For the last year or so, Dr. Mehmet Oz has been under nearly constant attack. Very public government investigations, even Congressional hearings, mainstream media's mindless reporting (and implicit endorsement) of his critics, and most recently, the widely-publicized letter signed by 10 medical doctors calling for termination of his position on the faculty of the Columbia University Medical School.
Through all of this firestorm of criticism, Dr. Oz has been a perfect gentleman. He has truly been "a class act." He has graciously acknowledged mistakes, where he has made them. He has recognized ways he can do better. He has avoided descending into the pit with his critics. And perhaps they have been somewhat emboldened by his careful, measured responses.
But this most recent attack is profoundly personal, accusing him of conflicts of interest, and striking at his long-standing relationship with Columbia Medical School. It also seeks to undermine his credibility, misrepresenting his positions, and labeling his as a "quack". And the 10 doctors that have attacked him, have, themselves, no connection with or interest in Columbia University, so far as I know. Their opinion was not sought, and was probably never significantly entertained or considered, by anyone at Columbia. These doctors are, in fact, merely trying to insert their long noses where they do not belong. It is a simple publicity play.
The fact that this letter has been so widely reported by the mainstream media is a sad commentary on how little thought, analysis, or judgment is ever exercised in what passes for mainstream journalism these days. The fact that these unscrupulous media hounds have been able to turn a meaningless, worthless, and wholly self-serving letter to Columbia University into a "media controversy" merely by releasing it to the press speaks volumes about the naivete and witlessness of that media. For years, we've had people who were "famous for being famous". Apparently now you can create a controversy just by claiming someone else is controversial.
Dr. Oz has done some amazing things since he has been on the air. His show has drawn in huge ratings. His health recommendations are considered or followed by large segments of the population. Yes, some of his "trailers" and other announcements are a bit over-hyped, but (especially on television) what isn't these days? And on the whole, I have been both impressed and appreciative of the time and attention that he gives to many of the increasingly common health issues that plague us all, and for his fair, generally positive, and open-minded approach to possible solutions. I also appreciate the fact that he doesn't benefit from his recommendations-- many others are not so honest and careful. And I certainly favor his brand of open-minded, can-do positivism over the strident and usually ill-conceived arguments advanced by his often very vocal critics. His message, that people should make their own well-informed healthcare choices, is one that has been largely ignored (or at best given only lip service) by the medical establishment for far too long.
Yesterday, Dr. Oz took the gloves off. Despite his long-standing reluctance to attack other members of his profession, he took the time to examine the past history, criminal records and corporate relationships of several of the doctors that signed the infamous letter to Columbia University. The organizer of the group, Dr. Henry Miller is a long-time FDA bureaucrat whose most recent work is as a shill for Big Agriculture, waging a concerted campaign to remove any and all regulation from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). A summary of some of his writings can be seen here.
Let me just say here that these doctors can't withstand the smallest portion of the harsh examination light they try to shine on Dr. Mehmet Oz. Conflicts of interest? You should talk! That they would dare to assault Dr. Oz in this fashion, with these skeletons in their own closet, shows some real chutzpah. As a very old proverb says, "Physician, heal thyself!"
Kudos to Dr. Mehmet Oz for standing up to these ridiculous and unfounded attacks.