In Defense of Dr. Oz

Congress took Dr. Oz to task for offering dietary advice. One needn't have any affection for Oz to recognize the chilling effect this has on free speech.


Dr. Oz
David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

Last week, Dr. Oz went to Washington. That would be Dr. Mehmet Oz, medical doctor, daytime television host, advice columnist, and—many claim—huckster. Oz traveled to the nation's capital after being summoned by Congress to explain his endorsements of a variety of foods and supplements he claims are healthy.

Oz is controversial for a variety of reasons. He has claimed, for example, that foods and supplements from green coffee extract to raspberry ketones to garcinia cambogia (whatever those are) have unique fat-burning properties.

Critics of his longstanding opposition to GMOs and support for herbal supplements and other alternative medicines point to what they say is his lack of interest in science and data, often painting him as nothing more than a quack.

They point to the fact that Oz's syndicated show frequently features appearances by other controversial "experts," including Dr. Joseph Mercola.

Criticism of Oz's views is becoming as mainstream as some of his beliefs are outside of that same mainstream.

Take, for example, an excellent New Yorker profile of Oz last year in which it was clear that the writer, Michael Specter, is clearly befuddled by the apparent chasm between Oz's impressive Ivy League credentials and his appeal to the fantastic.

"Oz is an experienced surgeon, yet almost daily he employs words that serious scientists shun, like 'startling,' 'breakthrough,' 'radical,' 'revolutionary,' and 'miracle,'" writes Specter. "There are miracle drinks and miracle meal plans and miracles to stop aging and miracles to fight fat."

But it's not just highbrow publications like the New Yorker that have seen fit to rip Oz's claims to shreds.

Even outlets like Entertainment Weekly feel empowered to take a swing at some of the good doctor's claims about food.

Ripping on Dr. Oz has become a cottage industry. And that's a good thing.

It's not good just because I'm no fan of Oz (which I'm not). It's good because it means that the marketplace of ideas is doing its job. Members of the media and scientific community are exposing what they argue are Oz's intellectual and factual shortcomings.

But that's also one reason that I find Oz's appearance before a Senate consumer protection committee last week to be incredibly troubling.

"I don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know it's not true," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the committee chair, in pointed remarks directed at Oz. "Why, when you have this amazing megaphone, and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?"

Personally, I don't get why McCaskill uses her own amazing megaphone to waste taxpayer money on farm subsidies, dairy supports, and corn ethanol. But then again, I don't wield the power of the U.S. Senate and thus don't have the luxury of demanding that she explain these indefensible stances she's taken.

And what of Oz's belief in, say, green coffee extract? What if he truly believes in it, wants to make money off of it, or some combination of the two?

Oz has absolutely zero responsibility to hold mainstream views and every right to make money off of those views. His popularity has absolutely no impact on his right to say whatever the hell he wants to say. And being hauled before Congress for saying what he wants places a tremendous burden on his, your, and my First Amendment rights. While Sen. McCaskill's actions are nowhere near those of Sen. Joseph McCarthy decades earlier, the chilling effect that Congress can have on speech can't be understated and shouldn't be forgotten.

Many of Dr. Oz's detractors seized on the hearing. Schadenfreude, they beamed.

One of those who couldn't hide their joy over Sen. McCaskill's takedown of Oz is Prof. David Gorski, who teaches surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine and serves as managing editor of the blog Science-Based Medicine, where he sometimes blogs under the pseudonym "Orac."

Gorski, one of Oz's most persistent and thoughtful critics, referred to Oz earlier this year as "America's quack."

"He can't simply dispense with facts he doesn't find convenient," Gorski told the New Yorker, in the aforementioned profile of Oz. "Oz has a huge bully pulpit, with the entire Oprah empire behind him."

Actually, Oz can dispense with the facts if he chooses. His bully pulpit and Oprah backing have nothing to do with his right to speak his mind.

It might make Gorski's life less fulfilling that he feels compelled to have to publish post after post refuting Oz's latest claims. But that's how the First Amendment works—rightly defending both Oz and Gorski equally.

Congress ripped Dr. Oz a new one last week. It's not hard to imagine that the Food Babe, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the publishers of 9 out of 10 diet books can't be far behind. What's more, if objective truth is the new standard for permissible speech here in Washington, D.C, then we can at least bask in knowing we're not long for Congress itself.

