Not everybody is happy that Oprah Winfrey has given Rabbi Shmuley Boteach his own show on her XM radio channel, Oprah and Friends, starting Jan. 28. They question how Oprah, Barack Obama's most famous backer, could give the coveted slot to Rabbi Shmuley, aRudolph Giuliani booster.
The "Kosher Sex" author held a fund-raiser for Giuliani's presidential bid at his mansion in Englewood, N.J., last year.
"I don't understand why someone like Oprah, who ostensibly supports the causes of women and people of color, would hire a host who raised money for Giuliani," said Randy Credico, the comedian-turned-activist who's director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice and who was the subject of the Jack Black-produced documentary "60 Spins Around the Sun."
"Giuliani has a history of treating women like dirt, including the mother of his children. And he's never distanced himself from racist supporters like radio hostBob Grant, who called Martin Luther King a scumbag ...
"Oprah has a lot of explaining to do."
A spokeswoman at Oprah's Harpo Productions told us, "It's a nonissue. The political affiliations of our hosts are their personal choice."
Said Rabbi Shmuley: "I agreed to host a fund-raiser for Rudy Giuliani based on his staunch support for the state of Israel, and based on my suggestion and subsequent conversations with his senior staff concerning tax-deductible marital counseling becoming an essential platform of his campaign. ... My commitment is ... to the security of the only democracy within the Middle East, America's staunch ally, Israel, and the viability and unity of the American people through strong American families.
"I will gladly agree to host Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or any other candidate who embraces those important values."
It's not known whether Oprah will give Rabbi Shmuley, who has eight kids and who hosted the TV show "Shalom in the Home," a program on her new cable TV network.