The queen of talk TV prefers silence

Oprah Winfrey loves to talk.

Oprah Winfrey loves to talk. But according to a recent report in The Chicago Tribune, that's not a luxury she extends to her employees.

One former staffer, the Trib reported, wanted to write a book about the one-woman media conglomerate but was prevented from doing so by the Illinois courts. Seems that Oprah has all her employees sign a lifetime non-disclosure agreement pledging they won't reveal anything about her.

The paper quoted several media experts excoriating Winfrey for defending her own freedom of expression in a 1998 lawsuit, but then turning around to muzzle her own employees.

'I'm really offended by those who use the First Amendment as a shield and then trample on the rights of others,' said a University of Minnesota journalism professor.

Winfrey's company had no comment, but would a dry newspaper quote be the best way for the queen of talk TV to answer such questions?Maybe she and her former employee can go on The Jerry Springer Show and settle their differences tabloid-style.

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