Dingus of the Week: Dr. Oz
For crimes against America
This is the dingus of the week, the title everyone in America is working hard to avoid. But honestly, you should all be working a lot harder at it. It’s the Friday email that rounds up something dingusy in the news, shares links, and a drink. If you want to know about dinguses past, a lovely newsletter subscriber put them all in a Google doc.
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This week, professional liberal shitposter Ron Filipowski tweeted a video at a grocery store of Dr. Mehmet Oz lamenting how his crudité cost him $20. Oz is running for Senate in Pennsylvania against lieutenant governor John Fetterman. In the video, Oz, dressed in dress pants and a tucked-in henley, picks up carrots, raw asparagus, salsa, and pre-made guacamole for his “veggie platter,” which caused a lot of people to question if Dr. Oz knew how to eat and also to question whether we knew what crudité even was. If that’s Oz’s crudité, does crudité have any meaning or is it just the friends we met along the way? Much to consider.
The Daily Show pointed out that the video was such a disaster that disaster-relief specialist Chef José Andrés stepped in. The video sparked an entire media cycle that included the Fetterman campaign selling stickers that read, “Let them eat crudite!” Earning $500,000 in just 24 hours after the video went viral.
The video was from April, so, technically, that doesn’t count as “Dingus of the Week,” but time is a flat circle, I make the rules, and Dr. Oz is due for dingus because of crimes rendered against humanity. Let’s go.
Dr. Oz is the man in America who is most likely to advocate for a stick-based-eating diet plan and is actually a very credentialed doctor and heart surgeon, who gave it all up for television. In 2004, Oprah Winfrey had him on her show and called him “America’s doctor.” He instantly became popular and got his own spin-off show. Oprah owes us an apology for the pandora’s box of Ozery she unleashed. In 2015, when Michael Specter profiled Oz for The New Yorker, Oz was still performing surgeries, even after promoting baseless and harmful cures like conversion therapy, green coffee beans for weight loss, and colloidal silver for the common cold. That same year, a group of doctors asked Columbia to reconsider Dr. Oz’s appointment. The school wouldn’t officially cut ties with Oz until 2022, after Oz had done his civic duty to spread Covid far and wide, even noting that a few deaths were a fine trade-off for opening schools (he apologized), and after scientific journals published whole articles about how he’s wrong all the time.
America is the wealthiest nation in the world, but Americans can barely afford healthcare and have some of the worst health outcomes of developed nations. So, a credentialed and telegenic medical professional who tells us we find help, hope, and healing outside the expensive walls of the medical establishment is a miracle cure. And maybe if he’d just stayed on TV telling us the fetal tissue of raspberries could cure our Alzheimer’s or that mainlining gold dust would make people live 5 seconds longer, he’d still be beloved by aging grandparents everywhere.
But Oz made one of the most classic blunders in rich-people history: he went into politics. To be fair, only the worst of our humanity ever truly finds success in politics, so it seems like Oz should have been a shoo-in. But Fetterman’s campaign does not have a mercy rule. Despite being decidedly up in the polls, the Fetterman campaign is having fun. They’re doing the full General Sherman — there is no gaffe that will go unmemed, no tweet that will go unmocked. You posted a video in April? Well, listen, we were so busy getting Snooki to make a video mocking you, that we are just getting to this now. And honestly, I respect that level of scorched-earth political memeing. But really, and while I don’t like to victim blame, Oz did this to himself. He torched his entire career as a successful heart surgeon just so he could hang out with Oprah and shit-talk apple juice, and that path only leads to perdition.
But maybe we are being too harsh. This week, Oz also said he only has two houses, when in fact, he has a lot of homes. And listen, whomst among us has not mislaid a few homes here or there?
And Now for Something Good:
An author got to thank his teacher who taught him how to read, and it’s a lovely look at how one person can make an impact, which is an important reminder when you feel helpless.
What I Am Reading:
This very good take on why women making whatever choice they want isn’t feminism. Feminism is an actual political movement that works for the liberation of women, and not everything is feminist just because you like it, Nancy.
Loved this interview with Ali Vitali about why America has not yet elected a woman as president. I also ordered Vitali’s book.
Huge Danielle fan, and I thought this analysis of the Dave Berry school of running for president and masculinity politics was worth the read.
James Fallows on how the news is framed is important for journalists and media consumers.
The progressive CEO Dan Price? Kind of a creep. Read this for a good look at how social adulation helped him hide the real narrative.
There is a lot of awful news about how the abortion bans are impacting and harming the lives of people who can become pregnant. And I want to point out that Jezebel (who I used to write for) and the 19th are doing amazing work covering this crisis.
I read this article about how inflation is widening the gap for single people and, phew, yes. Hello to all the single moms out there.
I wrote about how climate change has pitted Americans v. nature and how we resolve that battle. It’s about living through disasters, eco-fascism, and false binaries.
Also, as an aside, I’m coming up on the two-year anniversary of working on this newsletter full-time. It’s a feat to be a single mom with no safety net and run this business. And it is a business. This is my primary source of income. And if I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be able to work in Iowa. Right now, there are no journalism jobs in the state that would allow me to work as a single mom and support a family. Paying subscriptions mean that I can write this newsletter and make it sustainable.
What I Am Drinking:
HELLO! Did you know you can make a cocktail out of corn? A WHOLE ENTIRE COCKTAIL. This is what we are doing this weekend. Muddling up corn and turning it into a margarita. If you are too lazy to click (and I know you are), you cut corn kernels off a cob, boil them until tender with a bit of water, then drain and pour into a cocktail shaker. Then, you muddle the ever-loving shit out of that corn with cilantro and agave syrup. Then, add tequila and lime. Shake and drink. Sure. Pour it into a cup if you want.
I will never understand why it took everyone so long to learn about Dan Price. We’ve been screaming about him since 2015. Even his arrest in Feb wasn’t a turning point! It is too easy for problematic men to cloak themselves in progressive ideals and hijack the language of SJ. I’m so frustrated at how hard it is to protect even my small affinity groups from SA- we just don’t acknowledge how deeply ingrained it is to protect powerful men, but it takes a village.
Anyway, f*ck Oz. I have loved every second of Fetterman’s campaign!!
I am here for the raspberry fetal tissue!