Jani Schofield's going to be on Oprah today October 6, 2009 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Jani Schofield's going to be on Oprah today.

After reading this FPP a few months back, I subscribed to the blog. As you may recall, it was a heated discussion about schizophrenia, children, health care, etc. Her dad posted today that Jani and the family will be on Oprah today (Oct. 6). I hope that this publicity helps them.

Oprah interviews Jani. Background story on Oprah.com. Oprah.com frontpage.
posted by k8t to MetaFilter-Related at 8:36 AM (44 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

And Stephenie Nielsen is going to be on Oprah tomorrow.

*waves to the Oprah producers who are scanning MeFi for programming!*
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:46 AM on October 6, 2009


Since it's Oprah that means it actually exists and we can allow it into our consensual reality matrix. Pre-Oprahfied, life is just a blotch of gray nebulous clouds.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:40 AM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


She should get John Scofield next.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:42 AM on October 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hopefully this will help Jani's parents get her some help.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:14 AM on October 6, 2009


Oprah. Isn't that the one who has Jenny McCarthy on to tell scare-mongering lies about vaccinations? I'm pretty sure it is. [spit]

That's not to say bad things about Jani. Just that I think Oprah is an uninformed and dangerous promoter of bullshit.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:15 AM on October 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


Just that I think Oprah is an uninformed and dangerous promoter of bullshit.

Don't forget that "The Secret Guy", Iraq War cheerleading, Suzanne Sommers hormone vaginal smearing, etc etc ad infinitum. Oprah is kind of a cancer on the public mind.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 AM on October 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oprah. Isn't that the one who has Jenny McCarthy on to tell scare-mongering lies about vaccinations?

Not sure, but she's definitely the one with the Suzanne Somers anti-aging (or was it cancer-curing?) vagina creme.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:19 AM on October 6, 2009


Oh God the Secret, I hang around a very vaguely "spiritual" crowd and that was really being pimped by a lot of my friends for a long time. ARGHSHDH

Maybe it's not as annoying as the modern American version of karma, but as a system of barely-concealed victim-blaming masquerading as spirituality it was really obnoxious
posted by kathrineg at 11:03 AM on October 6, 2009


Maybe it's just me, but it seems a little rubberneck-to-see-the-accident/exploitative to actually interview and tape the child. I can understand her interviewing the parents, but the child?

Having said that, I watched the clip. It was strange that she's aware of her disease: "Calalini is on the border between my world and your world."

I hope this gets the parents whatever they needed from this. (Not being snarky; I really do.)
posted by Houstonian at 11:04 AM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk: just a blotch of gray nebulous clouds
posted by hippybear at 11:08 AM on October 6, 2009


But remember folks, Oprah was one of the first cebritards to endorse Barack Obama (which is either more proof that she is evil or evidence of the 'stopped clock is right twice a day' theory). Seriously, her screening of 'causes to get behind' has been extra sucky lately, but until somebody beats her in the Daytime Talk Show ratings (which the way TV is devolving, may turn out to be Glenn Beck), hers is THE show to appear on. Then again, Rob Lowe is on with Ellen today.
posted by wendell at 11:30 AM on October 6, 2009


Well, she got 2 million people to sign up for a twitter account that they will use even less than her.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:36 AM on October 6, 2009


I've subscribed as well.

Jani's dad's blog focuses almost as much on his troubles with the healthcare system as it does on his daughter's schizophrenia. I wonder if that will be discussed on Oprah.

Someone please comment in this thread after you watch it and let us know how it is!
posted by cranberrymonger at 12:25 PM on October 6, 2009


I'd like to know how the parents presented themselves. What I mean is, what outcome did they hope for by going on this show? More general public awareness (about a disease that is rare in young children)? Better access to better specialists (I thought they were going to the best already)? Pressure on the school district? A duplex house and money for healthcare costs (Oprah's certainly given homes and assistance to guests before)?
posted by Houstonian at 3:58 PM on October 6, 2009


Wow, the first two or three comments on Oprah's page are people saying that Jani is possessed by demons and needs an exorcism.
posted by infinitywaltz at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2009


What I like about the ever-expanding sphere of Oprah-ness gradually encompassing every facet of pop psychology, sociology, media and middle culture is that it has handily autocategorized a great deal of stuff under "Inept, Inane Bullshit To Pay No Attention To".

