good of you to point it out.

BERKUS: The truth is I mean it's...

KING: The host is against you (INAUDIBLE).

BERKUS: I'm up against some challenges.

WINFREY: I frankly said "How the hell is he going to do decorating on radio?" That's what I said.

BERKUS: Right, well somebody said how is it a visual, so it's a fantastic question. But I think the truth is, is that, you know, really design in general isn't just about picking pretty things and living with expensive things and things like that. It's about knowing yourself well enough to know what decisions that you should make, what colors make you happy, what make you feel peaceful.

WINFREY: You're really good.

BERKUS: Thanks. Oprah is going good.


BERKUS: But really like who are you, where do you come from, where's your heritage from? What parts of yourself do you want to honor through how you're living? And so, when you get to know yourself then you create an interior that is actually a reflection of you and who you aspire to be.

KING: Most people don't know that no matter what their income they can use an interior designer.

BERKUS: Absolutely.

KING: Because you get the rake off from the furniture people. You don't really charge the person right?

BERKUS: Well, I don't want to go into my whole fee schedule obviously but, no, we do charge a fee for interior design.


BERKUS: Like...

WINFREY: He's done some designs for me and it's a pretty good fee let me tell you.

KING: I thought they make it from where they buy the furniture.


BERKUS: No, no, it's -- it changes...

WINFREY: You need to talk to Shawn. You need to talk to...

GREENE: He charged you?

WINFREY: Oh, yes, yes, and I wanted to pay him too but you need to talk to Shawn about your...

KING: OK, I'll find out.

WINFREY: Yes. No, no, no, no. You must have some hefty decorating bills at your house.

CHATZKY: We've seen your house.

KING: No, she said it was a turnkey, good luck.

GREENE: Right turnkey, see you later.


GREENE: The key to your wallet. WINFREY: Turnkey to your wallet.

BERKUS: No but you know what that's actually what I love about being on the radio and what I've loved about being on the Oprah Winfrey Show for the last four years is that I now have access to people who wouldn't typically have access to a designer that's doing all these projects. And it's great because it's not -- it's not based on money. It's, you know, anyone can take a weekend and paint their walls if they want to.

WINFREY: He's one of the nicest designers I know. You know they're normally snooty people.

KING: Oh, yes.

WINFREY: Yes, a lot of snooty designers, a lot of up tight, snooty designers who want to impose their taste on you.

KING: You don't want that color do you?

WINFREY: You want color?

KING: All right, let's take a break. We'll come back and meet the other members and then everybody tunes in, tunes in to 156 on XM. Don't go away.

WINFREY: Thanks. Thanks.


WINFREY: She said to me, "Why are you fat?"

G. KING: That bluntly too?


KING: No one ever had said it?

WINFREY: Nobody had said why are you fat?

G. KING: No.

WINFREY: And I always -- thank you, Gayle. I had read Marianne Williamson's book in 1992 called "Return to Love." I didn't have a book club or an idea of a book club. I loved that book so much. I went out and bought 1,000 copies of the book and I kept...

KING: Like we all did.

WINFREY: One thousand copies, I ordered 1,000 copies.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. MAYA ANGELOU: Oprah, the first time, 20 years ago...


ANGELOU: ...came down to North Carolina and we had -- I cooked some smothered chicken and she ate each bite. She -- you saw what she did with everything just, oh my God, (INAUDIBLE). And finally she asked what is the name of this? And I said smothered chicken. She said, "No, that's not the real name. This chicken never knew what hit it. This is suffocated chicken."


KING: A reminder that the great poetess, poetess?


KING: Poet, I thought poet was male.

WINFREY: No, now we're -- it's just poet.

KING: OK. Maya Angelou is also part of this scene. She'll be heard once a week.

And before we meet our next three members of the panel, an e-mail for Oprah from Judy in Princeton, New Jersey: "Oprah, I'm looking forward to your radio shows. Are there any topics you will not discuss?"

WINFREY: Oh, we discuss everything. Between the seven of us there's nothing that's off limits, not one thing.

KING: OK. Our next panelist here tonight and part of your group is Bob Greene.


KING: Oh, Bob.

WINFREY: Bob, Bobby, my brother. Bob started being my trainer in 1990...


WINFREY: And since...

KING: How did you find him?

WINFREY: I was -- oh, this is a story we told in the book. I was 237 pounds, yes I was and...

