Daytime talk show host Oprah Winfrey has been named television's top personality in an annual online poll conducted by Harris Interactive. It is the fourth time in as many years that she has earned the title, and the sixth time since the company started the online poll in 1993. When she hasn't placed number one, Winfrey has managed to place in the top three every other year.
Moving up from third place to second place on the Harris list is Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who may be receiving a bump due to the announcement he will host the upcoming Academy Awards telecast. Former number two David Letterman slipped to third, still good enough to place higher than his late-night rival Jay Leno, who tied conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly for number four. Leno might lead Letterman in TV ratings, but evidently the same isn't true in the hearts and minds of poll-takers.
Rounding out the top 10 are comedian and daytime talk show host Ellen Degeneres, late night talk show host Conan O’Brien, former Seinfeld star Jerry Seinfeld, sitcom star George Lopez, and comedian and former Home Improvment star Tim Allen. Neither Seinfeld nor Allen have appeared regularly on TV since the late 1990s, when their respective sitcoms went off the air.
While Winfrey may have scored well in the eyes of most, she is not without her small failings: Oprah made news recently due to her "Oprah's Book Club" endorsement of author James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. The harrowing story was presented as a memoir, but after Web site The Smoking Gun made allegations that the book was rife with untruths, Frey admitted he "embellished" the book, causing a firestorm of controversy. At first, Winfrey appeared on Larry King defending Frey, but after it became clear there was truth to the allegations, she had Frey appear on her show and berated him for lying.