Several bloggers have reported on the recent Newsweek story that exposed some of the dangerous nonsense and pseudoscience that Oprah Winfrey insists on including in her TV show. From obviously crackpot ideas such as The Secret to dangerous pseudoscience such as the anti-vaccine nonsense spouted by celebrity idiot Jenny McCarthy, Newsweek did a pretty good job of calling nonsense nonsense.
Now Oprah has responded with a statement, as reported by EW.com:
I trust the viewers, and I know that they are smart and discerning enough to seek out medical opinions to determine what may be best for them.
This is a highly dishonest statement from Oprah. You’ll note there is no attempt to justify any of the bogus* medical advice given on her show; no evidence that any of the quackery* she features actually works or is valid in any way. So what is she saying, exactly? That, yes, my TV show includes crap but my audience will realize it’s crap? No, sorry, not good enough. If you have the sort of power that Oprah has to influence opinion, you have a responsibility to make sure that the advice you give is good. You should not just show any old crap and expect your viewers to do their own research to determine what is real and what is not, you should determine for yourself if it is real before you feature it in front of millions of viewers. And you should then be able and willing to defend what you have promoted and rebut any criticisms with facts and evidence, or retract and admit you were wrong. Instead Oprah hides the truth of what she is doing behind this sham claim that she trusts her viewers to discern what is real and what is not. It’s dishonest, unethical and cowardly.
You only have to read the comments to that EW story to see that many of Oprah’s viewers are neither smart nor discerning enough to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. Just a couple of comments in and you will read the regurgitated lies and logical fallacies of the anti-vaccination loons, repeated in all their idiotic glory. Those comments are, unfortunately, proof of the damage that Oprah has already done. Her lame self serving statement does not even begin to address her critics.
More on Oprah’s support of pseudoscience:
* Deliberate deception not implied.