G. KING: The new heavyweight champion.

WINFREY: Yes, I weighed more than the heavyweight champion. I had gone to the Emmy's. I couldn't even get out of my chair I was so embarrassed to win. I was hoping that Donahue was going to win because I didn't want to get out of my chair. And, I left there and I went to a spa to try to one more time to try to start that weight loss thing.

And I ran into Bob Greene and Bob Greene really changed my life. I would have to say he's had an enormous influence on my life because he started asking me the questions. He said to me, "Why are you fat?"

G. KING: That bluntly too.


KING: No one ever had said it.

WINFREY: Nobody had said why are you fat?

G. KING: No.

WINFREY: And I always -- thank you Gayle.

G. KING: I know. I'm sorry, I thought he was talking to me, no never Larry and I was so struck by that.

WINFREY: No one had ever said to me and I was thinking, well I said "I just love potato chips. I just love to eat food." And then he just kept saying, "But that is not the real reason. What is the real reason?"

And he asked me another question when was the last time you were happy? Yes, and I had to say at that time I couldn't remember. I said, this was in 1992, I said "When I was doing "The Color Purple" which was 1985, so he said "You haven't really been happy in seven years?"

GREENE: And there was a pause too, so it took you a while to...

WINFREY: To come up with "The Color Purple".

GREEN: ...think "Well, when was I happy the last time?

WINFREY: When was I happy?

KING: What do we mean by exercised physiologist?

GREENE: Well that means I have an advanced degree in studying how the body processes food and how it reacts to exercise.

WINFREY: It means he just didn't go out and get a little trainer's license or something.

KING: So, it's more than just get on the treadmill and do this 100 times?

GREENE: Yes, because most people when they want to drop weight, for example, concentrate on eating and usually eating in a temporary way. You learn, most people that struggle with this issue, it's a lot deeper. There's an emotional component. There's a resistance to exercise. And you need to combine and understand the person's emotions behind it.

KING: Was Oprah easy to work with, honest now?

GREENE: I would say, yes, but after the first week we had our challenges and I'll never forget this because interesting enough as an adult at 33 was when I met her. I didn't own a TV, so it was very interesting to go into the mountains of Colorado...

WINFREY: I lived in Telluride then.

GREENE: ...and she meets someone that maybe very few people that don't -- have never seen her on TV. Maybe I saw a commercial in passing at some point but so I think that was really to my advantage. And then I went back to Chicago to work with her.

And I remember the first day we would work out hard in the morning and then we would come back and that was more -- and that's to get in more exercise just to see how her day went and to kind of recap how it went.

WINFREY: Tell him the story of the time -- I just have to say this person he's told me the truth more than anybody else in my life. He's just right there. So, one time I was late. I was late.

GREENE: That's where, yes, that's the story.

WINFREY: You were going there? I was late meeting him.

GREENE: Oh, yes.

WINFREY: And he said, "My time is just as important as your time and you're not going to waste my time. So, if you're not here on time, I won't be here either."

GREENE: Actually we were in my car.


GREENE: On our way to the gym and it was after five days and she was progressively later each of the evening sessions and, you know, I know she has a busy life but still, it's about respecting.

That is the problem is procrastinating and not honoring yourself. And I said, you know, "You're really not honoring yourself and your disrespecting my time." And I'm watching her face because we had just met...

WINFREY: We just met, yes.

GREENE: And the jaw dropped and I could tell not a lot of people talked to her that way. And I'm thinking, oh my bags are packed. I'm ready to -- I'm ready to ship out really quick. And she said, "I am so sorry and it will never happen again" and it really didn't.

WINFREY: And it didn't.

KING: Marianne Williamson...

WINFREY: Oh, Marianne Williamson.

KING: ...I think we all know.

WINFREY: We all know.

KING: But how did she hook up with you?

WINFREY: How -- you know what happened was I had read Marianne Williamson's book in 1992 called "A Return to Love." I didn't have a book club nor an idea of a book club. I loved that book so much. I went out and bought 1,000 copies of the book and I kept...

KING: As we all did.

WINFREY: Yes, 1,000 copies. I ordered 1,000 copies of the book just so that I could share that book with all my friends and share that book with everybody I knew. And, I couldn't even believe that she would actually come on the show and talk about it.

And the very first time she came on the show and talked about it she became a friend afterwards. Everybody knows I've struggled with weight. And there was a time in my life when I was so down and desperate for answers.

