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Snubbed by Oprah

I’ve received a number of emails asking why I wasn’t on the Oprah Show that featured other talk show hosts including Montel Williams and Ricki Lake. To put it simply, I was not invited. I guess she was not a fan. Oprah tapes her show in Chicago and in 1990, when I came to town with my show, I never felt welcome there. From the very beginning, the local press was brutal, calling me a prima donna, saying I demanded limos everywhere when in fact I rode my bike to work, or drove my Saturn. Chicago Magazine blindsided me with a scathing article titled “Talking Trash” about what a horrible person I was and to this day I don’t know why. I even contacted the editor and invited him to lunch, asking that he invite the reporter who wrote the lies in the hopes that once they met me, things would change.  The reporter had a previous engagement.  The press was so brutal, I even drove to the Sun-Times to ask their most vicious columnist, Bob Feder, face-to-face why he was doing this to me. His answer was, “You came to my city and I can write whatever I choose.”

It didn’t end when I left. I recently did a phone interview with a Chicago radio station looking for people who needed money from Jenny’s Heroes and this is what they posted on their website: “A lot of people will remember the Jenny Jones show for an episode that never aired — the one about same-sex crushes; The show that led to one guest killing another. A court found the Jenny Jones Show not liable for the safety of its guests. The show nosedived afterwards. That said, Jenny Jones is giving away $2 million, in relatively small increments, to people she calls “Jenny’s Heroes.” It seemed that even after I left, the local media still hated me.

I met Oprah once at a prime time special taping for Phil Donahue, in fact we shared the same elevator, and I spoke to her, trying to get her up to speed since she missed rehearsal, but she just ignored me and stared straight ahead. I still don’t know why. It can’t be that my show was bad because she has hired several of my former staff members, including my executive assistant. I was never going to write about this but once I started this post, I couldn’t stop.  I suppose I needed to vent and I’m sorry to be so negative.  The truth is it’s painful to be vilified the way I was (and still am) by a city I grew to love and called my second home. So the Oprah snub is just one more rejection. Life goes on.

Part Two: I was just told that Entertainment Weekly’s Popwatch posted this poll of who was missing from the Oprah photo.  But who’s missing from the list?  It sucks to not matter. Writer Kerrie Mitchell must be from Chicago.

38 Responses

  1. Melanie says:

    I never DID watch Oprah.. I thought it was very, umm… IDK?… egotistical for her to even start her own network and I think it’s pretty… um…?…. Karma like? that her network is tanking… I would bet you a dollar to a doughnut that if you came back, EVEN if it were on PBS!!, you’d win in the ratings… ♥

  2. Sharell says:

    I know they is coming way late, but I just wanted to say that I always liked you as a talk show host. Everyone else seemed to be so judgemental, and you would just let people say what they needed to say, without injecting your ego into the situation. I can’t say that about the rest the people chosen to drink champagne with Oprah.

    I’m glad to see you’re still connecting with people, even if you’re no longer on tv. Sometimes I think people get so famous that they lose sight of what’s really important.

    Thank you for continuing to be who you are. 🙂

    -Sharell from Kingsland, GA

  3. Clarence says:

    Wow I didn’t know the Oprah show didn’t extend you an offer to come on to that episode. When it originally aired I remember telling my mom that they had every talk show host from the 90s except Jenny Jones which we both couldn’t figure out why you were left out. In our opinion your show was better than Sally Jesse Raphael’s and I never realized that my old home town, Chicago it’s media outlets were such asshats. Seems like outlets only cared about making money at the expense of defaming others.

    Clarence
    Indianapolis

  4. Jason E says:

    Dear Jenny,

    I have a lot of respect for you and feel this was a very classy blog post. There is no excuse for other people’s poor behavior, and I am sorry that they are like that. Mean people suck!

    Best to you,
    Jason E

  5. Josh says:

    Jenny

    I am sorry to hear about how you felt snubbed and over looked.
    I love Oprah but I also love you.

    You have done many great things for many people and touched the lives of people many you will never even meet.

    It seems like forever ago, when I first read about Jenny’s Heroes I found myself liking you even more than I did, (which was a lot even before)
    I think it’s a wonderful thing that you are doing. Some people will look for any excuse to tear someone down.
    I think it’s complete ignorance for someone to say that it’s not enough. Anything at all can be a blessing.
    Look at the people who receive micro-loans, they change their lives in ways no one could imagine!

    Keep your head up.
    You are loved and you matter.
    A big WTF to the person who didn’t even add you to the list.

