Over the summer break, I occasionally caught a glimpse of the Dr Oz and the Dr Phil shows. Dr Oz tends to focus on health, albeit with a tendency to promote unproven therapies and to inflate the benefits of various types of “superfoods”. Dr Phil tends to deliver no-nonsense counselling to those with emotional and relationship issues.
While I have never really considered either programme to be brilliant watching, occasionally I have found some of the content to be interesting and informative. However my opinion of both shows has dropped to a new all time low since reading on Orac’s blog that both shows have recently featured psychics.
On the Dr Phil show, Dr Phil had his first ever psychic reading, which in my opinion was a very unimpressive example of cold reading. Yet Dr Phil just sat there meekly listening to the most inane and inaccurate guessing. Where was the usually very forthright and challenging Dr Phil? It was sickening to listen to such weak cold reading going unchallenged.
On the Dr Oz show, entitled “Are Psychics the New Therapists?” there was again no attempt to challenge or verify any of the information provided by psychic, John Edward. Indeed, an article from TV guide, shows how nauseatingly gullible the good doctor is.
I find it hard to understand how these two, supposedly intelligent men, could listen to all of the psychic babble and fall for it. Or, is it possible, that in the pursuit of the popular vote in TV land these two hosts are willing to stand aside and let sensible and rational topics be discarded to be replaced is by whatever fantasy they think the viewing audience want to see?