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Online Only: Dr. Phil the fake

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Oct. 31, 2006 

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The other day, I flipped through channels and ended up watching about two minutes of Dr. Phil's ridiculous TV show. There was a 54-year-old woman upset because she didn't have the fashion sense to be "fabulous at 50," so Dr. Phil's team gave her a complete fashion makeover. That's funny. I didn't know "doctors" did things like that. I thought Dr. Phil was supposed to listen to people talk about their problems and then provide some pseudo-professional, middle-of-the-road advice you could get from your neighborhood bum (for the cost of some spare change and liquor perhaps). Apparently, I'm just way behind the times. I had no idea Dr. Phil's show was really just a fashion show. I always thought he was a fake talking head pretending to give people psychological advice. I assumed he was just an imbecile who wouldn't last long on network TV. I was only half right.

The last time I heard about Dr. Phil, he was in trouble for his weight-loss program, Shape up! According to MSN News, three people who tried his weight loss program sued him because they allegedly spent about $120 a month to take various supplements Dr. Phil promoted. The suit claimed he made false statements about the supplements. In the end, the frustrated dieters claim they didn't lose any weight over the course of the year. There was eventually a $10.5 million settlement.

How could millions of people be so stupid to think a show hosted by a fat, big-mouthed idiot is going to help them learn how to lose weight? How did he fool these people? My guess would be with an intellectual line such as the following: "I might be a fat, bald loser, but I make a living telling idiots like you what to do. Forget about my weight for a second, and let me help you lose weight!"

Also, why would millions of people still watch his show, knowing he is just a fraud? The answer to the first question is that people watch his show because they are stupid, but the people who still watch his show after finding out he is a fraud are unbelievably stupid and need serious psychological help.

The only problem with this is that someone who is stupid enough to watch Dr. Phil on a regular basis is also stupid enough to think he is actually a helpful psychologist. It's safe to assume that these idiots think being on a stage with a loser who asks you two or three questions, tells you what the problem is and then takes a commercial break, is how therapy works. I don't claim to be an expert as to how therapy actually works, but I'm sure TV cameras, a fraudulent doctor and thousands of noisy bored housewives in the audience don't help things too much.

 

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