Respectful Insolence

I’ve often written of “black holes of stupid” that threaten to rupture the fabric of the space-time continuum, so dense and full of stupid are they. Such black holes tend to come from places like the wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery known as Age of Autism, the wretched hive of scum and conspiracy quackery known as NaturalNews.com, and various other sites loaded with pseudoscience throughout the web. I’ve often also joked about some post or other from such people “frying my irony meter.” Usually such comments are deserved when particularly clueless quacks write something that is so astounding in its projection and lack of self-awareness that it either amuses or enrages me. (Often, such posts do both simultaneously.) Over the years, I’ve tried (and lately mostly failed) to think of new ways to express this same thought in an amusing fashion, embellishing it with various bits of flourish in which the irony meters are reduced to bubbling pools of plastic, rubber, and wire, often sparking pitifully.

Yesterday, I saw two pieces that had the power to fry every irony meter on the planet, as two quacks collided. I’m referring to this post by one of our favorite all-purpose conspiracy theorists and quacks over at NaturalNews.com, Mike Adams, entitled Dr. Oz exposes dietary supplement scam artists fraudulently using his name to dupe customers, which references this segment on The Dr. Oz Show from Tuesday entitled Dr. Oz Goes Face to Face with Scam Artists. Both are utterly hilarious in their own way. Both form black holes of irony—in the case of Mike Adams, it’s a black hole of stupid as well—that threaten to rupture the fabric of the space-time continuum. In fact, I was thoroughly entertained by both, albeit not for the reasons, perhaps, that either Dr. Oz or Mike Adams would hope for. Juxtaposing them also makes a very cogent point, namely that Dr. Mehmet Oz, through his promotion of what can only be described as the rankest quackery over the years on his TV show, is either so self-unaware that he has no idea that he is turning into Mike Adams, or he is so cynical that he doesn’t care. Let’s see what I mean. I’ll let Adams start:

If you look around the web, you’ll see the face of Dr. Oz on the sales pages of numerous dietary supplement products. Commercial emails routinely tout products with the claim that “Dr. Oz recommends this,” even as clicking on a link often takes you to a dubious website that signs you up for a deceptive auto-ship program for a counterfeit product. (Seriously, some supplements sold today by con artists don’t even contain the ingredients they claim.)

The problem with these promotions is that they are fraudulently using Dr. Oz’s name. Dr. Oz doesn’t sell any dietary supplements, you see, and he doesn’t endorse specific brands or products.

After sending numerous cease and desist letters to the scammers to no avail, Dr. Oz jumped on an airplane with his camera crew and drove to the scammers’ place of business to confront them on camera! Click here to watch the exciting segment yourself, which almost reminds me of an episode of COPS.

More like the Keystone Cops or the Three Stooges as cops. And this is how Oz introduced his segment:

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!

Now, I’ve always laughed at the umbrage Dr. Oz takes whenever anyone touts “as recommended by Dr. Oz,” because he does recommend a lot of products on his show, particularly supplements. Personally, I think it serves him right, but I understand that trademark law allows Oz to control the use of his image. However, while it’s true that a lot of these supplement companies will make it sound as though Dr. Oz recommended their specific product, there are cases when he actually did recommend their specific product and it’s not at all untruthful to say so. Also, what if Dr. Oz says that green coffee is a great weight loss product and you sell green coffee bean extract? It’s truthful to say in your advertising that Dr. Oz has recommended green coffee bean extract. Dr. Oz, in fact, still recommends green coffee bean extract, even to the point of having run an unethical “mini” clinical trial on it and touted a tiny clinical trial by a green coffee bean extract manufacturer. From my perspective, as long as you don’t say that Dr. Oz recommended your particular brand, include an appropriate disclaimer, and don’t use his image, there should be nothing wrong with saying that Dr. Oz recommends green coffee, because he has, in fact, recommended green coffee on his show, just as he’s recommended homeopathy, acupuncture, psychic mediums (with only minimal disclaimer), and boatloads of other quackery. But, thanks to our screwed up laws, it isn’t, which allows Dr. Oz to whine, “They claim to be associated with me,” even though most of the ads I’ve seen make no such claim but just quote Oz.

