Walking affront to the integrity of medical degrees and the former president’s very favorite TV doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz is the latest celebrity to guest host Jeopardy! To the surprise of nobody at all, the man who once warned that apple juice might poison kids with arsenic and had to apologize after suggesting last April that America get its “mojo back” by reopening schools with a 2-3% mortality rate is not the sort of trusted fact-keeper anyone wants to watch.
Twitter has eagerly condemned the show’s decision to feature Dr. Oz after he tweeted about his two-week residency yesterday morning. A small sampling of replies sees the guest host referred to as “snake oil salesman,” “charlatan,” “the antithesis of the honest desire for knowledge that Alex Trebek stood for throughout his career,” and “Creepier Than Dr. Phil.” Jeopardy!’s decision has been called “repugnant” and “embarrassing.” Jon Daly, for his part, tweeted “Fuck you @Jeopardy,” which gets to the point just as directly.
Late last month, hundreds of former Jeopardy! contestants also got together to put aside all trivia rivalries, past and present, and sign an open letter to the show’s executive producer opposing Dr. Oz’s selection as guest host. The letter explains that, despite there being “very little that a large group of [contestants] can agree upon,” the 500-plus signatories unanimously believe that “Dr. Oz stands in opposition to everything that Jeopardy! stands for.”
The text highlights Dr. Oz’s misuse of “his authority as a doctor to push harmful ideas onto the American public,” including his history of “promoting supplements that do nothing, legitimizing gay conversion therapy … dangerous ‘cures’ for autism, and, most recently, the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.” It concludes by stating that, given Jeopardy!’s reputation for being “incredibly rigorous” with the facts used in its show, “[inviting] Dr. Oz to guest-host is a slap in the face to all involved.”
In an interview released by the Jeopardy! YouTube channel last Sunday, Dr. Oz laughs while saying his “harshest critic” is his wife. Considering all of the above, we sort of hope that isn’t still true.
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