    Kind of would make a person feel like a redheaded step child.
    Which I was by the way haha.

    I so enjoy reading your blogs and getting the feel of what your life is like.
    It means so much that you would share such things with us.

    Rhonda you are right on point with your comment.

    Most celebrities would not take the time to talk to their fans.
    Every time you reply jenny I get the same feeling,
    I can’t believe you took the time to read my words and write back.

    Much love to you.

    I know this is a long post, but one of my favorite poems reworked by joni reminds me of you

    If you can keep your head
    While all about you
    People are losing theirs and blaming you
    If you can trust yourself
    When everybody doubts you
    And make allowance for their doubting too.

    If you can wait
    And not get tired of waiting
    And when lied about
    Stand tall
    Don’t deal in lies
    And when hated
    Don’t give in to hating back
    Don’t need to look so good
    Don’t need to talk too wise.

    If you can dream
    And not make dreams your master
    If you can think
    And not make intellect your game
    If you can meet
    With triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same

    If you can force your heart
    And nerve and sinew
    To serve you
    After all of them are gone
    And so hold on
    When there is nothing in you
    Nothing but the will
    That’s telling you to hold on!
    Hold on!

    If you can bear to hear
    The truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted and misconstrued
    By some smug fool
    Or watch your life”s work
    Torn apart and broken down
    And still stoop to build again
    With worn out tools.

    If you can draw a crowd
    And keep your virtue
    Or walk with Kings
    And keep the common touch
    If neither enemies nor loving friends
    Can hurt you
    If everybody counts with you
    But none too much.

    If you can fill the journey
    Of a minute
    With sixty seconds worth of wonder and delight
    Then
    The Earth is yours
    And Everything that’s in it
    But more than that
    I know
    You’ll be alright
    You’ll be alright.

    Cause you’ve got the fight
    You’ve got the insight
    You’ve got the fight
    You’ve got the insight

    • Jenny says:

      Josh, the poem is beautiful, thank you.

      • Rhonda says:

        Thank you also Josh for mentioning me in your post and listening to me in what I do say. I’ve always felt more positive things needed to be out there for Jenny. I even tried having a Yahoo club/group become official, but they didn’t have the people to monitor it nor the time to deal with it at the time. Jenny has her site here and I see it as a positive thing for her to redeem herself and really let people see her for who she truly is outside of television. It seems that’s what Jenny wants for herself 🙂
        Oh and Josh that was a really nice poem 🙂

        Take care,
        Rhonda

  6. Jay says:

    Maybe Oprah (and some of the Chicago media) just couldn’t tolerate a pretty woman on their turf? It’s like high school never ends sometimes. 😉

  7. Jen says:

    Jenny, your show changed the face of talk as we know it—the reality-style vignettes, makeovers, and topics were all ahead of their time and shaped many of the popular shows on the air today. For you not to be on that stage was their loss, and you are still remembered and loved by many, as evidenced by the deluge of mail to that end.

  8. Florencia Garcia says:

    Wow, Jenny, I can’t believe that Oprah and those idiots from Chicago would do that to you. That is too low. I live in Chicago and these people are embarrassments. Honestly, I’m glad Oprah is having her last season. I don’t want to hear about what she gave to her audience, or what she did. I agree with the posters that said that she is jealous of you. I really love how you interact with your fans and treat us fans like we’re all dear friends, you never came off as a snob because you have money and the fact that you have fun with your shows too.

    Don’t let snobs like Oprah and the media get to you. Karma will bite Oprah back in her behind someday and so will the media jerks.

    To me, I feel people like Oprah because she gives them things and not that she is a nice person like she can portray herself to be. What would happen if she has no money left? Her tune would change for sure.

    I never had the chance to watch your show as much because I had school and I could only catch it when I come home or if I had a day off. If I could, I’d be happy to watch it.

    Jenny, you’re a really talented lady and I commend you on your contribution with your charity. I haven’t heard too many people that can play the drums, make people laugh, have a really successful talk show, teach healthy living, and especially taking the time to interact with people, making them feel as if they’re a part of your life. You’re a real hero.