NEXT: Bobby Womack, RIP

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  1. Roll over them hills dude like now.

    1. Is this the new “beautiful bean footage”?

      1. I thought the same thing when I read the comment this morning

  2. Hmm… it seems Gorski can’t muster the same respect for Dr. Oz that he has for Holocaust deniers:

    However, as much as I despise Holocaust denial, I value free speech, because it is the wellspring from which all of our other political freedoms flow. Democracy is meaningless without a high degree of freedom of speech, and enshrining freedom of speech in the Bill or Rights, where transient legislators can’t easily mess with it and it requires a Constitutional Amendment to change, was arguably one of the most brilliant strokes of genius by our Founding Fathers. Yes, no freedom is absolute, but the ideal is to place as few limits on freedom of speech as possible.

    Even vile speech like that of Holocaust deniers.

    1. Re-reading the Gorski post Linnekin in context of Gorski’s previous writings on free speech, I don’t think Linnekin is being fair to Gorski at all. Firstly, Gorski is clear that he makes no exceptions with free speech. Secondly, while he does express schadenfreude at Oz having to testify, he prefaces it with this:

      and if there’s one thing I know about Congressional hearings, it’s that they are very much like a Kabuki dance. It’s highly stylized and constrained, reminiscent of the Kabuki style of Japanese stage play. Indeed, there is even a term, Kabuki dance, that is used in politics to describe an event that is designed to create the appearance of conflict or of an uncertain outcome, when in fact the actors have worked together to determine the outcome beforehand. The question I have is what the original outcome was intended to be.

      1. I don’t care that much what her original motivation or plan for the ending of her Kabuki dance was. I just like what the ending ultimately turned out to be, Dr. Oz squirming in front of several Senators and showing up on national TV doing just that. And, of course, every play needs a villain. They often say about such hearings that there has to be at least one villain and one hero. However, usually the hero ends up being either the chair of the committee or one of the committee, with seldom room for more. I bet that Dr. Oz thought he was going to be one of the heros. He found out otherwise, much to his dismay. Every hearing needs someone whom grandstanding politicians can lecture and berate for their offenses and thus use as an example of why a new law or policy is needed. Dr. Oz, being the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, had an enormous target painted on his chest, right from the start. Only he didn’t appear to realize it.

        Gorski sounds less like a Proggie tyrant willing to use the force of the state to impose his hobbyhorse views and more like a acute skeptic of government. The more I read, the more I like.

        Sorry, Baylen.

    2. “…the ideal is to place as few limits on freedom of speech as possible.”

      I think the ideal, written very explicitly into law, is no limits at all.

      1. Anarchy!!!

      2. Since you’re a known sheepfucker, of course you’d feel that way.

        1. Just illustrating a point, BTW.

      3. But…

        Crowded theater…


  3. Mr. Oz didn’t rip Jenny McCarthy a new one when he had her on his show. For that alone he deserves to be ridiculed.

    1. That having been said, he didn’t deserved to be forced (I presume he was subpoenaed and didn’t do this voluntarily, right? If Congress wants you to “volunteer” to appear before a committee, the right answer is to tell them to go fuck themselves.) to be the victim of a bunch of bullying, grandstanding senators.

      1. If Congress wants you to “volunteer” to appear before a committee, the right answer is to tell them to go fuck themselves.

        Hell, I would love the chance to testify before Congress. I know dirtier words than they do, have a much quicker wit, and have no problem coming off like an asshole.

        1. There’s always that dream of doing a Howard Hughes in a congressional hearing.

          Or Tony Stark, for the fictional version.

          1. “Contempt!?! You’re goddamn right I’m in contempt of congress!”

            1. “I fine you $50 for contempt of Congress”

              “$50 doesn’t begin to pay for the contempt I have for this Congress!”

              1. “Are you trying to show your contempt for the Congress of the USA?”
                “No, Sir! I was trying my very best to hide it!”

        2. I’d also love to do it. I’d just sit back and smile while they try to grandstand and shame me.

          Hell, Oz, you have millions of fans and, I assume, millions of dollars in your bank account. Why should you care what these assholes say?

      2. Anyone remember when medical expert Meryl Streep testified before Congress on the dangers of alar? Because apples containing alar cause so much death and destruction in the 80s, wasn’t it?