Of course, the real reason Dr. Oz is so concerned is that he doesn’t want his brand sullied by any association with dubious supplement manufacturers, and who can blame him? He doesn’t get a cut when companies like that use his image, and I can’t blame even Dr. Oz for not wanting his name associated with such shady characters. It’s bad for his brand. If half of what he says is true, it is actually rather impressive that he has a team of people working for him whose sole job, or so it seems, is to go after companies who use his name without his permission. According to Oz, his name is most commonly invoked by manufacturers of a supplement called Garcinia gambogia extract. The extract comes from a tropical fruit grown in India and Southeast Asia, and the putative active ingredient has even been identified: hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is claimed to “block fat” and suppress the appetite. HCA inhibits a key enzyme, citrate lyase, that the body needs to make fat from carbohydrates, among other effects, and allegedly suppresses appetite, decreases belly fat, decreases LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), and increases HDL (the “good” cholesterol). As Scott Gavura explained, however, although Garcinia extract probably does produce some weight loss in the short term, the effect is small and not statistically significant when only the most rigorous randomized clinical trials are considered, making its clinical relevance questionable at best.

A search for Garcinia Gambogia and Dr. Oz brings up many, many hits. Apparently, if the articles have a grain of truth in them, Oz referred to the extract as the “holy grail of weight loss” and he’s definitely called it the “newest, fastest fat buster,” both of which sound like a pretty ringing endorsements to me. In a story in Slate.com, Oz’s promotion of Garcinia was described thusly:

As people were getting ready for the holiday season and its accompanying waist expansion late last year, Dr. Mehmet Oz let viewers of his TV show in on a timely little secret. “Everybody wants to know what’s the newest, fastest fat buster,” said the board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon and one of People magazine’s sexiest men alive. “How can I burn fat without spending every waking moment exercising and dieting?”

He then told his audience about a “breakthrough,” “magic,” “holy grail,” even “revolutionary” new fat buster. “I want you to write it down,” America’s doctor urged his audience with a serious and trustworthy stare. After carefully wrapping his lips around the exotic words “Garcinia cambogia,” he added, sternly: “It may be the simple solution you’ve been looking for to bust your body fat for good.”

Naturally, all this promotion came back to bite Dr. Oz on the proverbial posterior, and now he’s shocked—shocked, I say!—that anyone would want to infer his endorsement from his promotion of products like Garcinia gambogia or green coffee bean extract on his show. So, really, as I watched the Dr. Oz segment begin, rather than outrage what I felt was a profound sense of schadenfreude, both for Dr. Oz, who has no one to blame but himself that unscrupulous supplement scammers want to use his name to sell their products, and the unscrupulous supplement scammers themselves, who have Dr. Oz and his crew chasing after them like the crew of 60 Minutes, or, more accurately, like Geraldo Rivera chasing after Al Capone’s vault.

The particular company that, Dr. Oz opines, is the worst offender when it comes to using his name to sell Garcinia supplements is Miracle Garcinia Cambogia. Dr. Oz claims he hired a “team” of private investigators, who spent weeks tracking down the actual company behind Miracle Garcinia Cambogia, namely Tarr, Inc., and the owner of the company, Nathan Martinez, as well as Oscar Maria, who runs the company responsible for a lot of Tarr’s marketing, and two brothers, Richard and Ryan Fowler. I will admit that it is clear from Dr. Oz’s segment that these guys make a lot of money. One of them drives a Rolls Royce, another a very expensive-looking sports coupe, and there’s a brand new motorboat on a trailer in a parking lot of one of Tarr’s facilities. This falls past the event horizon of the irony black hole, as far as I’m concerned. As much money as these guys make, as rich as they appear to be, it’s nothing compared to how rich Dr. Oz has become off of what the Empire of Oz makes selling—yes—Dr. Oz, who promotes homeopathy, supplements, highly dubious health claims, and even psychic mediums and faith healers. (Perhaps Oz is angry that Tarr’s use of his name might distract from his preferred quack, Joe Mercola.) Seemingly, there’s no quackery that Dr. Oz won’t embrace. That’s what makes the part where Dr. Oz stands next to what he describes as a “brand new six figure speedboat” belonging to Oscar Maria (which, apparently was being washed before Oz’s crew showed up and caused the employees washing it to flee) and, with his best camera-ready face of outrage, proclaims, “I wonder how many Garcinia cambogia bottles were sold to unsuspecting Americans to buy this boat.”

I had to stop the video for a moment at that point. I truly thought I was going to blow an aneurysm, as the black hole of irony did a number on me not unlike what the black hole did to people at the end of an an old 1990s video.

Alright, I’m OK again. Next up, Dr. Oz chases after employees of Tarr and asks if they feel badly at all and, after they drive away, says that they’re “scurrying away like rats.”

Oh, hell, I can’t take it anymore! And that’s just the first five minute segment of Oz’s story. While I’m waiting for my neurons to recover yet again, I’ll amuse myself briefly by noting how much umbrage Oz took when Oscar Maria called him “Mr. Oz.” It’s a tactic that amuses me when it’s turned on me, because it’s so flamingly obviously designed to get under my skin by showing me disrespect. That’s why I had a hard time not busting out laughing at how annoyed “Mr. Oz” looked when the tactic was used on him.