  9. Heather says:

    Jenny…I know you do not know me…. but I wanted you to know you have nothing to be sorry for writing and feeling what you did. There is no reason to be sorry for anything you feel. My best friend was on Oprah multiple times and he hates her. He has nothing good to say about her. I know things in Chicago were not easy for you….but it also has molded and shaped you into the awesome person you are today. Thanks for just being you and not being afraid to share what you feel with anyone who wants to read and care about you. Heather

  10. Diana says:

    I have watched the oprah show once maybe twice. Everytime I see her on a show or news or whatever type of media outlet it is, she is bragging about what she is doing or giving people. In my opinion, if you do something, you do it out of love and no one needs to know about it. She does it for the attention. I watched your show every single day when it was on, I would rush home from school to watch it! The fact that your are on this website communicating with fans and taking time out of your life for your fans is amazing. People will always hate and bring down people they feel threatened by. The fact that Oprah feels the need to single you out and snub you, shows how insecure she is. I have been a loyal fan for years! And have never heard you or seen you come off as snobby or showing off your assets and your financial worth. If I was her I wouldn’t like you either because you are humble, kind, generous and genuine. Something she’s not.

  11. MrsNews says:

    Jenny, I can’t remember if I asked you this already or not….do you live near any of the Housewives from Beverly Hills??

    I know you live near Paris Hilton and since her aunts are on the show, I was just wondering.

    K

    • Jenny says:

      I haven’t seen the show and looked at their website but it doesn’t say where they live. Beverly Hills has two areas: the “Flats” and the “Hills.” The Flats means where the ground is flat in the area of Sunset Blvd., Santa Monica Blvd., Rodeo Drive, etc. with some beautiful mansions. The Hills (where I live) is in the canyons and is a little more secluded with smaller, winding roads, with the top of the hills being Mulholland Drive. My guess is they are in the Flats because it would be too hard to have a production crew in the hills.

      • MrsNews says:

        Looking at the helicopter photos it looks like they are in the hills with winding roads. It bet it was filmed 6 mos ago…they are such outrageous bitches…it is like watching a train wreck and I stop looking!! LOL

        K

  12. Rhonda says:

    I had to post again Jenny to let you know a few things. You weren’t being negative first off, so you don’t have to apologize for what you said 🙂
    Please don’t take Oprah and who she is to a personal level. It’s not YOU or your show being bad. It’s her and her own insecurities with people in general…

    Take care,
    Rhonda

  13. Jenny says:

    Just to clarify, whenever a show gives away prizes, be it a game show or talk show, they are normally donated by the companies for the promotion of their products. The more popular the show, the more companies would be anxious to give their products away for the exposure. Even when I appeared on the View with my new cookbook, everyone in the audience received a book, donated by my publisher. That one event shot my book up to the #2 best selling cookbook on Amazon. So it works.

  14. Ryan says:

    I agree with the others who feel Oprah is a phony. It’s always amused me how people say she is “warm and compassionate.” Whenever I see her, she seems completely cold and stuck up. She’s a marketing tool plain and simple.

    Jenny, I do have a question though! Other than Oprah, did you get along with your other talk show peers? I seem to remember a few of them congratulating you when your show reached the ten year mark. Ricki and Montel always struck me as genuine. So does Sally.

    • Jenny says:

      I’ve met all the talk show hosts from that era and they were all really nice to me. We had a lot in common so meeting them for the first time was like running into an old friend. Ricki, Montel, and Jerry were especially warm and friendly. Jerry and I taped our shows in the same studio so I knew him the best and he is a really nice guy.

      • MrsNews says:

        I also was in the audience for your show and Jerry Springer (before his show got weird) He was really a nice guy!! He sang, told jokes and talked to the audience during the commercial breaks. I really liked both of your shows and certainly both of you. My sister lived in Naperville IL so when we went to visit we always tried to get tickets to your shows.

        You know one other thing Jenny, when I think of you I never think about you being on trial for that same sex murder…such sad thing but I never felt like it had anything to do with your show.

        If I remember correctly Miss O was on trial too…isn’t that how she met Dr Phil? It was the controversy over beef…people that live in glass houses…..

        Okay that being said…have a great weekend!

        K

  15. MrsNews says:

    OH don’t get me started…

    Jenny let me say that I am very sorry for the way you were treated. I personally saw you walking from the parking lot to your studio, you even said hello and greeted us with a smile. I will never forget that. I was charmed by you way back then and continue to enjoy your charm today. I realize that we on your blog website are a small army but I think we speak for many.

    I have always thought that Oprah is a phoney…better than the rest of us…on and on…she loves for everyone to know all the good things she does in life. That doesn’t mean she is a good person…but honestly I don’t know her so I don’t want to speak negatively about her either. I just know that I used to watch her show all the time until a few years ago…the show changed to a ‘Godlike” show. Follow me to the land of freedom.. I don’t like that, we all will find our own path.

