Image courtesy of CNN.com
So many people have asked my what I think of the latest Dr. Oz “scandal”. If you aren’t aware, a group of 10 prominent American physicians are calling for his resignation from his position as Vice Chair, Department of Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center.
From Yahoo.ca: “The doctors wrote to Columbia last week, challenging Oz’s position as a faculty member at the university’s college of physicians and surgeons and accusing him of “promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.” The letter honed in on what the doctors called Oz’s “baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops.” Some of the letter-writers have ties to the genetically modified food industry.”
I know that some of you will consider me blinded by Dr. Oz’s celebrity, but I’m his side in this case. Dr. Oz, the physician has to be separated from Dr. Oz, the personality for one thing. For another, the accusing doctors aren’t going after Dr. Oz because of any great loyalty to the hippocratic oath. Rather, they have their own agenda – likely ties to special interest groups that support the genetic modification of food. If their intentions were pure – you have to support them for that reason alone. When these doctors talk about financial gain, they forget, that most people don’t work on a voluntary basis. Even the most noble professions get paid. Dr. Oz has likely done very well for himself financially, but I’m sure the people accusing him of doing things for financial gain would do the same if they were media friendly.
I also want to explain, hopefully, for the last time, what the Dr. Oz brand is. It’s a media conglomerate consisting of a TV show, a magazine, a website, plus interest in another site and a line of co-authored books. I work in media. I understand how TV, digital and print work. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Dr. Oz doesn’t “own” his show – Harpo Productions does. He’s paid to host the show
- He also doesn’t “own” his magazine – he isn’t even the “Editor in Chief”. Hearst Magazines does
- The content for his show is booked and scheduled by segment producers – not by Dr. Oz himself
- There is a staff of writers and web producers that work on doctoroz.com
- He simply cannot check every story or every article on his show or in his self titled magazine. There just aren’t enough hours in the day
- His brand provides hundreds of jobs for people – just a little FYI
You have to know that any show that you watch on TV is created for two reasons – to generate an audience and by virtue of that, attract advertising dollars. It’s the same for print and your favourite websites. If Dr. Oz doesn’t attract viewers, readers and online users, his show is cancelled – it’s that simple. There are stories that are more sensational that are presented simply to attract viewers – it’s the truth. Every TV show does this including the news. I spoke to our News Producer one day, and he joked that our worst day is their best day. If you don’t approve of what Dr. Oz does, the simplest way to protest is by not watching or reading. I get that some of the information that he presents is hooey – that’s why I’ve written, time and time again, that you have to do your research before trying something that he recommends. Some of what he talks about though, is scientifically proven. I, for one, support anyone that gets us thinking about our own health. I promise that I’m not a super fan – just someone looking for some health information and inspiration. So don’t hate the Whiz-ard – hate the haters – and let’s stop blaming other people when all we are seeking is a quick fix. There is no such thing.