Oh, where to begin? For starters, [Phil] McGraw relies on much the same exploitative freak-show format as Jerry Springer or Jenny Jones, with everyone from drug-addicted housewives to love-starved transsexuals spinning their tales of woe for a salivating audience. But to help himself--and his audience--feel less icky about their voyeurism, Dr. Phil exposes America's dark side under the guise of inspiring hope and change. In Dr. Phil's formulation, cheating couples who air every nauseating detail of their sex lives on national television aren't shameless media whores, they are troubled souls courageous enough to seek help. Even in cases so marginal as to have no bearing on 99.9 percent of viewers--such as parents struggling with a child exhibiting homicidal tendencies--Dr. Phil reassures us that the publicity is beneficial to other families because these problems occur "on a continuum": A six-year-old with low-grade behavior problems today could, if left unchecked, turn out to be a serial killer down the road.Check out the entire article here; subtract the nonsense about how conservatives like this guy--they DON'T!
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Cult of Phil
For once, I agree--mostly--with a writer at the New Republic: