Dr. Oz loses the limelight as he runs for the Senate; Strange Case of Jeff Garlin
Since Dr. Mehmet Oz announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania vacated by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), clearances for his daytime talk show, “Dr. Oz,” were suspended on stations in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio, where Oz’s presence on television could conflict with equal time statutes extended to all active participants in a political race. .
Philadelphia’s Channel 29 is one of the stations that dropped “Dr. Oz. Fox’s local outlet aired the 9 a.m. segment of its morning talk show, “Good Day Philadelphia,” instead.
On Friday, Jan. 14, “Dr. Oz” disappears together, ending a 13-year run that has given Oz four national Emmys as best daytime conversation host. In most markets, the timeslot held by “Dr. Oz” will feature a new show, “The Good Dish,” based on a regular cooking segment from the “Oz” program. “The Good Dish,” which premieres Jan. 17, will have Oz’s daughter, Daphne Oz, as host, co-starring Gail Simmons and Jamika Pessoa.
In recent years, Dr. Oz has become controversial. Scientists, medical organizations and journalists have called for better fact-checking on its weekday program for several years, most vocally in 2015 and recently due to Oz’s indifference to COVID vaccination and the invitation from several anti-vaxxers, such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to voice their views on his show.
Whatever critics say, Oz maintains a following and likely an cadre of viewers and fans who take its advice to heart.
To be fair to Dr. Oz, he has several remarkable and indisputable achievements to his credit, especially in the field of thoracic surgery, he holds patents on some frequently used and praised devices, and he is gaining confidence despite his detractors, some of them. who may have an ulterior motive, some who claim that Oz discounts facts and avoids standard practices that other cardiologists consider cutting-edge and crucial to their profession.
I’m not one to judge that. I haven’t studied medicine or surgery to the point where I can have a valid opinion on who is right in the fight between Oz and its detractors, including Anthony Fauci. It becomes a case where the buyer is, or becomes, aware and makes decisions based on his personal steps.
I disagree with Dr. Oz on vaccinations, mask wearing, or other COVID precautions. What I’m not trained to know there can kill me, and I’d rather be safe than sorry. Then again, I dine out, go to movies and theaters, go shopping, and live my life much like I did before 2020, but with precautions.
Dr. Oz’s reputation among doctors doesn’t interest me as much as another phenomenon that causes real concern.
This phenomenon is the cultivation of personality.
For most of the 21st century – I would say around the middle of the Clinton administration in 1994 – the United States has become partisan to such an extent that politics has become a religion where absolutes are set up as inviolable law and orthodoxy to causes and balance, common sense and the two things I look for in everything, perspective and proportion.
Parties have taken over where individuals once took over. Being a Democrat or a Republican is, in some people’s minds, reinforced by newscasts on biased networks such as CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, more important than looking at issues one by one, looking for a common ground and act pragmatically that can be satisfactorily accomplished.
These parties include demagogues, whether they are called Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi, Susan Rice, Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz, who are considered the spokespersons for politics even if they are invariably narrow-minded. and universally take the attitude that compromise is surrender.
Donald Trump is the personification of someone who has used fame more than intellect, vision, probity, or statesmanship to gain office and gain an eager following. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not far behind him.
Trump won the presidency in 2016 for several reasons, but one is that he is the one most voters have heard of, and he has cultivated an image of a leader and a man of action.
More than anything else, Trump was more famous than most of his Republican primary rivals. He certainly knew how to get their attention. He may have been equal in fame to his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, but in 2016 Mr. Trump had the least baggage. Mrs. Clinton was predictable. Donald Trump was not.
Yet it was his fame and his ability for years to be seen, heard and considered an expert, or at least a tycoon, that secured his political position.
Mehmet Oz has taken a stand, and it is clear that he knows his subjects of study, critical or not, but is his knowledge base or his legislative intentions sufficient to recommend him to the Senate.
What if he is the only name that stands out on a ballot?
Will it be because he is dedicated to transparent principles, clearly articulates his policies, has original ideas, knows what he wants to limit or promote, or has something that his rivals such as businessman Jeff Bartos and frequent Fox News Channel guest Kathy Barnette can’t deliver?