One thing that stands out is that Dr. Oz claims at the end of segment two that Tarr, Inc. has stopped selling Miracle Garcinia Cambogia and taken his name and image off the website. So I went to the website, and, sure enough, it says that they are “currently out of inventory and not accepting orders at this time.” Everything else is still there, other than Oz’s picture, which makes me wonder if Tarr, Inc. plans on starting up sales again when the time is right.

Of course, the funniest thing is how, at the end of the second segment, Dr. Oz asks his lead investigator how we can avoid being “duped” by a product that sounds too good to be true. There’s even a fake website featured to illustrate all the points, such as the ubiquitous “As featured on” tagline, and, of course, fake testimonials. At the very end of the segment, Oz asks his audience to sign a petition on his website demanding that the FTC crack down on these companies using his image and endorsement without his permission. In fact, he asks people to contact their states’ attorneys general and demand action. Seriously. Then, after this “call to action,” the next segment on his website is entitled The Revolutionary Diet to Heal Your Body.

Arrrrgggh!

Oddly enough, the owner of Tarr, Nathan Martinez, supplement scammer that he is, recognized a scam from Oz when he saw it:

“We’ve always liked Dr. Oz, but he definitely made a very bad impression when he showed up unannounced at the offices a few weeks ago. We would have been happy to sit down and talk with Dr. Oz in a civilized and professional way. But he showed up at our offices without warning, then walked through our offices with a camera crew, and tried to create some good entertainment and good ratings. It’s hard to have effective communication when someone is thrusting a camera in your face and also later edits out what they don’t like. After he came to our offices, we also offered to meet with him and be interviewed on the air, but his show’s producers ignored our request.

“Dr. Oz definitely has the right to be upset about companies that use his image and likeness to suggest that he endorses their products. We understand that, but we didn’t do that. On our website, we did link to a public video clip where Dr. Oz talks about Garcinia Cambogia extract. We thought it was helpful for people to hear what Dr. Oz thinks about the ingredients in our product. But we made very clear on the website that Dr. Oz was not endorsing our product or affiliated with our company. That said, we are sorry that he was upset. And, before he came to office, we’d already removed the public video clip from our website.

Martinez knows a kindred spirit when he sees one. That’s exactly what it was about: Entertaining television. More importantly, it was about protecting the Oz brand. Indeed, much in the same way that Mike Adams “tests” his competitors’ supplements for “heavy metals” in his incompetently run “laboratory” in order to smear his competitors’ products as being loaded with “toxic chemicals”—while, of course, his supplements are pure as a mountain stream—Dr. Oz even hired an analytical chemist to test a bunch of Garcinia extract products and found that Tarr, Inc.’s product was “the worst” of the lot, with less “active ingredient” than any other. Of course, given that there are no standards in the supplement industry, there’s no way of knowing whether Tarr, Inc.’s products were in any way inferior. At worst, they were just more dilute than other products. But that claim was enough for Dr. Oz to attack Tarr, Inc.—which, let’s be frank, almost certainly deserved it—as selling an “inferior” product that Oz would never endorse (or at least never endorse if he doesn’t get his cut).

Yes, Dr. Oz’s evolution towards becoming Mike Adams is continuing apace.

Comments

  1. #1 NH Primary Care Doctor
    May 2, 2014

    Ha. He didn’t go to evil medical school for six years to be called “mister!”

    Whenever my patients ask about the latest and greatest miracle weight loss supplement (including Garcinia), I point out that the obesity rate in America continues to climb. I point out that if there really was a weight loss pill that worked, it would be on the front page of the NY Times. I point out Oprah and her continuing struggles with her weight.

    It’s usually Oprah that convinces them.

  2. #2 Orac
    May 2, 2014

    Ha. He didn’t go to evil medical school for six years to be called “mister!”

    Yup. I get cranks, quacks, and antivaccinationists using this tactic all the time, because they think it gets under my skin. To be honest, it used to; that is, until I realized that it was just a way of dissing me in the hopes that I’d become irritated. Now, whenever a quack pulls the “Mr. Orac” technique on me, I laugh more than anything else. I know I have an MD and a PhD, while most of the quacks who pull that ploy don’t, which is why they use the technique, to try to bring me down to their level, credentials-wise.

  3. #3 Eric Lund
    May 2, 2014

    Seriously, some supplements sold today by con artists don’t even contain the ingredients they claim.

    I am about as shocked by this as Captain Renault was to discover that gambling was going on in Rick’s Cafe.