    I don’t think she gives away all the things people thinks she does…I think alot of it is donated. I think back to all of those ‘free’ cars…yeah right. I don’t have proof so I shouldn’t say anything but I doubt that she paid for all of those cars. The same can be said for the Christmas show gifts…that is all about getting people to give things in exchange for air time. I commented to my husband today it seems that all the gifts she gave were for women yet there were men in the group too??

    I want to reach out and give you a hug…you are gracious, open and honest. I love that about you…you are approachable, humble, kind and thoughtful. Oh don’t let me forget to mention your wit! I was thrilled to find you on the internet and to know that you actually answer me from time to time, that is pretty amazing!! You even posted a picture of your Walgreen’s skirt for me! WOW!

    I know it hurt to not be asked to appear, but I like having you in my life. If you are ever out my way I have a room at my house for you and Denis…but you would probably have to do the cooking!!

    Oprah…pass!!!

    K

    • Rhonda says:

      Aw…I like your post, Kathy 🙂
      We are Jenny’s outspoken army for sure 😉
      Oh and speaking of Oprah and her gifts. I heard she isn’t the one that paid for the trip she’s giving her audience to Australia. The Australian governor is paying for it. Don’t know how true that is but if what you say is true then most likely my rumor is true as well…

      Take care,
      Rhonda

    • sue says:

      “I have always thought that Oprah is a phony…better than the rest of us…on and on…she loves for everyone to know all the good things she does in life.”

      (my comment: The most humble gifts in life are the ones we give anonymously.)
      I remember the New Orleans disaster when she couldn’t stop telling everyone she gave 10 million dollars. She must have repeated herself five times. I remember, because I kept saying to myself, “I know, you already told us”. I even said jokingly, “how much money did she give?” 10 MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!! I don’t know if we were suposed to be impressed or what? She made 315 million dollars last year so what is 10 million to charity? A tax write off and interest on her billions. It didn’t cost her a penny.

      I really don’t think Jenny was all that offended by Oprah snuffing her, I think “our” feelings about it are arousing her more. Jenny is a very successful comedian, musician, talk show host and writer and an awesome cook that we have grown to love and admire for so many years, she is humble, and a beautiful person and I know we can all agree with that! Much Love to you JJ!! Sue)

      • Rhonda says:

        I agree Sue 🙂
        This with Oprah has been with Jenny for a long time and her getting emails from fans wondering why she wasn’t invited caused Jenny to vent about Oprah in general. I think it’s good for Jenny to speak her mind and stand her ground. She’s just too nice not to give even her thoughts about things that bother her 🙁

        Take care,
        Rhonda

  16. Rhonda says:

    Wow! I wasn’t expecting something like this when coming here, but it’s good you posted something like this so it will help you see that everyone doesn’t see you the same way as others. I will try and be nice but forgive me if I seem out of line. I want to respect your site here Jenny and you as well and I hate when the media attacks you for no reason 🙁
    I will defend you, because you deserve better 🙂
    I know you’re a GOOD person. I mean come on now, are people too STUPID to see that. Look at what you’re doing for others. Do they not take that into consideration??? I guess not but then it makes those people look bad for not seeing good in others…
    In my opinion, Oprah seen you as a threat. The reason I say that is because you were 2nd best in talkshows at one point. You were on her trail running close behind her. I read that in a ratings search I did. Before you come along with your talkshow, Oprah was my favorite. YOUR show pulled me away from her show and the interview she did I spoke about pissed me off. I lost some respect for her because of her attack on talkshows all together because of what she said. I don’t like the fact you weren’t invited nor in the poll, but hey your show was the BEST out of all talkshows. You knew how to have fun with it and take it on a more serious note 🙂
    Oh and Jenny the one’s pointing a finger at you for whatever reason just remember there’s always 3 more pointing back at THEM 😉
    Quote from Jean Cirillo 🙂 (I hope I spelled her last name right)
    Hugs to you Jenny because most of us do care 🙂

    Take care,
    Rhonda

    • sue says:

      Cheers to you Rhonda, I hope you agreed with everything I said too! We have friends here now from Florida and we’re going to go out, but Lisa, my best friend, who is also a big fan of Miss Jenny, loved your blog and so did I, so we wanted to say Hey. Love you Rhonda, Talk to you soon!!!
      Sue and Lisa, Mike and Joel. Teka and Kya too!!! Love you Jenny!