Or will it be because he has been a fixture on American television for 15 years, is recognizable to the majority of voters, and is a star in an area he seeks to expand into politics?
Does America, or Pennsylvania, need another star, another figure who exemplifies personality culture more than legislative imagination or political prudence?
Take care to get on the Dr. Oz bandwagon until he takes the time to sift through the platitudes, soundbites, and carefully packaged messages to detail why he should be considered for the US Senate.
Currently, with the Democratic Senate primary down to John Fetterman and Conor Lamb, with a possible nudge from Val Arkoosh, the removal of clear frontrunner Sean Parnell leaves the Republican nomination up for grabs.
Bartos is making progress organizing campaigns that help the average citizen in need, but he hasn’t articulated a broad agenda that gets people saying, “Yeah, that’s him.” Barnette sends out loads of emails, the main purpose of which is to ask for funds, but none of them say anything substantial enough to warrant a donation let alone a vote. They, like what I see on Dr. Oz’s website, are a bunch of crowd-pleasing saws, the right thing a Republican thinks he has to say to find a base.
Dr. Oz stepped into a void. It would be interesting to see how quickly he sought a Senate seat if Parnell did run.
Familiarity, rather than fomenting contempt, can turn that void into an airtight lock on the Republican nomination and likely election as Toomey’s successor.
Is this the best we have? Is this the best we can do? This is enough to trigger a cynicism that could prevent the urge to vote.
Then there is another matter.
Mehmet Oz is registered to vote in Pennsylvania. He uses his in-laws’ house in Bryn Athyn, a stone’s throw from Barnette and Arkoosh territory, as his legal address.
Is Pennsylvania his state, or one that offers the kind of opportunity that Robert F. Kennedy, Sr. or Hillary Clinton enjoyed when they ran for the Senate from New York?
Dr. Oz’s primary residence is in New Jersey. His business in New York. He went to Delaware Prep School, Penn Medical School, and worked in Philadelphia early in his career, but is he a Pennsylvania resident or a porter?
Before I vote I need to understand this, although for me the larger internal discussion and consideration will be whether Mehmet Oz is a sincere candidate for the US Senate or just another star looking to use his fame to occupy another job.
Garlin’s break from ‘Goldbergs’
The reason I can’t decide if Jeff Garlin, who plays dad Murray on “The Goldbergs,” is right to agree to leave the show in the middle of taping its ninth season is because that I haven’t seen anywhere the “poor” behavior that prompted ABC and Sony to conduct a three-year investigation into Garlin’s alleged antics.
Three years? And now a mutual agreement for Garlin and “The Goldbergs” to part ways? It doesn’t add up, and it certainly creates a dilemma for a program that lost another character last year when George Segal passed away.
Well. I don’t want to dwell too much on a series that I never liked, but I tend to want to take Garlin’s side. Luckily, I doubt Larry David or New Yorkers are as sensitive to anything Garlin does to, as he puts it, “prepare him to do comedy,” and I think he’ll keep his spot on “HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm”.
‘The Voice’ crowns a winner
Fans of “The Voice” know that a trio of siblings, Girl Named Tom, from Coach Kelly Clarkson’s team, took home top honors in this season’s competition.
Girl Named Tom wins $100,000 and a recording contract for winning “The Voice”.
Before gaining national fame, the band, originally from Ohio, booked itself in venues across the United States. One is the American Music Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where The Girl Named Tom will play at 7:30 p.m. May 27-28.
The Saturday night show was recently added.
It was necessary. I know. Tickets for the Friday show went on sale December 11. I was in Maine and forgot, so I didn’t tune in for spots until Girl Named Tom became “Voice” champion. I had one of the last tickets in the house.
The Saturday date is selling out fast, but anyone who’s seen Girl Named Tom will know it’s worth trying to see them live.
Behind the scenes of “Lucy”
“Being the Ricardos,” about life behind the scenes of “I Love Lucy,” with scenes from Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s past, is a must-watch for all “Lucy” fans. Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Nina Arianda and JK Simmons are great as Ricardos, Mertz and the actors who play, especially Kidman who will make you love Lucy more than ever.
The film begins showing, likely for a cost, on Amazon Prime, starting tomorrow.
Neal Zoren’s TV column appears every Monday.