    I can’t find a whole lot of sympathy for Dr. Oz here. The easiest way to prevent people from claiming that you recommend their scam supplement product is to not recommend that type of supplement product. Especially since the FDA has been cut out of the loop, making supplements a “caveat emptor” field.

  4. #4 Dangerous Bacon
    May 2, 2014

    I wonder when Oz will go after all those supermarket checkout line magazines that are continually touting his latest wonder remedy/diet.

    This whole kerfuffle has an odor of “Don’t Trust Worthless Imitations, Buy My Brand”.

  5. #5 Denice Walter
    May 2, 2014

    A couple of things:

    – What about Mikey?
    I thought that he was so focused on his _discoveries_ made in his _lab_ that he wouldn’t be concerned with such frivolous topics as television doctors’ interests
    .
    In January, he gushed full bore about his lab and began calling out rogue entrepreneurs. More recently, he’s taken up politics again- which he supposedly swore off- by shrieking his support for anti-governmental free-loaders. Then he made an abrupt turn into spirituality and other-worldliness by expressing disdain for the establishment- i.e. godless creatures who support science.

    Like daytime television hosts, Mikey will do anything to get an audience.

    – I’ve recently postulated that perhaps much of woo could be boiled down to ‘ways to be thin without reality intruding':
    SBM teaches us that diet and exercise are the way and that it is by no means an easy task ( as I know all too well).

    By woo, I mean the focus on highly restrictive diets ( vegan, raw, GF, unprocessed foods, juicing, low carb, Paleo etc) and increasingly exotic supplements made from arcane ingredients that originate in untouched rainforests in the undeveloped world – where everyone is thin- as well as various forms of cleansing and de-toxification- including colonics, herbal products, fibre-based products et al.

    Of course, a few do talk about exercise which apparently is the cure to all ills and the fountain of youth ( it gets human growth hormone surging without resort to syringes) if you spend an hour a day exercising aerobically to ‘speed up your metabolism”. Also mind-body approaches like yoga which yoke your unruly emotions and unschooled endocrine system into creating just the right combination of hormones to keep you whippet thin – all without stress.

    Thus all of these ‘easy” substitutes for reality can virtually take over your life and still offer no respite from the fact that you need to eat less calories than you burn as fuel in order to lose weight.

  6. #6 Dangerous Bacon
    May 2, 2014

    I can’t figure why anyone would be hyped about being called Dr. or not, seeing as how pretty much everyone can be a Dr. now.

    We have rug doctors, lawn doctors, basement doctors, and a slew of institutions of alleged learning that are happy to award you an online degree as doctor of something or other, for the right $$$. You can call yourself Dr. and expound on health while having a PhD that has nothing to do with medicine (hi, Ralph Moss!). Plus as we all know, you can’t trust doctors in the first place. Better just to get advice from random strangers on the subway.

    Degrees are for the pretentious, not to mention specialty society memberships.

    D.B., M.D., who has a Masters degree in Science, but is not an F.A.A.P.

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    May 2, 2014

    Wouldn’ old-fashioned German speakers call our esteemed host “Dr Dr”?

  8. #8 Eric Lund
    May 2, 2014

    Denice @7: It would be “Mr Dr Dr”, or possibly “Mr Prof Dr”, depending on Orac’s exact job title. A similarly situated woman would be either “Mrs Dr Dr” or “Miss Dr Dr” depending on marital status.

  9. #9 Mark Thorson
    May 2, 2014

    Oh no! They’re breeding!

    http://www.glutenfreesingles.com/

  10. #10 Ken
    United States
    May 2, 2014

    It does seem like a prelude to rolling out his own brand. Because he’s just trying to “protect” his audience from those other shoddy products.

  11. #11 ann
    May 2, 2014

    It’s hard to believe that Dr. Oz was known as a great surgeon. Now when I hear his name I just think….what a complete embarrassment. He’s a sell out.

  12. #12 Shay
    May 2, 2014

    Denice — Renate could probably enlighten us but wouldn’t he be referred to as Herr Doktor Onkologe Orac?

    (I kinda like Herr Doktor Krebsspezialist Orac, but I think that’s an outdated term).

  13. #13 Orac
    May 2, 2014

    It does seem like a prelude to rolling out his own brand. Because he’s just trying to “protect” his audience from those other shoddy products.

    Oh, I totally suspect that’s what’s up. First, preemptively slime and eliminate the competition, then release a line of “Dr. Oz approved” supplements guaranteed to be so much better than the stuff sold by riffraff like Tarr, Inc.

  14. #14 Shay
    May 2, 2014

    Ooooh….so if Dr. Oz is positioning himself to out-Derange the Deranger, can we look forward to some kind of woo-centric cage match?