    2. Can?t agree more, Oz is an indefensible asshole, he has every single right to say whatever imbecility he believes, but he’s no more a doctor than Pelosi a libertarian…

  4. “Sarajevo marked the centennial on Saturday of a prince’s murder that lit the fuse for World War One, offering a message of unity to a divided country and a continent buffeted by deep social and economic strife.

    “The centrepiece of a string of cultural and sporting events will be a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra in the Bosnian capital, where the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was shot dead with his wife on a bright June morning in 1914.

    “The murder of Franz Ferdinand by a 19-year-old Bosnian Serb called Gavrilo Princip set the Great Powers marching to war. More than 10 million soldiers died, as empires crumbled and the world order was rewritten.”…..-1.2690687

    1. Strangely, the band Franz Ferdinand doesn’t seem to have been invited to the festivities.

    2. “a continent buffeted by deep social and economic strife.”

      Really? As opposed to, say, 1914, 1939, or the period 1945-1989?

    3. The beginning of the end.

  5. Personally, I don’t get why McCaskill uses her own amazing megaphone to waste taxpayer money on farm subsidies, dairy supports, and corn ethanol.

    You don’t, eh? Allow me to rub my thumb and two fingers together in the universal sign of $$$.

    1. Heh. The same motivation for Oz to spout his bullshit.

      But, if people are stupid enough to buy it…..

      1. I’m not even sure it’s that stupid for everybody.

        If Reiki makes you feel better for a little while, and that’s worth more than what you have to pay for it, then spending money on Reiki isn’t necessarily irrational.

        I get a similar feeling, sometimes, from my subscription to NHL Center Ice. NHL Center Ice doesn’t heal anything either…

        If some people get a warm feeling out of eating raspberry ketones, then who am I to say they’re stupid and wasting their money?

      2. The difference is that if someone wants to buy Oz’s pitch it doesn’t hurt anyone else while McCaskill’s schemes require other peoples money taken from them. So the irony of her condemning Oz is rich indeed.

    2. You don’t, eh? Allow me to rub my thumb and two fingers together in the universal sign of $$$.”

      Is that you Johnny Football ?

      1. With the 22nd pick in the NFL draft, the Cleveland browns select… Claire McCaskill, Senator, Missouri

  6. Amazingly, the DEA has now asked the FDA to move marijuana off the schedule 1 list. This probably has something to do with the House voting to defund the DEA’s marijuana interdiction operations.

  7. Three More GM Recalls Today: When Will It End?

    General Motors Co. disclosed three new recalls on Friday covering more than 473,600 vehicles, including some of its latest Corvette sports cars, amid stepped up safety reviews.


    GM’s recall total has now reached 20 million.

    1. How many cars did they build during the period of the subsidy/bailout/TARP/whatever?
      I’m guessing they’ve recalled every single car since they were bailed out– or at least an equivalent number.
      I can’t be bothered to check, but it’s pretty funny regardless.

      1. It was never about building cars. The UAW kept their jobs. Mission accomplished.

        1. And had their pensions made whole at the expense of non union workers who lost what remained of theirs with no recompense.

    2. They intend to have more success with their new GM Trabant.

    3. GM had wrung up $30 Billion in unpayable debts. The Gov bailed them out, on the backs of the legitimate debt holders. Nothing changed. They continued to make crappy cars and didn’t roll back their wages or pensions. Which means they are on track for losing another $30B. How could they not be?

      They proudly posted profitability after the bailout. If, in fact, they became profitable nearly instantly, without having made any changes, then they didn’t need the bailout. It was a scam. If, in fact, they got the bailout, and now are back running up massive more debts, then the ‘profitability’ stance is a scam.

      I’m looking forward to the day when GM comes hat in hand back to a Republican congress and asks for another $20B. Nothing good will happen, but at least the UAW will lose its ownership stake in GM. Maybe….

  8. I think this boils down to a proxy ideological conflict between libertarian and progressive impulses. Libertarianism is the idea that people should be free to make choices for themselves, and progressivism is the idea that the government should force people to sacrifice their right to make individual choices for themselves–for the greater good.

    Inadvertently, Dr. Oz seems to have placed himself on the wrong side of that ideological conflict. The progressive attack on the idea that people should be free to make choices for themselves often centers on the assumption that experts make better choices for the rest of us than we can make for themselves–and in the progressives’ minds, Dr. Oz is abusing his responsibility to tow that ideological line.