I called up Marianne and asked her, "Can you tell me why do you think -- why do you think I can't end this struggle?" And she wrote me a letter and in that letter she said, "Our deepest fear is not that we're inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we're powerful beyond measure." What was the rest of that?

WILLIAMSON: It's not our light -- no, it's not our darkness that frightens us. It's our light that most frightens us. And you ask yourself who are you to be on top of all your other talents, you know, fabulous and gorgeous too and brilliant and so...

WINFREY: So, she writes me this in a letter. And years later, I hear this piece that she's written to me is on the Internet and everybody is saying that it's Nelson Mandela's speech from his inauguration.

And I'm like, "That is not Nelson Mandela's speech. I have got the letter that she wrote to me." And so for a long time, on the Internet and throughout the world, people have quoted that piece about our deepest fear, thinking it was Nelson Mandela, but it was really Marianne Williamson.

L. KING: Do you ever doubt your faith?

WILLIAMSON: No, I don't doubt my God. I doubt my faith in God sometimes, but I never doubt God.

L. KING: Like you see a tsunami.

WILLIAMSON: Right. L. KING: You don't doubt it?

WILLIAMSON: Well, I believe that everybody who passed from the tsunami or anything else is still safe in the hands of God. I don't believe, in that sense, in death itself. And I don't believe God made the tsunami happen. You know, it's like when terrible things happen...

L. KING: Could have prevented that, though, couldn't he?

WILLIAMSON: I don't believe that the natural order works that way, and I think -- and probably, Nate -- I haven't talked to Nate personally about this, but I've talked to enough people who have gone through tragedies. You know, when we are outside a tragedy, we tend to have these conversations like, "How could God let this happen?" But often when you talk to people whose lives were most directly affected, they get more of a sense, a natural sense, that there's more of a mystery here. I mean...


WILLIAMSON: I think that was true for 9/11, also. The whole country goes into a very, you know, revenge scene and anger scene, but the people whose lives were most affected became transcendent.

So God -- there's a line in the Bible, "What man intends for evil, God intends for good." So the idea isn't not just -- it's not just something bad happened, but what, through something that happens inside us because of something bad happened, happened....


WINFREY: And I'm sure if you talked to the people of Katrina, you would get a lot of the same answers, also.

WILLIAMSON: Of course.


WILLIAMSON: It changes your life. So that's really what it's about.

L. KING: And how, Oprah, did Dr. Oz come into the picture?

WINFREY: I saw Dr. Oz on the Discovery Channel, and I thought he was the cutest heart surgeon I had ever seen. I thought he was so cute and so knowledgeable. I asked him to come on my show.

I used to always say, if ever I needed a doctor, that's the doctor I'd want, because of his bedside manner. You know, he's director of cardiology at Columbia. He's a big hot shot.

L. KING: One of his partners did surgery on me. Wayne Isom is the director, right, at New York Presbyterian.

OZ: He absolutely is. L. KING: And he knows...


WINFREY: He knows everything about the body. We did a whole show on my show where we talked about things, bowels and things, for an hour. He's just so knowledgeable about the body, and I think he's going to offer incredible information for people to not only know about their bodies, but to take care of them in a better way.

L. KING: Why'd you choose cardiology?

OZ: Actually, I'm a surgeon. So I'm a heart surgeon, which is sort of a nice field, because you get to learn how the body works. But if you like using your hands, it's a good place to play, inside the heart, as you know.

But one of the things that excites me about the radio show, though, is that we spend a lot of our time as doctors talking in this kind of a format, but one-on-one. And one day it sort of hits you, that epiphany, that it's not going to work that way. You've got to get the message out more broadly.

And I would argue that we have the best educated population ever in the history of mankind about our bodies, but we don't use that knowledge.

L. KING: So what's the good then?

OZ: Well, the good -- but there's a solution, I think. There's no good to having knowledge without action, without understanding, but I think we can teach understanding. But it's not going to happen with sound bytes, it's not going to happen with headline news.

We need to sit down with people in the comfort of their own home, or their cars, in a more intimate setting.

You know, when you're a family, and you sit around -- and we're sort of family, we're friends but we're family, too -- you don't talk about things you agree about. You talk about things that are problems.

So I want to find out, you know -- I have to make my number unlisted at home, because they keep calling me for advice.


L. KING: We'll get a break, we'll come back, and then everybody chimes in. We'll be right back. Big day for "Oprah and Friends." Don't go away.