  15. #15 Bob Blaskiewicz
    May 2, 2014
  16. #16 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    May 2, 2014

    Because of integrity?

    *kablam*

    That irony meter definitely didn’t see that one coming.

  17. #17 Eric Lund
    May 2, 2014

    Because of integrity.

    This is some usage of “integrity” of which I was previously unaware.

  18. #18 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 2, 2014

    Quite possibly off-topic, but could someone tell me how the popularity of Dr. Oz came about?

    We live in a country that’s been hiding under the bed, soiling their diapers in fear of M00zlins!!! and Terraists!!! for twelve years now, and the right-wing media (all there is any more) has been a constant drumbeat of demonization of Turkey ever since they committed the crime of having their Gaza aid ship hijacked on the high seas by Israeli commandos. So how does a Turk (whose first name is actually “Mehmet”!) gain such a large following? Obama is a crypto-m00zlin terrist, but Oz is not?

  19. #19 squirrelelite
    May 2, 2014

    What a coincidence!
    After taking my wife to the pharmacy this morning, we stopped at the grocery for some typical “junk” like corn, tomatoes, jicama, squash, cashews and oats, and some chicken on sale.
    My weight loss problem is going to be spreading the ears of fresh sweet corn out over enough days to avoid gaining it.
    The lady behind us in the line only bought a bottle of garcinia cambogia!
    I looked for the Food Network magazine in vain (it’s not supposed to be available in grocery stores). But, there was a magazine touting all of Dr. Oz’s recommendations on the rack!
    But, Dr Oz’s investigation reminds me of some of the sillier activities of our local TV investigative reporters.

  20. #20 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    May 2, 2014

    Reverend — that is a very good point, but I’ve always been more amused at his surname. Perhaps nobody reads American literature anymore, though admittedly L. Frank Baum is pretty much pulp. But the Great and Powerful Oz was 100% hokum, from front to back. A con artist who accidentally found himself in the Land of Oz, started going by the name “Oz”, and created an empire based on deception. Maybe people just think of Dorothy and the ruby slippers, and harmless childhood fun, and forget how Baum skewered frauds in his book?

  21. #21 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 2, 2014

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge – Dr. Oz’s popularity comes from Oprah. He’s from Cleveland originally, so I’m not sure I’m up on the rest of your point.

    I’m not sure what news you’re getting, but I’ve never observed the Turks being demonized in my area.

  22. #22 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 2, 2014

    M O’B:

    I’m not sure what news you’re getting, but I’ve never observed the Turks being demonized in my area.

    Seriously? The right-wing noise machine actually took a week off from “Bomb, bomb, bomb! Bomb, bomb Iran!” when the Turkish aid ship was hijacked by Israeli commandos to start pumping up war with Turkey. I suppose it’s let up a little bit, but anybody that Israel doesn’t like is automatically demonized in the American press.

  23. #23 Dangerous Bacon
    May 2, 2014

    I’ve never thought of Dr. Oz as being Turkish.

    A turkey, yes. But not Turkish.

    I also never heard any “right-wing noise machine” calling for war with Turkey. But maybe I live in a different world (or dimension) than Rev. Battleaxe.

  24. #24 Eric Lund
    May 2, 2014

    That makes three of us who haven’t observed much in the way of calls war with Turkey specifically. There has been hostility toward Muslims in general, and Turkey is a majority Muslim country, but the right wing noise machine has had bigger fish to fry (Iran and Syria, specifically) than Turkey. The smarter among the war hawks are aware that having Turkey’s cooperation would be useful in dealing with Iran and Syria. We would also want to have Turkey’s help if we get drawn into the situation in Ukraine–they get to decide whether our carrier group can enter the Black Sea, since the Bosphorus and Dardanelles are their territorial waters.

  25. #25 Shay
    May 2, 2014

    I always think of “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings, Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair” when I see him mentioned, probably because my father forced me to read poetry when I was a child.

  26. #26 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 2, 2014

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge – my recollection of that incident was repeated comments that Israel was no better than pirates for stopping ships that were deliberately attempting to break its naval blockade. Clearly we were getting our news from different sources.

  27. #27 Science Student
    May 2, 2014

    Anyone can order herbal mixtures from countries in the East or source indigenous herbs that may or may not help with weight loss and package them under an exotic name and sell them to desperate people wanting to lose weight and no official checks will be carried out to determine if the ingredients are safe or if they are actually the ones that were ordered.

