Saturday, January 06, 2007

Extortion is an ugly word

Mills of the gods

The Chicago-Sun Times, one of my favorite newspapers (tabloids) in the country is reporting that someone named Keifer Bonvillan has been trying to extort money from Oprah Winfrey. Oprah has not been available for comment as she is off in South Africa opening up a leadership school for girls. This is a terrific idea and amazingly generous on her part (the school, not the extortion), but she has tried to ruin it by making it all about her. As she ruins most things by making them all about her.

At any rate, Blackmailer Bonvillan allegedly has 12 hours of taped conversations with one of Oprah's business associates in which the associate told him "awful things" about Oprah. Bonvillan was dumb enough to send Oprah an e-mail saying he had the tapes and apparently tried to get $1.5 million from her for the tapes. This is about the last person on earth that you want to mess with and it quickly got Bonvillan arrested. Bonvillan now says that it was all a "big mixup". It is certainly going to prove to be the biggest mistake he ever makes in life, unless he takes up shop lifiting in Saudi Arabia. Blackmail Oprah Winfrey ? Why don't you just go poke a stick into the rear end of a lion ? At least the end for you would come faster.

So Oprah gets the FBI to do a little sting operation and the next thing you know, Mr Bonaville has to learn not to drop his soap in the shower. I predict he is going away for a long, long time.

What could he have had on her ? Apparently her company (Harpo) is famous for making its employees sign lifetime confidentiality agreements about anything they learn about Oprah So the "business associate" is probably going to go down in some fashion too, even though she claims not to have known that the recording was going on. Twelve hours ? There are twelve hours of good stuff on Oprah. I have been no angel all my life but there's not more than six or seven minutes of good stuff on me. Twelve Hours ? I bet three hours are on Gail alone.

All of this shows the ineptness of Mr Bonaville (which is why he is going to get to address his next roommate as "Daddy"). If he had twelve hours of trash on Oprah (whether it was true or not) he could have sold it to the tabloids (probably the Chicago Sun-Times) or written a book to make that much. Under our libel laws you can say pretty damn much anything you want to about a person in the public eye and not have to pay for it. But no, he chooses the one way to try to make money out of the scheme that is guaranteed not only to send him to jail, but to make it impossible for the rest of us to ever know what is on the twelve hours of tape. Thanks a lot moron.

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