Go check out the secondhand bookstore and pretty much anything in fiction with the classic orange Penguin spine is going to be worth a read. Conversely, anything in a standard bookstore with that fucking 'O' on the cover, you can just sort of...let it fall to the floor.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:27 PM on October 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's this clip at Jezebel. It looks pretty harrowing.
posted by padraigin at 5:41 PM on October 6, 2009


God, this story breaks my fucking heart from beginning to end, and I'm not a huge Oprahite or anything, but I PRAY that the huge exposure they'll get (and don't you misunderestimate it) from her will help them get what they need. God, I just ache for that family.

(Conversely, anything in a standard bookstore with that fucking 'O' on the cover, you can just sort of...let it fall to the floor.

Don't be snobby, there are plenty of excellent, well-regarded "Oprah Book Club" books.)

posted by tristeza at 5:44 PM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I enjoy the armchair diagnosis on the oprah.com comments (based on 3 minutes of TV):

"She does seem to have Autism along with Schizophrenia.She is much more hyper like ADHD"
posted by k8t at 5:51 PM on October 6, 2009


For the record, here is a list of Oprah's book club selections from 2000-present. What a horrible, horrible woman she is, using her cultural power to encourage her audience to read great literature or literature that presents them with a very different point of view from their own.* Clearly she should just stick with celebrity interviews and the every popular "Are You The Father" format that works so well for so many other talk shows.

* James Frey notwithstanding. Also I too find The Secret stuff insulting. But in general I think Oprah is a force for good, not evil. How many of us have managed to help someone they they didn't really even know by giving them a car, let alone a whole audience full of people?

2009
Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
2008
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
2007
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier
2006
Night by Elie Wiesel
2005
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Light in August by William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
2004
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
2003
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
2002
Sula by Toni Morrison
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
2001
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Cane River by Lalita Tademy
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
2000
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Open House by Elizabeth Berg
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Gap Creek by Robert Morgan

posted by onlyconnect at 6:07 PM on October 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


Conversely, anything in a standard bookstore with that fucking 'O' on the cover, you can just sort of...let it fall to the floor.

Erroneous. I personally have read The Poisonwood Bible despite the 'O' on the cover. (Having discovered The Good Earth and As I Lay Dying before she did, I did not know they now carried the 'O.')

And there are a surprising number of books on that list onlyconnect posted that I've been meaning to read for years. Let us curse Oprah for the things she says and does that are actually stupid and harmful.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 6:31 PM on October 6, 2009


Who is this "Oprah"? And is it really any of our business who's going to be "on" her?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:53 PM on October 6, 2009


Suzanne Somers anti-aging (or was it cancer-curing?) vagina creme

I wonder what happens when you mix it with Steve Martin's penis creme?
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:10 PM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


(link)
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:12 PM on October 6, 2009


onlyconnect you are diverging from party line.

Never mind that The Oprah gives a couple billion dollars to charity, has regularly raised awareness about important issues, or is role model that worked her way up from abject poverty to be one of the worlds first international black female media successes. FORGET ALL THAT.

The Oprah had Suzanne Summers Jenny McCarthy on. Therefore. EEEEEEVIL!
posted by tkchrist at 7:12 PM on October 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder what happens when you mix it with Steve Martin's penis creme?

A violent descent into unfunniness and banjo playing?
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:46 PM on October 6, 2009


How I lived before discovering comments on oprah.com thirty seconds ago, I know not:
I just finishing watching the show and I know this might sound strange to most of you but I dont believe those kids are going threw schizophrenia. Doctors might have diagonsed it as that but i believe theres more behind it. I believe that Jani and her friend really are seeing things from the other side and etc. Especially when Jani's friend mentioned about the spirits. I dont know if anyone believes in the evil spirits,black magic, and so forth but it does exist and everything else that comes with it. Ive had some experiences with strange events that have occured in my life in the past and it is unbelievable and the sad thing is that no one could understand unless they've been in that situation. Its sad cause if you mention it to anyone everyone sees you as being crazy. It was also mentioned that during this time that there is a spirtual warfare going on at this time. It was also believed that kids that were going to be born from the year 2000 and up would be gifted to the fullest in sometype of way of healing people and etc. I dont believe Jani is a schizo I really wish that I could help but I understand what Susan and Micheal are going threw. I believe they should find a spirtual healer that takes away the evil spirits, or all the negativity thats around the family, I pray that the person comes to you and watch the show and not just anyone whos doing it for the spot light.
posted by palliser at 8:22 PM on October 6, 2009