  28. #28 Indigo Blue
    May 2, 2014

    In the UK calling a surgeon “Dr” is considered an insult to the surgeon. So maybe the anti-vaxxers et al just have English affectations.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1119265/#!po=3.57143

  29. #29 Science Student
    May 2, 2014

    A dietary supplement is basically anything taken “intended to supplement the diet.”The problem is that dietary supplements are not regulated under the same regulations as ordinary food and drug products.The FDA regulates only “quality control and good manufacturing processes, but does not ensure standard of the active ingredients or efficacy.” Everybody is searching for the revolutionized Diet pill and the next quick weight loss fix.

    I don’t feel sorry for Dr. Oz because he did boost this product on his show. All diet supplements are a risk every consumer takes when they buy them over the counter and every client isn’t as cautious as they ought to be. In 2010 in South Africa everybody ranted about the new wonder diet pill- Simply Slim… It was the answer to all overweight consumers, who was unaware of all the hidden side effects that hid behind that new wonder drug. A few months after their big launch the complaints began to roll in and serious health risks was revealed. The side effect that most consumers seemed to have was an increase in blood pressure causing hypertension.

    Anyone can order herbal mixtures from countries in the East or source indigenous herbs that may or may not help with weight loss and package them under an exotic name and sell them to desperate people wanting to lose weight and no official checks will be carried out to determine if the ingredients are safe or if they are actually the ones that were ordered.

    A very famous Diet pill, marked “herbal and natural” contained a few extra ingredients that could have been life threatening on the long run if it was not stopped early in its tracks. The danger of dietary supplements should be made more aware to the public consumer and people shouldn’t see warning labels as an extra accessory that was just slapped on the product as an after thought.

  30. #30 Denice Walter
    May 2, 2014

    I always thought that Oz’s appeal was that he was ( supposed to be) really handsome** and that women prefer a man who is also smart and *concerned* about THEM.
    I think that that’s why he was hired..

    Like other woo-meisters, he also presents his pabulum as ‘education’ and purports to be benefitting the audience’s health. More like benefitting supplements companies’ bottom line.

    Seriously would anyone watch him if he was overweight or lost his hair?***

    ** altho’ so-called ‘Mediterraneans’ are ‘my type’ ( even the Irish ones) I fail to see the hotness factor in his case. He’s not ugly but he’s too slick and sincere for my taste. And his eyes are set too widely apart.
    *** altho’ bald men can be very attractive- he wouldn’t be.

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    May 2, 2014

    WERE overweight

  32. #32 Sastra
    May 2, 2014

    Now, whenever a quack pulls the “Mr. Orac” technique on me, I laugh more than anything else.

    Of course you laugh: it’s Lord Orac, thank you very much.

    A few years ago a front page article in my local paper was an interview with a psychic. The topic: Beware of fake psychics! There was a helpful bar on the side listing what one ought to watch out for. The psychic herself was, of course, genuine. This was why she was so concerned about people who only pretended to have magic powers in order to defraud the uneducated.

    Yeah. Dr. Oz’s “concern” reminds me of that. How subtle of him.

  33. #33 Dangerous Bacon
    May 2, 2014

    “In the UK calling a surgeon “Dr” is considered an insult to the surgeon.”

    I was rereading “The Hound of the Baskervilles” last night, and at first Dr. Mortimer (an M.R.C.S. a.k.a. Member of the Royal College of Surgeons) insists on being called “Mr.”, but later is called “Dr.” Mortimer without protest.

    Go figure.

  34. #34 Thabane
    south africa
    May 2, 2014

    “Weight ” is an issue… Medical practitioners should be ensure that any products related to this issue is doing good than bad

  35. #35 herr doktor bimler
    May 2, 2014

    “newest, fastest fat buster,”
    It always seems odd when some quack begins his advertisement for a product by announcing that the product he was promoting previously doesn’t actually work.

  36. #36 JSintheStTes
    May 2, 2014

    With all due respect, everytime someone writes an article about this quack (i.e., Dr Oz), the entire internet gives him that much more exposure! Better to ignore this charlatan and let him evaporate…

  37. #37 Spectator
    May 2, 2014

    @ The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge #18

    Please build the straw man of your personal outrage a bit more sturdily if you want people to expend the effort of being disturbed by it.

  38. #38 Lawrence
    May 2, 2014

    @Spectator – you need to practice picking out a POE when you see one…..

  39. #39 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 2, 2014

    Spectator, I can’t help it if you’re not paying attention to the ravings of the loony right that dominates American politics. I get battle fatigue and tune out periodically as well, but the incident with the Turkish aid ship is not made up. It was hijacked on the high seas by Israeli commandos and the result was a crescendo of outrage—against Turkey. How dare they try to send food and medicine to the people the Israelis were trying to starve?!

