We are all too familiar with Mike Lindell, The Pillow Guy. We’ve seen way to many images of him hugging his pillow and then haranguing empty rooms with promises of all the hidden evidence that the former guy actually won the 2020 Presidential Election. He didn’t, but Lindell gets crazier and crazier with each new claim. But now he’s been topped.
Entering the 2022 race for the US Senate in Pennsylvania is none other than TV personality Dr. Oz. The fact that he seems to actually live in New Jersey is just one pesky fact that he’s glossed over. But that little thorn aside, what could be under the hood of this strange vehicle?
Here are a couple of clues. Dr. Oz, like many TV personalities, is really a pitch man. He’s on stage to sell products. Period. These may be for advertisers most of the time—those frequent commercial breaks—or those of his guests. But Dr. Oz’s real business is the Dr. Oz Good Life brand. He sells entire bedding and sleep systems. Yes, pillows too.
One feature of Dr. Oz’s sleep systems is to stop someone from snoring, apparently by automatically raising the bed. A clever pitch, but if a person’s snoring is actually caused by obstructive sleep apnea a raised bed will do nothing to fix the real problem. And this could actually endanger lives. Since a “doctor” is pitching these expensive beds and accessories, they must be the correct solution, right? People actually need to recognize the difference between a sales pitch from a guy who happens to be a doctor and a medical diagnosis.
Following in Bloody Footsteps
Other TV and film personalities have successfully run for office with history beginning to show how badly they actually did. The Reagan Revolution, more specifically his sales pitch about “trickle down economics,” has caused almost irreparable damage to middle-class America. And the former guy of course was a reality show operator and pitch man for a massive list of now-failed business and full-on con operations. The death toll from his years of incompetence and greed is still rolling up as just yesterday another 140,000 or so Americans contracted Covid and over 1,000 died from it.
These are the footsteps that Mehmet Oz now wants to follow along in. And why not? It makes him a household name, gets more people going to his website and instead of just pillows, he gets to sell and entire sleep “system.”
As an actual medical authority, Dr. Oz has been found wanting by those in his community. Dr. Steven Dell, writing for the National Institutes of Health writes,
Although the scientific community has turned against Oz, the unfortunate reality is that he is perceived as a scientific authority by millions of people who receive their relationship advice from Dr. Phil and, presumably, their time-traveling advice from Dr. Who.
Simply put, Oz is an entertainer. Many believe he is doing great harm by preventing or delaying proper diagnosis, providing false hope, and encouraging people to waste money on useless treatments.
Dr. Oz is probably banking on the fact that right wing voters are pretty shallow when it comes to research. And ironically one of the tag lines from his sleep product site is “Helping America Get Back to Sleep.”
He’s betting on that. People who are bright and able to feel scratching of wool being pulled over their eyes are not his target market. One might suspect that like the former guy, his calculation is probably more along the lines of “I probably won’t win. But I’ll sell a lot of sheets and a hell of a lot more pillows than Lindell.”