L. KING: "Oprah and Friends" is now on channel 156 on XM Radio, debuted today. We've got the whole panel here, except for Mia Angelo.

Dr. Smith, what's the biggest psychological problem most people face?

SMITH: Fear. Fear, no question. Fear, which translates into self-hatred or the hatred of others. So I either act out on myself or I act out on you.

And why do I do that? Because I don't feel good enough. I'm afraid that I'm not enough.

WINFREY: But don't you think, Robin, most people don't even know that they're afraid? Because I remember asking this guy who was saying that on the show once, and he goes, I'm not afraid of nothing.

SMITH: Oh, right. Well, you know what? And people who tell me they're not afraid of anything, I'm afraid of them, and the reason I say that is because they're so unconscious, they're so asleep about where fear lives in them and how they act out because they're afraid. That's what competition is about, that there's not enough room for all of us at the table, not enough food at the table for all of us. So I'm scared.

L. KING: Gayle, what do you fear the most?


G. KING: What do I fear the most? I don't know, Larry. I'm trying to think of something that I'm really afraid of that's really significant, other than heights. You know, I know you mean something really philosophical, but I don't have anything like that in my life right now.

WINFREY: I have a deep fear. I have a deep fear of not fulfilling my potential on earth.

L. KING: You're kidding.


L. KING: You don't think yet that you've fulfilled ...

WINFREY: No, I definitely do not think I've fulfilled it.

L. KING: So you're a failure?

WINFREY: I'm not a failure, but I don't feel like that I have used my life to the highest good. I feel like the television show was the foundation for doing other things in the world, and that, you know once -- I'm 52, and something happens to you around 50, I think, when you realize you don't have as much time left as you had had. And so my fear is not using what I have to the greatest and highest order.

L. KING: How, Dr. Oz, do you deal with patients' fear? Do they teach that in medical school?

OZ: You learn a lot from your parents, actually. But you do have mentors, and we speak a lot about fear. Anybody who is not scared going into heart surgery needs a psychiatrist. WINFREY: Yes.


OZ: And there are folks that haven't woken up to the reality, but illness is a great growth opportunity. There's a lot of things that you can do as you overcome a problem in your life. And I always liken it to climbing a mountain. If you enter it with fear, or any other athletic endeavor, you're not going to thrive. But there's usually a message there. There's something deeper than you can connect to, and you can learn a lot about yourself and people in your life.


WINFREY: I never asked you this question. What did it feel like -- because I'm down to "Grey's Anatomy" -- what did it feel like the first time you held a heart in your hand?

OZ: Well, the heart is sacred. I mean, there's a reason why the poets speak about our hearts. It's like the back of a boa constrictor. It's this powerful muscle that's quivering. You know, the heart doesn't empty blood like a balloon emptying water. It's like a towel being wrung of water. That's how it empties the blood.

So this boa constrictor is twisting and twisting, and here you are in there, and you've got to find some way or taming that beast. And you can't overpower it. You can't beat it up. You have to caress it and soften it.

L. KING: And the patient, all his life, whenever I see Dr. Isom, I have an attachment to him.


L. KING: It's like nothing. He held my heart, and I constantly feel it. I constantly feel it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He saved your life. He held your heart, yes.


L. KING: Jean, fear in finance, big?

CHATZKY: Huge, because fear is what stops us from starting, and if you can't start -- you know, finance is one of those strange worlds in which there are no right answers. I think that's why we, as women, have so much trouble with it. We like to know the right answer before we approach any question, but with money, with things like investments, you know, something may be good enough. Nothing will ever be perfect, and so that fear ...

WINFREY: If you've ever lost a lot of money in investments, and some people have.

CHATZKY: And so many people have.

WINFREY: Then you're fearful forever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're terrified.


WINFREY: Gayle lost a bunch of money on investors, so she's like I'm going to keep mine in a shoebox underneath my bed.


CHATZKY: But then you're losing too, because we have to gtet people...

WINFREY: But it's a shoebox you know.

CHATZKY: It's a shoebox you know, but it's shoebox that inflation and taxes are eating away at and you have to get your stuff into this game.

L. KING: I've got to take a break. When we come back, we'll ask Marianne about fear in faith. Just thought of that one.

WINFREY: That's good.

L. KING: Nate, is there any fear in interior design?

WINFREY: A lot. It's all fear. There's probably more fear in interior design than there is in faith.