  40. #40 Narad
    May 2, 2014

    Anyone can order herbal mixtures from countries in the East

    It was only a matter of time.

  41. #41 Narad
    May 2, 2014

    Possibly an iteration of this script.

  42. #42 Michael
    May 2, 2014

    #39- the Israelis and their supporters would argue that their actions were no different than the Union’s blockade against the Confederacy during the Civil War or the British blockade against the Germans during the First World War.

  43. #43 Bronze Dog
    May 2, 2014

    It’s always cause to facepalm when woos switch from implicit mutual support to “accept no substitutes from those other woos.” It’s an inevitability when you don’t have scientifically-minded institutions regulating an industry.

  44. #44 Alain
    May 3, 2014

    @DW

    *** altho’ bald men can be very attractive- he wouldn’t be.

    Such as me? :)

    Alain

  45. #45 Chris Hickie
    May 3, 2014

    @ Dangerous Bacon #6

    D.B., M.D., who has a Masters degree in Science, but is not an F.A.A.P.

    –I was on the road yesterday. Just caught this.

    The pediatric version of Dr. Oz would be the Sears clan, whom I’m sure would similarly rise up to protect their quackery (Juice Plus (http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/QA/juiceplus.html)) were another quack try to steal a piece of their pie.

  46. #46 Indigo Blue
    May 3, 2014

    @dangerous bacon

    Trust Conan Doyle to be inaccurate, fairy believer that he was.

    It’s still very alive in Britain today. In fact I had a recent “I didn’t wait four months to see no *Mrs* Kumar” moment recently when I needed an ENT appointment.

    Amusing in that it comes from the rapidly improving 19th century surgeons not wanting to be associated with those quacky miasma believing doctors

  47. #47 Dangerous Bacon
    May 3, 2014

    I am definitely not anti-Turkish.

    I am very fond of our ottoman and find it indispensable for comfy TV watching.

    It’s interesting to see another example of the construction of an oversized strawman based on what “The Media” has supposedly done. Just yesterday the Wall St. Journal published an indignant rebuttal to the proposal that Jesus had a wife. Allegedly this idea was widely promoted in the media on the basis of a forged ancient document, no doubt to cast aspersions on the Christian religion. Except that I don’t recall any mass promulgation of this theory by Nasty Doubters (I wasn’t even aware of it until yesterday).

    The “Let’s Go To War With Turkey” meme has a similarly dubious provenance.

  48. #48 Denice Walter
    May 3, 2014

    Mikey now writes about big government’s war on small farmers ( a/k/a The People) who keep animals in a place which is familiar to our most esteemed and gracious host and a few of his lovely minions.
    First they came for your goats..
    then they came for your chickens,
    soon they’ll come for your bees
    etc.

    -btw- Alain, either way you’re fine.

  49. #49 brewandferment
    May 3, 2014

    Of course Oz must be preparing to launch his own line of products–he’s just launched an Oprahesque vanity publication called “The Good Life”. It was sent to me because it’s published by another magazine I subscribe to, so I read it for the snark value. On every few pages, there’s some mention of Oz’s favorites and/or a photo of himself, natch. Some of the info was TMI if you ask me!

  50. #50 Colin Day
    May 3, 2014

    @ The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    # 18

    Turkey is a NATO ally. Also, how many Americans know that the name “Mehmet” is Turkish?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey#Military

  51. #51 herr doktor bimler
    May 3, 2014

    Allegedly this idea was widely promoted in the media on the basis of a forged ancient document, no doubt to cast aspersions on the Christian religion. Except that I don’t recall any mass promulgation of this theory by Nasty Doubters

    I remember the Smithsonian was promoting the story, late 2012. A few atheist / free-thinker blogs mentioned it in tones of guarded skepticism.

  52. #52 BobM
    May 4, 2014

    There is actually a certain snob value in Mister instead of Doctor. But only if you’re British. :-)

  53. #53 lilady
    May 4, 2014

    @ BobM: I never could reconcile that Mister-vs-Doctor British thing.

    So, before you go to medical school you are Mr. Jones. Then you are awarded a doctorate in medicine degree, earning the title of Doctor Jones. If you train as a surgeon, you are then back to Mister Jones.

    If you are introduced to Mr. Smith, Mr. Brown and Mr. Jones…how do you know which one is a surgeon?

  54. #54 NumberWang
    May 4, 2014

    Surgeons are well known for their modest, self deprecating demeanour. They prefer to work anonymously in the background. Those confident enough to appear in the public eye like our host are the rarity.

  55. #55 Andy
    May 4, 2014

    There is actually a certain snob value in Mister instead of Doctor. But only if you’re British.

    Or Australian, I understand.

