Terrible TV doctor Mehmet Oz, a man who used his enormous TV platform to offer advice that was—according to a 2014 study—half bullshit, surrendered to the celebrity ego-stroking siren song known as politics back in November by announcing a run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania (a state he does not live in) as a Republican. And while that does seem like the kind of wholly unsurprising thing that Dr. Oz, who is also a terrible Jeopardy! host, would do, it does raise an important question: What does Oprah Winfrey think about this?
After all, the only reason anyone knows who Dr. Oz is is because Winfrey put him on her show and then produced his The Dr. Oz Show (which has been canned over his senate run), so surely it’s fair to at least ask the question. And that’s what New York Magazine did as part of a far-reaching piece on Oz’s political ambitions—a piece that, and you’re not going to believe this, makes it all sound like a total disaster.
Pressed for some kind of comment on Oz’s political campaign, here’s what a spokesperson for Winfrey had to say: “One of the great things about our democracy is that every citizen can decide to run for public office. Mehmet Oz has made that decision. And now it’s up to the residents of Pennsylvania to decide who will represent them.”
Has there ever been a clearer not-endorsement in the history of endorsements? “I hope he drops dead” would’ve been a more supportive statement than this carefully assembled presentation of completely opinion-free facts. The New York story says there have been conflicting accounts from people-in-the-know about Winfrey’s take on Oz running for office, with Oz himself claiming both that she would support him if he made it to the general election and that he’s consciously leaving her out of his Senate race as a means of “protecting” her.
Seeing as how her response was “he is running for Senate and that is a fact” and not “he is running for Senate and I hope he wins,” it seems pretty clear how Winfrey actually feels about it.