Dr. Oz and the High Irony Diet

The entire universe in blog form
May 1 2014 7:45 AM

Dr. Oz and the High Irony Diet

Dr. Oz Emmy
"And now, the award for least scientifically accurate daytime TV talk show goes to ..."

Photo by Shutterstock/s_bukley

The irony of anti-science can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. Fair warning: This post is NSFPWDWTHTA (Not Safe for People Who Don’t Want Their Heads to Asplode).

I haven’t talked about TV alt-med guru Dr. Mehmet Oz much here on the blog, but it’s safe to say I’m not much of a fan. He promotes all manners of anti-science nonsense, including homeopathy (which has been proven countless times to be nothing more than water … if you’re lucky), faith healers, and even the deplorable “talking to the dead” antics of John Edward.

Advertisement

In 2013 Slate featured an article highlighting some of his less-than-scientifically-supported claims. In it, Dr. Edzard Ernst says that Oz’s actions are “irresponsible and border on quackery.” Just to make the point clear.

So I got quite the induced moment of forehead-slappiness when in my morning news alerts I saw this: “Dr. Oz vs. the Scammers.” It links to a post on Dr. Oz’s Facebook page, where he was promoting an episode of his show:

I'm absolutely fed up with scammers using my name and likeness to sell my audience questionable products! On today's show, I go head-to-head with one of the biggest offenders to take my name back. We're going to shut down these scam artists for good!

Emphasis mine. But really, it should be his too, shouldn’t it?

The Facebook page has a promo clip for the show, and as I watched it, I could feel my irony meter overheating. When Oz says this practice “… makes me sick,” it pegged into the red. And then when he confronts a scammer and asks, “Do you feel badly at all?” the irony meter melted and then exploded in a white-hot ball of plasma.

Oz apparently defines “scammers” as someone who sells his audience “questionable products.” If only there were an apt phrase for this situation.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Use Facebook to Reconnect With Old Friends, Share Photos, and Serve People With Legal Papers

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?