    What do Canadians do? Do they go with the US protocol or the Commonwealth?

    But can I conclude from the article that Mr Oz is branching out into comedy now?

  56. #56 palindrom
    May 4, 2014

    NumberWang @54 — That’s pretty funny!

  57. #57 lilady
    May 4, 2014

    Number Wang: I know plenty of doctors, including surgeons and they are always introduced as “Doctor”. :-)

  58. #58 sheepmilker
    May 4, 2014

    Andy, in Canada, surgeons are addressed as “Doctor”.

    If you are introduced to Mr. Smith, Mr. Brown and Mr. Jones…how do you know which one is a surgeon?

    The type A personality is the surgeon! (ducks for cover…)

  59. #59 Dangerous Bacon
    May 4, 2014

    “I remember the Smithsonian was promoting the story, late 2012. A few atheist / free-thinker blogs mentioned it in tones of guarded skepticism.”

    There you go – The Media on a rampage!

  60. #60 Narad
    May 4, 2014

    he’s just launched an Oprahesque vanity publication called “The Good Life”

    I’m guessing he’s unfamiliar with the comedic association that goes with the name.

  61. #61 herr doktor bimler
    May 4, 2014

    the comedic association that goes with the name.
    Will Felicity Kendall be involved? IBIMB.

    If you are introduced to Mr. Smith, Mr. Brown and Mr. Jones…how do you know which one is a surgeon?
    Work out which one is the lawyer and which one is the undertaker; whoever is left must be the surgeon.

  62. #62 NumberWang
    May 4, 2014

    @lilady #57

    I was with my OH for an appointment with a Neurologist last week. Overheard the nurse explaining to some patients just down the hall how the doctors were all at this end of the corridor and the ‘Misters’ were at the other.

  63. #63 Adent
    May 5, 2014

    Hi Orac,
    Jim Humble humbles through Europe and is merchandising MMS (see link). If you follow the discussion, already a lot of people here are blinded and fans of the miraculous solution. And no official institution is responsive or willing to stop this quackery, disgusting!
    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/medizin/mms-quacksalber-werben-auf-kongress-in-hannover-a-967307.html

  64. #64 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    May 5, 2014

    @Adent #63: I have wondered if those trolls were really sockpuppets.

  65. #65 Renate
    May 5, 2014

    @ Adent
    One of the commenters complains that people should be able to decide for themselves, so no regulations what so ever to ban quackery.
    What’s next? Insurers should pay for whatever treatment people want to have? If insurers don’t pay for a treatment, people try to collect money to pay for some ‘experimental’ treatment.

  66. #66 Chris Hickie
    May 5, 2014

    At least it’s funny knowing Oz can’t “ozstracize” other fraudsters.

  67. #67 Dangerous Bacon
    May 5, 2014

    Interesting that when you do a Google search on Mercola (don’t ask), Google throws up a mug shot gallery entitled “People also search for”, showing such luminaries as:

    Andrew Weil
    Gary Null
    Russell Blaylock
    Stan Burzynski
    Weston Price
    Andrew Wakefield
    and
    Mehmet Oz

    Lovely company you’re in, Oz old chap.

  68. #68 Adent
    May 6, 2014

    @Renate
    I would suggest to introduce a quackery tax, payed by people which believe on all kinds of quackery and given to people which rather wants to be treated by non quackery medizine.

  69. #69 Renate
    May 6, 2014

    @Adent
    Nice idea, but I’m affraid it will lead to lots of protests from quackpromotors, who always protest if their quackery is treated differently than science based medicine.

  70. #70 Indigo_Fire
    May 6, 2014

    @Renate

    But they love to be treated differently when it comes to evaluating the evidence for their modalities, since treating the evidence the same tends to disprove their dearly held ideas.

    The hypocrisy burns.

  71. #71 Renate
    May 6, 2014

    @ Indigo Fire
    But if it’s about money, or respect they really, really want it. On a sidenote, today I saw an advertisement of a chiropractor, stating that a visit to the chiropractor should be just as normal as an anual visit to the dentist, to look if something is wrong.

  72. […] Dr. Oz’s evolution as America’s foremost promoter of quackery continues apace […]

  73. […] authoritative while Adams is an out and out conspiracy loon. How wrong I was! In fact, when I recently quipped that Dr. Oz’s evolution into Mike Adams was continuing apace less than two weeks ago, never […]

  74. […] it was on protecting his audience, culminating in an “investigative” report in which he burst in on nefarious supplement scammers using his name to sell Garcinia gambogia weight loss products like a cut rate Geraldo Rivera […]

  75. #75 www.youtube.com
    June 30, 2014

    This is a topic which is near to my heart… Take care!

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