A new car!

Nothing gets the Price is Right crowd going like those three words. But now it’s Oprah’s turn: Talk show host Oprah Winfrey celebrated the premiere of her 19th season Monday by surprising each of her 276 audience members with a new car … Winfrey said the audience members were chosen because their friends or family had written to the show about their need for a new car. One woman’s young son said she drove a car that “looks like she got into a gunfight”; another couple had almost 400,000 miles on their two vehicles. I wonder if the anti-sprawl types will take her to task for this … Even though welfare advocates from all political stripes agree that auto ownership is a great way for poor people to get better jobs. And hey, if her audience members stop driving their 400K clunkers, she’s actually improving air quality, too.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.