My colleague Robin Abcarian caught up this week with the antics of Dr. Mehmet Oz, that outstanding shill for oils-of-snake of every description.
Dr. Oz had been haled before a Senate committee, where he was grilled by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri). McCaskill engaged him in the following exchange, as Abcarian reported:
"I can’t figure this out, Dr. Oz," McCaskill said. "You have been trained in science-based medicine. Now here are three statements you have made on your show:
'You may think magic is make believe but this little bean has scientists saying they’ve found the magic weight loss cure for every body type -- it’s green coffee extract.’
‘I’ve got the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat. It’s raspberry ketones.’
‘Garcinia Camboja. It may be the simple solution you’ve been looking for to bust your body fat for good.’
"You know it's not true," McCaskill said. "So why, when you have this amazing megaphone, do you cheapen your show like that?”
"My job is to be a cheerleader for the audience," he replied. "When they don’t think they have hope, I want to look everywhere … for any evidence that might be supportive to them."
Oh, baloney. He's out for the main chance. I took off after Dr. Oz last fall after he started shilling for that organization dedicated to advances in healthcare, the National Football League.
Oz taped an ad for the league in which he all but sang a hymn to football's ability to turn boys into men -- failing to mention its capacity for turning boys into neurologically-crippled men, via repeated concussions. This was around the time that the NFL was facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought by players who had been crippled on its fields of play. The league settled the lawsuit soon thereafter.
Oz labeled my column "unfair," pleading that it simply wasn't possible to insert a medical warning into a 22-second TV spot. The thought of, maybe, not endorsing the NFL at all didn't seem to swim into his thinking. I followed up here.
Mehmet Oz has an enormous TV audience, which he pumps full of nonscientific mumbo jumbo. As a media figure, he's a great success. But he doesn't need a medical license to pursue that kind of career, and you have to wonder: Why does he still have one?
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