  17. shelly says:

    I noticed it right away! For her not to so much as to mention you or your show was ridiculous. The only reason I tuned in is that I thought I might see you. As far as the same sex crush episode is concerned–you cannot and should not be held responsible for what happened-people need to take ownership for their own actions. What happened should not overshadow your journalistic achievements, the people your show helped or the people you are helping now with your “relatively small increments!!!” I am on of those people, one of your heroes- and your generous gift helped transform a whole community! We don’t need someone giving away cruises to their whole audiences trying to buy peple’s affections!!! Thank you Jenny for what you are doing–don’t stop being who you are.

    • sue says:

      Shelly,
      You are just what I was hoping for, that Jenny’s Hero’s would come forward and tell what these “small increments” have done for them!
      Jenny gives to people who need it, not to an audience of people who probably don’t even need a new car or cruise, it seems that that’s all that Oprah thinks about is material items?” I hope more of Jenny’s recipients come forward and tell their stories!!!!
      Sue

      • shelly says:

        Thanks Sue– Jenny’s gift helped out one of the poorest communities in the whole United States and I see it everyday when the kids come into the library–it warms my heart that someone can have that kind of impact–her gift will continue to impact this community for a lifetime! I have spoken to Jenny many times on the phone and she is one of the nicest and most sincere people I have ever spoken to. I hope one day to meet her.
        Shelly

        • Rhonda says:

          Jenny is one of the nicest I agree. Just the way she carries herself shows that. I’ve watched her show the whole 12 years she was on air almost and got to know her as she brings herself off to be. Jenny is kind hearted and caring for others. I’ve known that for a long time. I have realized that she even acknowledge us the viewers after every show. I don’t recall any of the others doing that to thank the viewers for watching like Jenny did…
          By the way Jenny, I like the fact you want to help many and not just one person with your donations. Which giving to one person is good but the way you are using your donations shows who you really are 🙂

  18. Dana says:

    Jenny, I was there too during the taping of that Donahue tribute, and also shared an elevator with Oprah and I remember her having HUGE attitude. Not at all how she portrays herself on her show and in the media. Talk about being struck on herself….she is a genuine phony. After that, I could never watch her show, but I have heard in the media how “she takes the high road”, blah blah blah. Funny thing is, go back to her beginning in the mid 80’s and you’ll find she started off doing crazy wild stuff (no high road there). It was only after she made her billions that she changed the dynamic of her show. You were always kind and gracious to your fans, the viewers, and the media, and you deserved to be there. When I heard about you giving away your money to fund projects that helped people, I wasn’t surprised because you were always generous. You’re a hero in my book!

  19. sue says:

    “Jenny Jones is giving away $2 million, in relatively small increments, to people she calls “Jenny’s Heroes.”

    What do they mean small increments????
    25,000 dollars goes a long way! Me and Mike built our home outside a city where the town library received 25,000 from you, and you would not believe what they have done. They bought all brand new computers and remodeled the place. It looks beautiful! The city is not very wealthy but they care very much about the children’s education. For the past few years, the children and teenagers have a place to go to study, and have use of these computers when they do not have them in there homes. This is a hero who cares about a child’s education and I’m so very happy that he wrote to Jenny and I’m even more proud that Jenny was caring enough about this situation to give him the money. What media fools!!!
    This library was in such financial despair they were going to shut it down.

    Sue

  20. Theresa McKeeman says:

    I loved your show Jenny. Oprah feels that her show is of a better class than yours. I find most of her shows boring and way over my head.Don’t let it get to you… It just means your show was not meant for snobs, just us common folk…

  21. sue says:

    Jenny,
    Your show was awesome! You have a special gift to make people laugh and you also have a big heart for people. First of all, number one never puts down number two and that reasoning goes with people’s relationships too. If Oprah was any kind of decent human being, she would have been gracious to you in the elevator. You do not deserve to be vilified by media jerks. (afterall, isn’t that what the media is??) They live for the thrill of hurting people, and even Oprah herself is a victim to that. Bottom line, jealous people will do anything to hurt you. You have made an awesome success of yourself and you should be proud!
    We all certainly love ya!!

    Sue and Mike

    • Rhonda says:

      I agree with what you said Sue and I liked what you said as well 🙂
      Jenny’s show was the best and #1 never puts down #2. Jenny holds her posture well. I feel bad when she’s attacked for no reason like I said and I do defend her because she don’t deserve negative feedback like she gets…
      Jenny won’t speak out against anyone and that just shows her strength and who’s better than who 🙂
      Congrats on the Jenny’s donation in your town 🙂

      Take care,
      Rhonda

  22. Will says:

    Illegitimi non carborundum
    “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”

    My motto passed onto you. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I think the mighty O should just buy her own planet and leave.

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