    Any other sanctioned expert with a similar media reach who was inadvertently encouraging individuals to think for themselves about climate change, their Second Amendment rights, homeschooling, or any one of a dozen other questions (on which uneducated individuals are supposed to defer to the experts) gets similar treatment from progressives and the media. How can a legitimate expert expect people to think for themselves?

    He must atone!

    1. Exceedingly well put. Social conservatives used to push statism grounded in sanctifying their preferences with the stamp of authority such as Scripture and/or tradition. Progressives do the same thing but ground their preferences in medicalization and scientism. It’s just statism’s modern face.

    2. Exceedingly well put. Social conservatives used to push statism grounded in sanctifying their preferences with the stamp of authority such as Scripture and/or tradition. Progressives do the same thing but ground their preferences in medicalization and scientism. It’s just statism’s modern face.

    3. I think you meant “toe the line”, but here it’s “tow the lion”.

  9. All this time I thought lying to people to sell them something was fraud. Thanks for setting me straight.

    1. If he committed fraud he should be in front of a judge, not grandstanding congress critters.

      1. Good point, but this post seems to be making a more blanket statement that he can say anything he wants to for profit, including lies.

    2. All this time I thought a person was to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty ?

      You needed to be set straight.

    3. What did he sell them exactly? Looks to me like he shared opinions on products. In addition, none of the items he has backed have been proven to be frauds. Dubious, sure. But that is not enough to justify public humiliation at the hands of bullies who own a monopoly on force.

      Statists are in love with their own arrogance. Rarely do they acknowledge the enormous complexity in any scientific issue. They adopt an opinion from a quick headline at a source they trust, and they think that suffices as grounds for fraud regarding anyone who says otherwise. They don’t feel the need to question their own intellectual superiority, or that of the news/media/information sources they trust.

      I have my own negative opinions of Dr. Oz, in that he uses cheap theatrics to cover complex topics quickly and had to run out of material eventually, with a daily show for God’s sake. But that is his business, and he has his freedom of speech like the rest of us. Those senators should suffer tremendous ridicule for their outrageous abuse of power in this instance.

  10. Ice T’s grandson kills roommate

    “Rapper Ice-T’s grandson, Elyjah Marrow, was arrested this week after he accidentally shot and killed his roommate, according to TMZ. Marrow, 19, was toying with a handgun in his apartment on Tuesday when the gun accidentally went off “

    1. ^^emphasis mine

    2. “In a prepared statement released this morning, the gun said it was sorry.”

      1. I demand a press conference, with the gun’s wife by his side!

    3. the gun accidentally went off, wounding and killing Marrow’s roommate

      Emphasis mine. Surely the gun also accidentally surprised and scared Marrow’s roommate.

  11. “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill

    “Well, if the president, the attorney general, the director of central intelligence, the secretary of health and human services, ….”

  12. I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

    Because only politicians should have the right to lie to the public.

    1. Rulers do what they like, the ruled take it and like it.

  13. Most of modern medicine is a lie. It is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. Google Dr. Ioannidis’ research.

    I’ve looked carefully at research for more than one disease, and most of it is really shoddy. Poorly thought out, illogical, makes conclusions that are unwarranted by the facts. And, then that becomes the basis for other research. It is almost without question a complete scam.

    Penicillin worked, and continues to. You need insulin if your body can’t produce it. Pain killers work, somewhat. There are a handful of things. Most medicines don’t work.

    Even the idea of ‘side effects’, as if there is a ‘real’ effect, and something else that occurs off to the side. No…there are effects, period. Some of them somewhat positive, some of them somewhat negative, and some of them really negative. You might experience one of the positive effects, you might experience one of the negative effects. It’s a coin toss.

    If you’re sick, and your friend comes to visit and tells you a funny story about another friend, and you kill yourself laughing for 5 minutes, that is medicine. If you sit in the sun in a beautiful garden, that is medicine. If a beautiful woman walks by, that is medicine. A hug is medicine. Anything that triggers love and positive things in you is medicine. Pharmaceuticals, not so much.

    1. Pulseguy, we have the tremendous and unprecedented glut of government interference into the health care market to thank for that. In a free market (or even a minimally regulated one), bad ideas like what you are talking about die out from their own lack of economic merit. Statin drugs are a great example of that. But government characteristically is bound by no such sensibility, and so the more government interferes in a market, the less productive and more costly everything is.

