Last year, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver dedicated a 16-minute segment on his half-hour HBO show to examining Dr. Oz’s propensity for recommending highly dubious dietary supplements.Oliver’s not done with misleading Mehmet.
On Sunday night’s episode, the brash Brit focused his entertaining ire on Mehmet Oz, the controversial host of daytime television program Dr. Oz, once more. It was, of course, pegged to Oz’s ubiquity in the news of late, from being grilled by a Senate committee to a comprehensive study by the British Medical Journal that claimed evidence only supported 46 percent of his televised recommendations, contradicted 15 percent, and wasn’t available for 39 percent.
And most recently, 10 of his fellow physicians published a signed open letter demanding his dismissal from the faculty of the Columbia University Medical School, citing his “egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments.” Dr. Oz fired back against his critics on his show this past week.
“Dr. Oz spent much of the episode attacking the doctors who’d called for his resignation, arguing that industry ties were behind their criticism—which might be true, may well be true—but none of that answers the substance of the accusations: that he’s a quack who serves viewers horseshit dressed up as medicine, and his response to that has been pathetic,” Oliver said on Last Week.
Indeed, Dr. Oz conducted a bizarre interview with NBC News saying that since the ‘OZ’ is big and in the center of the show’s logo and the ‘Dr.’ is in smaller type at the upper-right, his 2 million-plus viewers should realize that “it’s not a medical show.” Soak that doozy in. But, according to Oliver, the “weakest” of Dr. Oz’s “flimsy pushbacks” was the following statement he made on his Dr. Oz show defending himself: “No matter our disagreements, freedom of speech is the most fundamental right we have as Americans, and these ten doctors are trying to silence that right.”
Cue epic Oliver rant:
“No. You are scientifically wrong about that as you are about so many things. Let’s be clear: The First Amendment protects Americans against government censorship, and that’s it. It does not guarantee you to simultaneously hold a faculty position at a prestigious private university and make misleading claims on a TV show. It absolutely protects you to say whatever you like on it, just as it protects my right to say what I think about you on mine, which is this: You are the worst person in scrubs who has ever been on television—and I’m including Katherine Heigl in that. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to be worse than Katherine Heigl? You are also the admittedly handsome ringmaster of a middling mid-afternoon snake-oil dispensary and it says something that even when you do a show with seven fake models of human feces, the biggest piece of shit on the stage has his name in the title.”
Oliver concluded his hilarious takedown of Dr. Oz with a fitting sign-off: “Isn’t freedom of speech great?”