"She is more than likly a crystal or indigo child." - another Oprah.com gem.
posted by HopperFan at 8:45 PM on October 6, 2009


Bah, this indigo child business is pernicious. I'm a much more special snowflake than your grubby spawn could ever hope to be.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:02 PM on October 6, 2009


Thanks for posting this. I've been following the Schofields' blog since it was posted here, and it's really changed the way I think about health insurance, children with mental illnesses, and special education in public schools. My heart breaks for this family and everything they're struggling with. Michael and Susan have been reaching out to the media to help cut some of the red tape in their insurance company, and hopefully it's working for them. In one of his recent blog entries Michael implied he isn't working anymore, so I hope their appearance on Oprah can help their financial situation.
posted by lilac girl at 9:29 PM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, the first two or three comments on Oprah's page are people saying that Jani is possessed by demons and needs an exorcism.

Oh FFS.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:48 PM on October 6, 2009


God, this story breaks my fucking heart from beginning to end, and I'm not a huge Oprahite or anything, but I PRAY that the huge exposure they'll get (and don't you misunderestimate it) from her will help them get what they need. God, I just ache for that family.

True enough. Chances are that Oprah isn't fucking this one up like she has with other social responsibilities. I expect January's chances are much, much better post-Oprah.


It was also mentioned that during this time that there is a spirtual warfare going on at this time. It was also believed that kids that were going to be born from the year 2000 and up would be gifted to the fullest in sometype of way of healing people and etc.

Oh, FF… waittasec, been there done that. Frickin' doomed, we are.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:54 PM on October 6, 2009


...i am NOT a medium or pychic, for they get their revalation from demons and demons only, they are lied to these mediums, and thier counterfiet power is from darkness!! i am a born again believer in Christ Jesus,i get my super natural power from him and HIM only...

Uh...OK.
posted by infinitywaltz at 7:14 AM on October 7, 2009


What a horrible, horrible woman she is, using her cultural power to encourage her audience to read great literature

This is like saying "Hey, whats wrong with Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck? They give to charity!!"

Knowingly promoting bullshit isnt redeemable.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:50 AM on October 7, 2009


What a horrible, horrible woman she is, using her cultural power to encourage her audience to read great literature

Well, there was that scandal with her book club. Although, this probably isn't the proper forum to run Oprah through the wringer (my apologies for getting that ball rolling upthread), deserve it though she may.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:59 AM on October 7, 2009


When you let those "O" books in the used fiction section fall to the floor, you better mind your feet - if it's Anna Karenina, it might hurt.
posted by spicynuts at 9:02 AM on October 7, 2009


I made a point of watching Oprah yesterday for Jani's segment, which ended up being the entire program. I'm sure they will get more publicity as a result of having appeared on the show, but I didn't like the way the issue was presented.

Jani and her friend, who is also schizophrenic, are apparently taking some effective medication right now (yay!) which has helped them a great deal.

Unfortunately, when the cameras followed the two girls around on a play date, this improvement gave the appearance that the girls were just two kids with imaginary friends rather than scary psychosis. Much of the program involved the parents trying to explain what is HAS been like, and how bad it can be, but they came across as over-reacting because of the innocuous footage of the two girls. Even when adults in the video asked them questions about their hallucinations, the girls were offhand and casual in their responses, giving the impression that it was no big deal. I understand that to them, this is just the way things are, but attempting to TELL the audience what it can be like made the parents look like they just didn't set boundaries on their kids' behavior or something, when all they had to SHOW were two girls playing together. This is where I think all those bizarre comments are coming from--people didn't really see the harmful effects of a serious mental disorder.