L. KING: Fear in exercise too.

WINFREY: People are so afraid of making the wrong mistake. We'll be right back with more. Don't forge the fear channel, 156. Don't go away.


L. KING: We're back with the panel.

I don't know how we hooked on fear, but, Nate, what's your feeling in interior design? How it's going to come out? Will the client like it?

BERKUS: There's so much fear involved in design. I mean, people would stand paralyzed in front of a sofa and refuse to make a single decision, because they're afraid.

WINFREY: That is true. You're laughing, it is so true.

BERKUS: It's so true and, legitimately, they're afraid of wasting their money, their hard-earned money. They're afraid that it's not going to come out looking like, you know, a makeover on the "Oprah Winfrey Show."

G. KING: You don't want to feel like you don't have any taste. Decorats can make you feel so badly about things you like.

WINFREY: He doesn't do that though.

BERKUS: That's so true though.

G. KING: I know you don't, but others do.

BERKUS: But you know, even though -- that often goes back into the whole idea of designing for yourself and creating an environment that speaks to you and who you want to be, because people are afraid to not have what other people have.

They're afraid to not have red walls if their neighbor has red walls, because they think that's what the magazine stated or whatever it is. So it's absolutely fear-based.

WINFREY: Because you can't change it. I had chocolate walls down the hallway and then I realized Bob Greene said to me, "Change the chocolate hallway. We feel like we're going through a dungeon every time."

WILLIAMSON: I honestly liked the chocolate.

GREENE: No, I didn't like it. And every time I went through it, to get her to jog off and realized it was wrong, I would pretend like I couldn't see.

WINFREY: It was because I was thinking, but I already did it. It's the money. I don't want to spend anymore money.

G. KING: She said the same thing to me about a couch that I had paid a lot of money for, but once it came, I didn't like it. She goes, "But you don't like it, but it cost so much money." You think, I can't just throw it out. But I ended up doing it, because it was so annoying walking past it.

WINFREY: You want to get a word in? Go ahead.


WINFREY: Larry would like to speak.

GREENE: Come on Larry, you're always on television.

L. KING: What's the name of this show?

WINFREY: Oprah and Friends.

L. KING: Dark chocolate is healthier.

Bob, the biggest fear, is it exercise?

GREENE: Well, it's about changing your life. What I help people do is change their life and, obviously, fear change is the number one thing. And what you really need to do is you can also use fear.

Oprah said something really important, where her fear is not living up to her potential. So you have to introduce that to someone and that has to counteract the fact that their fear of changing the way their life is today.

WINFREY: Because most people who lose significant amounts of weight end up having to change something significant in their life and a lot of times it mean getting rid of their husband, getting out of a bad relationship.

GREENE: Bad job.

WINFREY: Changing a job.

GREENE: Whatever it is, it all boils down to a significant change, not a small one.

L. KING: Change is the biggest fear.


L. KING: We'll be right back with more. Don't go away.


L. KING: I hate to bring up myself. My biggest fear is fear of dying.

Is that common, Marianne?

WILLIAMSON: Well, not only is it common, but I think the biggest fear that people are feeling these days goes way beyond any of these personal issues.

We're afraid of a rogue nuke, we're afraid of terrorism, we're afraid of what's happening in this country, we're afraid of what's happening in this world, and there's a big silence in the popular dialogue these days.

So I think, you know, if you could call the '80s or the '90s the "me" decade, I think this is the "we" decade. I think our biggest problems are problems that we share.

So when we talk about spiritual solutions, it's not just a matter of looking deep and rethinking our own lives. We have to look deep and rethink our country's lives, the state of the species, the globe, and I think that's the conversation not only where there's the deepest fear, but it's also where there's the deepest opportunity.

And I think it's interesting, because so many people over the last few years have, on shows like "Oprah" and various books, talked about the principles that enable us to make our lives better.

And now I think the pulse of the moment is if these principles of how I might rethink who I am and who I am in the world and how I'm showing up and presenting myself and behaving, if it applies to an individual, and these kinds of ideas uplift an individual life, now we need to apply that to our country and we need to apply that to the world.

It's not just your soul that matters. It's the soul of the country that matters.

WINFREY: And other countries.

WILLIAMSON: Absolutely, because for an individual, it's how you exist in relation to other people. And for our nation, it's how do you relate to other people and how do you other people feel about you when you talk to them or relate to them. So to me, it's a national fear that's really what people are thinking. That's the elephant on the table.