      I disagree with your rant on the phrase ‘side effects,’ which are simply effects resulting from a drug intervention other than those intended in the treatment. In statin drugs, for instance, the intended effect is a reduction in blood cholesterol levels, but potential side effects are memory loss, muscle cramps, and osteoporosis. And on a separate note, even the artificially lowered cholesterol levels are likely doing nothing to reduce any heart disease risk, as the medical literature and a vastly growing body of skeptical authors will demonstrate.

    2. So if you had cancer, and the doctor gave you two treatment options

      A) surgery to remove the tumor
      B) daily hugs from a beautiful woman in a sunlit garden

      You would choose B)? Because side effects…?

  14. I’m no fan of Dr. Oz. I am OK with him spouting whatever bullshit he wants on TV. He isn’t holding himself out as someone’s caregiver. If he takes on a patient, gives them shitty advice that proves to be known bad medicine, then sue the shit out of him. Until then he is just some turd on daytime TV.

  15. Oz appears to be a quack who uses ridiculous pseudoscientific spiels that encourage sick people to try things that will have at best no effect on them beyond placebo. People.believe in.him and make medical and lifestyle decisions based on things he says on TV. caveat emptor and all that, but I feel a.slime bag.

  16. It is not just that Oz might believe in the shinola he touts. His wife is apparently a reiki practitioner as well. This is a practice so obviously fake that a 12 year old girl was able to design a simple and obvious scientific test disproving its claimed actions.

    The fraud runs deep in their family. Whether they believe it or not is not entirely relevant. Most of the crap he touts has not only been proven to be snake oil, it lacks even a hint of prior plausibility that would make taking it seriously acceptable.

    Being free to speak your mind is one thing; touting fraudulent cures and magic poultices is something else entirely.

    Of course the notion that the legislature is the place to decide such things is silly. The government set itself up as the sole arbiter of what is good and holy with the FDA. Then the government created the current snake oil market by cutting out an approved exception for “supplements”. This is where most of the crap touted by Oz and his puppetmistress hides out.

    We would be better off if we had eschewed the FDA for private drug approval companies analogous to the UL listing for electronics. Approvals would be much more rapid and denouncements would be much more forceful and authoritative.

    1. you are a causality fascist.

      you have decided ’cause and effect’ and you wish to impose your view upon others.

      proselytizing ppl to your way of thinking is fine, but so should oz be allowed to proseyltize to his worldview.

      we know punching harms and its outlawed. we should criminalize violence and fraud, yes. But fraud is a different animal that requires a truth measuring stick. who sets standards, who watches watchers?

      This is no light subject, its the basis for intellectual liberty, and its child: religious liberty. if you can’t prove something to the mind of a child, you ought not compel others via violence to obey its implications. the more complex, the less enforceable.

      if an equation (that only 5 ppl in the world can even understand) proves you should read the bible every day, then its simply not enforceable, EVEN IF ITS “SETTLED SCIENCE”. however YOU arrive at ‘truth’ is not legally binding on me, but ill make exceptions for issues that are provable to 4 year old children.

      4 year olds know lying is unfair and shooting a man will kill him. they don’t know Dr Oz’s cures are bullshit. they don’t know chemotherapy is ‘worth it’, they don’t even know if chemotherapy helps. thus criminalizing non-treatment within christian-scientist families (kids have cancer) is invasion of intellectual liberty. Ppl should be allowed to reject medical science. tons of ppl hate the doctor. if its their sincere belief then that’s how their parental rights will play out also.

      1. Reading comprehension, how does it work?

        1. I agree with you. Ann N is either 1) a Christian Scientist, 2) a troll, 3) batpoop crazy.

      2. It’s people like you that give libertarianism a bad name. The rigor of double blind clinical studies is not comparable to the meta-evaluation of global warming. While I might not agree with every FDA decision, a certain amount of consumer protection is necessary. People can choose not to like or believe their doctor. It is very different for a doctor in a lab coat to peddle crap and quack cures. That is fraud. Dr. Oz does skirt the law by only peddling supplement which have an FDA carve out. Honestly, this man deserves to be stripped of his medical licence and sent to jail.

        1. A lot of people said the same of Dr. Robert Atkins back in the 1970s. He too was hauled before congress over accusations of quackery, for recommending the unthinkable advice of reducing sugars and starches and eating more animal fats.

