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Welcome back, pilgrims! It's good to see you've returned to your old friend the Snake Oil Bulletin, the weekly compendium of the latest horsepuckey to plop itself right here on our beloved interwebs. Now normally we focus on a smattering of stories to whet your woo woo whistle, but this week we've decided that special devotion should be reserved for a brave, beleaguered hero, that duke of duplicitous drivel, Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD (Malarkey Dipshit). Dr. Oz has had quite the adventure over the past year, but as you'll soon see, it takes a lot to keep a poppycock peddler down.


Dr. Oz's Number One Miracle Trick to Destroy His Credibility

Are you looking for the one revolutionary breakthrough to supercharge your health, blast fifty pounds, reverse the aging process, and also maybe collapse the entire field of medicine while you're at it? Look no further than Dr. Mehmet Oz, America's premiere teevee yelly person who technically earned a Doctor of Medicine. If there's a snake oil with an endorsement deal, Dr. Oz will slam your mother's ear holes about it, with simple considerations like "evidence" or "basic fact checking" being a tertiary concern.

The good doctor has been put through the ringer the last few months, ever since his disastrous testimony on Capitol Hill in June of 2014. Oz had been invited by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Boss) to testify on the topic of weight loss scams (with Oz firmly on the "pro-" side, we assume), and ended his evening with McCaskill kicking him square in his acai berries.

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Things continued to slide downhill for Oz after that. The following November, a study lauding Oz's much-trumpeted green coffee weight loss pills was retracted by its authors just because "[t]he sponsors of the study cannot assure the validity of the data." Oh c'mon, like that ever stopped anybody from making a buck! The very next month, a study by the British Medical Journal revealed that more than half of the medical claims Dr. Oz made on his breathless teevee howler monkey hour were either lacking in evidence or outright contradicted by the evidence: "For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%." In fairness, rival pretty-person-in-scrubs-chucks-shit-against-wall show The Doctors didn't fare much better, though that's less a plus in the Dr. Oz column than it is an indictment against the very concept of a modern-day medicine show.

Undeterred, Oz barreled on ahead hocking his raspberry ketone and Garcinia cambogia and probably powdered tiger dong while he's at it, even as mainstream publications like Vox and Slate continued to slam him for his blatant bullshit about superfoods and belly fat blasters. Word started to come out about just how much of this crap Oz actually believed, and apparently the answer was pretty much all of it. Even back during his early medical practice days, Oz pursued any number of bogus "alternative" treatments in his clinic, including reiki, the magical "energy" discipline that provides all the benefits of a massage without any of that "touching people" crap:

In the early 2000s, he worked with a reiki healer named Raven Keyes. She told me recently, "My reiki master is the archangel Gabriel. All I have to do is ask Gabriel to activate all the angels, and everybody's angels come to life." In the operating room, she said, she'd perch on a stool behind the anesthesiologist and transfer her good energy. "I'm connecting with the divine light within me and allowing myself to absorb the divine light in myself so it expands outward."

She's gonna shove that healing energy right into your surgery hole just by wishing it super loud. It's like The Secret for angel farts.

Also, remember that Dr. Oz is still legally allowed to put himself inside people's bodies for a living thanks to notorious safety schools like "Harvard" and "The University Of Pennsylvania." Weep for higher education.

Throughout his career, Oz has endorsed homeopathy; given platforms to anti-vaxxers; touted psychics; claimed apple juice had arsenic (forgetting there's more than one kind of arsenic); sounded the alarm that Ebola was airborne even though that is the exact opposite of how Ebola works; and once claimed that a great cure for insomnia was pouring rice into your socks, cooking them in the microwave, and then wearing them to bed. The last guy who tried it after seeing it on Oz's show ended up with second and third degree burns on his feet. In other words, BAD DOCTOR -- 1 star Yelp review for you. But thankfully Oz couldn't get sued for it because he's not actually the burned dude's doctor. Whew. Oz's lawyers probably signed that motion to dismiss with a nice #SorryNotSorry.

Well it seems that a lifetime of hocking horseshit is finally catching up with Mehmet. Just this past week, a group of physicians sent an open letter to Columbia University's dean of medicine urging him to reconsider Dr. Oz's position as a senior administrator at the college's Department of Surgery. Oh yeah, did we mention Dr. Arsenic Rice-Socks is a senior administrator at Columbia University? Because he is. You may resume your weeping.

The entire letter is available here, but the money shot comes right near the end:

Thus, Dr. Oz is guilty of either outrageous conflicts of interest or flawed judgements about what constitutes appropriate medical treatments, or both.  Whatever the nature of his pathology, members of the public are being misled and endangered, which makes Dr. Oz’s presence on the faculty of a prestigious medical institution unacceptable.

Damn. There's no way those eggheads at Columbia can counter that. And OOH! They answered back already! Let's see what they plan to do about this charlatan. I bet it's gonna be something awesome and rad and strike a real blow for science in the modern ...

Dear Dr. Miller et al,

As I am sure you understand and appreciate, Columbia is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members' freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion.

Regards,

Doug Levy

Chief Communications Officer

Columbia University Medical Center

Well fuck. Columbia seems to have taken the Lucille Bluth approach of "We don't understand the question and we won't respond to it." Looks like it's a lot tougher than we thought to get hogwash out of a rug.

Flotsam, Jetsam, and Hokum

Lastly, we present a veritable fete of flim-flam and phooey as presented by your Most Beloved Petrograd Pinterest board, Wonkette:

  • If slumber parties have taught us anything, it's that the worst thing you could ever do at night is turn out the lights, stare into the bathroom mirror, and utter those dreaded, unholy words: Climate change, climate change, climate change! DAMN! AYYYIIIEEE!
  • Thank goodness the Republican-led House Science Committee has assuaged our fears that climate change doesn't exist at all. Of course that doesn't explain why our ouija board perfectly spelled out "A-N-A-L-D-I-P-S-H-I-T-S."
  • Marco Rubio, deciding to take an "all of the above" approach to the Great Big Jesus Buffet in the Sky, probably should have looked more into his church's beloved pastime of demon wrasslin'. He could have had a much more lucrative career as a demon rodeo clown. Of course that would have distracted him from the true love of his life: pandering.
  • Republicans don't know how old the earth is. Full stop. We have no more to add. Excuse us while we drink the pain away.
  • You know, Michael Gerson warned us about the soft bigotry of low expectations, and it's sad when that phrase applies to our own elected officials on things like grade school science.

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[Happy Nice Time People / Washington Post / Vox / Slate / Skepchick]

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