WINFREY: We do have it and nobody talks about it.

WILLIAMSON: And hope, national hope.

WINFREY: Nobody talks about it but you will.

WILLIAMSON: XM 156. I've got that line down.

L. KING: (INAUDIBLE) a brilliant, great lawyer, a friend of mine. I asked him once if he was optimistic or pessimistic and he said, "Of course, I'm pessimistic. I'm intelligent." Isn't that the usual case? Shouldn't we be? Isn't it logical to be pessimistic?

SMITH: Well, I think if you're not -- if you're asleep. But if you're awake, there's no way you'd be pessimistic, because you would see all of the potential in yourself and in others.

And how could we sit in this circle right now, this sacred, holy room, where there are people who are talking about money and minds and holding hearts in our hands, and be pessimistic? I mean, how could I do that?

L. KING: There's a real bond somewhere.

SMITH: But let me say this. There's a quote that says that a soul would rather die than to live its life as someone else. And I think that part of what we're talking about is how can people live the lives -- their best life. Not my life for Gayle or Gayle's life for me, but helping Robin be who she was born to be and Gayle and Oprah and Larry.

WINFREY: And if you are your fullest, if you do become your fullest self, you have your full whole self, has more compassion for other people.

L. KING: I've got to take a time out, and back with our panel.

WINFREY: Oh, let's go into Anderson Cooper's show. Anderson doesn't want to do his show tonight. Let's just keep talking.

L. KING: (inaudible) We'll be right back. Don't go away.


L. KING: Brief time left -- Marianne wanted to add something.

WILLIAMSON: Well when you said, if you're logical, you would be pessimistic about the world today. But the early abolishionists would not have thought it was logical to think they could get rid of slavery. The woman suffragettes would not have thought it was logical to think they could uplift women.

I don't think history is moved by people who are pessimistic. I think history is moved by people who have faith in something unseen. And you stand and you claim something, whether it's logical or not to think it can happen. You claim it as possibility and if it's based on something good and true, it's like you have cosmic companionship.

L. KING: We have an e-mail for Oprah -- final e-mail -- from Bobbie Joe.


WILLIAMSON: That was Martin Luther King, it wasn't me.

WINFREY: Cosmic companionship, I love that.

L. KING: E-mail for Oprah from Bobbie Joe in Leesburg.

WINFREY: Bobbie Joe.

L. KING: Where else, in Leesburg. Hey Bobbie.

"If you had to retire tomorrow, and had to choose your successor, who would it be and why?

WINFREY: It would be my friends.

WILLIAMSON: All of us.

L. KING: A joint show?

WINFREY: Yes, it would be my friends.

L. KING: Remembering Oprah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Retiring, not dying.


L. KING: Not going somewhere.

WINFREY: No what I would really hope for my friends is that they all can develop into their own entities, and maybe that's televisions shows -- they all have their own radio shows. And if I were to do a successor today for the "Oprah Winfrey Show," it would be these friends. L. KING: And any comment on this movement to make you president?

WINFREY: Is there a movement?

L. KING: This guy's got a movement.

WINFREY: I don't know if that's a movement or not.

L. KING: He's got a Web site.

WINFREY: You know what I would say to him, I would say, take your energy and put it in Barack Obama. That's what I would say.

L. KING: Is that your favorite?

WINFREY: That would be my favorite guy. I'm going to -- I tried to call this guy, Mr. Mann, the other day.

G. KING: Mr. Crowe.

WINFREY: Mr. Crowe, the other day -- in Kansas City, because my attorneys had sent him a letter, and they should not have sent that letter. You know...

L. KING: You can do whatever you want.

WINFREY: You know how attorneys are, they just love cease and desist.

G. KING: Very legalese.

WINFREY: Yes and I didn't appreciate that my attorneys did that.

L. KING: Are you still an Illinoisan?


L. KING: So even though you have a home in California --

WINFREY: Yes, I'm very much an Illinoisan --

L. KING: Senator Obama is your senator.

WINFREY: He is my senator.

L. KING: And your choice.

WINFREY: And my choice. And I would hope that he would run for president.

L. KING: Thank you all very much. Good luck to "Oprah and Friends."

WINFREY: "Oprah and Friends."

L. KING: XM 156. We thank them all for being with us, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next. Good night.


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