No time at all was spent exploring a disturbing incident that happened just recently with Jani's friend (which Michael referred to as a "setback") where the voices apparently told her she needed to harm her Dad ( might have been stepdad). Passive voice, using language like apparently the voices felt he needed to be harmed, rather than coming out and saying, "she went out in the middle of the night with the intent to attack this man before she was found over a mile away" --I don't know, it felt to me that they downplayed just the kind of behavior that would have won them sympathy from Oprah's regular audience and people wanting to get more medical help for these kids.

To me, this was further reinforced because Oprah kept going back to Body and how all of this is affecting Jani's younger sibling. I understand that concern, as a parent, and feel for the boy. But (and I think this is because they have received so much criticism on the father's blog), Jani's parents deflected a lot of this avenue of questioning, instead choosing to focus on Jani and her problems. They came off as just shrugging away the effects, not really caring for their boy as much, even at one point (at least it seemed to me) suggesting that Body will eventually take over for them so he needs to know what this is like.

Michael said, several times, that they have accepted there is no 'cure' for Jani, and that's true, but I think it also made the audience tune out, because he didn't go enough into the help they did need and want. They ran long, I think, in the end, and so there wasn't enough detail about options. I also, even after having more of a background than Oprah's audience, am still a little unsure why they will not move, as there appear to be better options in other areas. Michael says they would miss Jani and love her and don't want to be separated from her, but I thought he was out of work? So I'm not sure what is keeping them where they are, geographically.

The mother, by the way, is much better on camera than Michael. She sticks to the point and and is very direct while he flounders.

Just my two cents, and I DID miss the first five minutes of the show, as I was just getting home when it came on.
posted by misha at 10:33 AM on October 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I spelled it "Body" when the younger sibling's name is actually "Bodhi," so my apologies for the error.
posted by misha at 10:48 AM on October 7, 2009


Of all the things going on in that original MeFi thread, which I had missed, at least there's the sublimely ridiculous comment by Scram:

I'm not a parent, I'm not a shrink, but I am a true crime writer.

Of all the completely ridiculous things said on MetaFilter, perhaps on the internet as whole, givent the context, there cannot be anything more ridiculous than this.
posted by xmutex at 3:08 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Hey, whats wrong with Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck? They give to charity!!"

Yes. Like their politics, Oprah and Limbaugh's charitable contributions go exactly to the same places and achieve the same results. It's like they are identical twins or something. Perfect analogy.
posted by tkchrist at 6:23 PM on October 7, 2009


Aw, come on. Limbaugh gave $10 mil alone last year to the Cigars for Toddlers Foundation. Beck funded a special new 501(c)(3) venture that causes liquefied copies of the Book of Mormon to rain down over a 50 square mile radius. It's not all shock talk. It's about the kids.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:31 PM on October 7, 2009


xmutex, I think it's completely ridiculous to suggest that Bodhi Schofield is not being psychologically damaged by his parents allowing his sister to repeatedly assault him, and by bearing witness to his father's confessed physical and verbal abuse of his mother and sister. It's not a guaranteed path to creating a monster, but I don't hear anyone arguing it's a healthy environment for a kid.

It's fascinating to me how passionately people are engaged in this story, be they pro-, anti- or merely skeptical of the parents.

And surprising that Oprah is exploiting this story and not offering some token assistance to the family. Maybe she expected to when the show was in the planning stages, but lost interest as she learned more about the situation. She is, after all, herself a survivor of child abuse, and must have been informed about the controversy surrounding the family's circumstances.
posted by Scram at 4:12 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Scram, I was one of the minority agreeing with you in the original thread, but I'd like to put in my small vote for not importing that whole argument here. I know you weren't the one who mentioned it first, but that thread was very contentious in terms of whether it was appropriate to question the father's motives/sincerity/parenting skills.

Besides, the only new information in the Oprah stuff is the suggestion of demon possession, which is -- fortuitously! -- a subject on which we can all agree!
posted by palliser at 6:00 PM on October 11, 2009


Point taken, palliser, but... don't be so sure about that!
posted by Scram at 6:21 PM on October 11, 2009


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