Claire McCaskill Gives Dr. Oz the Miracle Cure for Being a Snake-Oil Salesman

Claire McCaskill Gives Dr. Oz the Miracle Cure for Being a Snake-Oil Salesman

Dr. Oz is a real doctor, and not like Orly Taitz is a real doctor. He is the Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia med school, and he is also a complete and utter snake-oil salesman, a fact helpfully pointed out by various Senators at a hearing yesterday. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Not Todd Akin) led the charge, asking Dr. Oz if he learned nothing from the lessons of Spiderman.

“The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles,'” said McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat.[…] “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff when you know it’s not true. When you have this amazing megaphone, why would you cheapen your show? … With power comes a great deal of responsibility.”

If you are not a stay-at-home mom, you are perhaps unfamiliar with the Dr. Oz trend. We will now ‘splainerfy it at you, for science.

First of all, Dr. Oz is his real name, no gimmicks. He got his undergrad at Harvard, and then he was class president at UPenn Medical. Oz is a board-certified cardiac surgeon, and by all accounts, he is not a dumb person. So how did this first-generation American go from respected doctor to daytime-TV quack?

Blame Oprah—blame Oprah for loosing this scrub-wearing beast upon an unsuspecting and scientifically illiterate nation. Our official position on Oprah is usually “Fk yeah, Oprah, GET SOME!” but if not for her media empire, millions of Americans would be hearing about the “miracle” effects of green coffee beans from the cut-rate successor to Billy Mays, not an M.D.

Oz’s defense seems to be that he really, really believes this stuff, even though he knows that it’s not true. Like Ronald Reagan telling the country about his oopsie regarding missiles, Oz knows in his heart that green coffee beans fix everything, even if he knows in his head that that’s a steaming load of that other kind of coffee bean, the one that gets shit out by a monkey or whatever.

But hey, says Dr. Oz, it’s no big deal, because Dr. Oz foists these products onto his own family, therefore everything is okay.

“I actually do personally believe in the items I talk about on the show,” he added. “I recognize that oftentimes they don’t have the scientific muster to pass as fact. I have given my family these products.”

We are not a lawyer (though our old EIC is), but this does not seem to be an argument that stood up to judicial scrutiny when it was employed by Christian Scientists. (Snipy has mentioned that case before, and you should read about it here). At least the Christian Scientists could try to claim ignorance. That’s a lot harder to do when you teach medicine at Columbia University.

“But Dan!” you stammer, “Dr. Oz is the only thing that breaks up the monotony of daytime TV! Am I going to be left with nothing but Steve Harvey-era Family Feud and Judge Joe Brown reruns?” Fear not, younglings: this was only a Congressional hearing, and as we all know, those never lead to anything.

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  • Fitzgerald Chesterfield

    Medicine is not science. It’s business.

    • Otto66

      True that.

    • Larry David’s Foreskin

      Do you mean that medicine should be approached as business rather than science, or that it’s unfortunate that that seems to be the case? Either way, science and business are not necessarily mutually exclusive. I would say that medicine should be science primarily motivated by compassion, but is too often opportunism motivated by greed (euphemistically referred to as “business”).Dr. Oz is a despicable charlatan and shill who takes advantage of unfortunate ignoramuses who are desperate to believe anything that confirms their misguided fears and/or promises to make their wildest dreams come true with minimal effort. He is an odious human stain in an otherwise empty pair of scrubs.

      • Fitzgerald Chesterfield

        In other words, he is the very model of a modern major surgeon?And while there is a wealth of medical science, I would say the practice of medicine in the US has boiled down to business. Not to say they don’t use a little science, but it’s mostly customer service and creative billing. Of course, this view is over-generalized, and there are good, compassionate doctors out there.

  • BMW

    Senator Uncle Ben.

  • JMP

    Who would you rather believe: the vast evidence of all medical science, or the giant snake-oil selling conglomerates giving Dr. Oz millions of dollars to hawk their placebos to his gullible fans?

  • DeSwiss

    And of course that $150,000 Claire got from Big Pharma lobbyists and Monsanto wouldn’t influence her in any way. Cause she’s a ”Stateswoman.”

  • Jeremy

    Anyone who listens to doctor on TV, is an idiot who I have no sympathy for.