          40 years later… http://timedotcom.files.wordpr……jpg?w=560

          1. Hence the notion that “congress is not the right place for this discussion”. People in general are easily taken in by fads and salesmanship and are by and large poorly equipped to evaluate scientific (or pseudoscientific) claims. Congress is even more easily taken in and more poorly equipped – because their particular skillset is understanding “the pulse of the public” and figuring out what people want to hear.

            We had a bad situation (an emerging medical market filled with quackery). So government tried to fix this (by creating the FDA). This did in fact help. It also created quite a bit of harm in the process. Then they made it worse by trying to fix some of the harm with the “supplement” carve-out.

            One can only speculate as to the outcome had government stayed mostly out of the medical industry and allowed a robust self-regulation to evolve. Probably things would have gotten worse before they got better. But would they have eventually gotten better than they are now? Who knows? I can certainly imagine a world with two or three certification companies doing testing and evaluation of drugs and treatments, with new treatments getting to market much faster than they do now. And I can certainly see us getting better information than we have now – like “how do the top 5 blood pressure medicines compare?”

            1. Given government’s track record on drugs, health care policy, affirmative action, and so on, I give the free market the benefit of the doubt.

              What about this anti-fat dogma from last century that is now reversing itself in leaps and bounds in the mainstream? Was Atkins right after all? Or did Time Magazine (and many others) recently sell out? It’s a moot point either way. The popular dietary fat dogma was not clinically proven fact back then, nor is the current reversal of opinion. Atkins was bullied for advocating *unpopular* advice, not ‘incorrect’ advice. To argue otherwise is to ignore the very real element of human arrogance in our human society, human culture, and human institutions. To that end, it matters little whether he was harassed by the congress, FDA, Justice Department, FBI, or any of their subordinate-level equivalents.

              In a society that values free speech, we may have to tolerate influential people saying things we disagree with from time to time. But that situation is far superior to the alternative, in which we regulate others’ speech based on the arrogant belief that our opinions are facts. Facts inform opinions; the two are not the same. The beliefs of a person, institution, or group thereof–no matter how grounded in science they are or seem to be–are still opinions.

              Proven fraud, involving sale(s) made in bad faith, are a different story. But I have seen no proof of fraud in this Oz issue, nor of Atkins for that matter.

  17. OK, I have to take the other side for a spin on this one.
    You smell what you think is smoke. And you yell fire in crowded theater.
    In all seriousness though, where are the Caveat Emptor police when it comes to so many other things.
    Politicians come first to mind.

  18. I cannot defend Dr. Oz, nor can I defend taking a libertarian stance on this issue.

    The era of scientific medicine was made possible by the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act (PFDA) in 1906 by President TR Roosevelt. Prior to the PFDA, anybody could mix up any concoction and sell it as a cure-all elixir. The snake oil salesmen and traveling medicine shows were real. The PFDA put those people out of business, and required anything sold as medicine to have some evidence that it worked. A monopoly was placed on science. That was a good think.

    Libertarians like to treat people a rational, which most of the time I agree with. But there are times that people are not rational and need some protection. Getting sick is one of those times. Look at the Amygdalin and Laetrile scandal of the 1970’s. Thousands of women died of treatable forms of breast cancer because in a moment of desperation chose to believe a charlatan who was selling garbage promising a cure without the side effects of chemo.

    Free speech is one of the most important values in our society. But free speech should not be a cover for fraud. Dr. Oz’s BS health claims very much toe the line for snake oil salesmanship. Just because he believes that green tea enemas will fix what ails you doesn’t mean he should have the right to be on TV as a medical authority saying so. Dr. Oz is a danger to patients and the entire institution of scientific medicine.

  19. I am not a fan, but I do defend his First Amendment rights. The purpose of our government is supposed to be to defend free speech, not deny it! If there is a question of medical ethics, it should be determined by a medical review board, not politicians. The appropriate response to speech you don’t agree with is more speech. Write the sponsors of the products that advertise on his show and ask them to withdraw support. Television stations, which are businesses, will not air programs if they cannot get sponsors.

  20. doctors are, and should be held to a higher standard than used car salesmen or payday lenders. When your Doctor gives you advice on a particular treatment or procedure, you should be able to trust that the advice is based on the most current and accurate medical knowledge. Oz has steadily declined in credibility, and frequently endorses treatments that he knows perfectly well are complete garbage. I have wondered for a long time why he has not been disciplined by he appropriate medical boards. Since that does not appear to be likely, congressional intervention is not unexpected.

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