Dr. Oz and John Edward: Con Man, Meet Con Man

Frauds of a feather flock together, it seems. Shameless shill Dr. Oz is welcoming grifter and fake “psychic” John Edward on his show and Oz is doing his usual overselling of the whole thing. Just like all those “miracle cures” he peddles, he says talking to the dead has changed his life!

As a rule, the worlds of western medicine and psychic phenomena just don’t mix, but that’s not the case on Tuesday’s installment of The Dr. Oz Show. Oprah discovery Mehmet Oz will welcome famed psychic medium John Edward, who claims to relay messages from the dead, and the two men will discuss how connecting with the afterlife can be therapeutic for those in grief. Edward also conducts readings for several members of Dr. Oz’s studio audience, and offers advice on how to pick up signals your dead loved ones may be sending you — things you can do without the help of a psychic. TV Guide Magazine spoke by phone with Dr. Oz, who had quite a wild time watching Edward do his thing. In fact, the good doc says the experience changed his life!

TV Guide Magazine: The idea of you — one of western medicine’s best known and respected figures — finding healing value in talking to the dead is intriguing. It’s pretty monumental, really. What gives?

Oz: [Laughs] Trust me, I was probably the last person who ever thought we’d have John Edward on our show! But it turned out to be great and not at all what I expected. Let me tell you, it changed my life! It was the most bizarre experience I’ve ever had — and I’ve seen and done a lot!

TV Guide Magazine: What prompted you to book him?

Oz: It’s funny. My wife and I had gone on vacation a while back with several friends — five couples — and I happened to ask how many of them believed in the afterlife. Seven of the people were believers — five women and two men — and I was very intrigued by that. It was much more than I expected. We also found out there’s a Pew poll [from 2008] that says 74 percent of the American public believes there is an afterlife. So, basically, we had John on the show because I’m all about learning. I’ve always liked the guy. He seems authentic, not at all like a charlatan. I’ve learned in my career that there are times when science just hasn’t caught up with things, and I think this may be one of them.

*headdesk* Yeah, he seems authentic. That’s why he uses cold reading techniques that have been used by “psychics” to separate the ignorant from their money for centuries. That’s why his “spirit guides” can never just give him someone’s name, only popular letters so that he can turn any miss into a hit. Because he’s authentic. He’s about as authentic as Dr. Oz. They’re both frauds.

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  • reasonbe

    what a country.

  • wreck

    “Edward also conducts readings for several members of Dr. Oz’s studio audience, and offers advice on how to pick up signals your dead loved ones may be sending you — things you can do without the help of a psychic.”

    And have exactly the same success at talking to the dead as a “real” psychic.

    “He seems authentic, not at all like a charlatan.”

    That’s the key to making a lot of money as a charlatan, as you, Oh Great and Powerful Oz, would know.

    “I’ve learned in my career that there are times when science just hasn’t caught up with things, and I think this may be one of them.”

    As if we needed more evidence that Oz is an idiot.

  • Chiroptera

    “He seems authentic, not at all like a charlatan.”

    Uh, isn’t that how charlatans measure success?

  • Larry

    Now just why does the Columbia medical faculty want this man out of their school?

  • eric

    Wow, its like he (Oz) is doubling down. Just throwing it in his objectors’ faces. “You thought I was a quack before? Watch me keep my Columbia job while getting away with this.”

  • dingojack

    Dr Oz is “…one of western medicine’s best known and respected figures…” according to that well-known authority on medical matters TV Guide Magazine.

    Clearly the magazine publishers like to keep their staff well-insulated from reality.

    @@ Dingo

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Talking to the dead is easy. Getting them to talk back, is a lot harder.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    That’s why his “spirit guides” can never just give him someone’s name, only popular letters so that he can turn any miss into a hit.

    To be fair, it’s tough to be heard clearly from the afterlife. You know how old people turn up the TV too loud? The afterlife is full of old people.

    It’s like having a hard-partying neighbor, except that it’s all your neighbors and the party is Matlock episodes.

  • http://healthvsmedicine.blogspot.com cervantes

    Well yes but I do need to point out that this is fairly ancient history, 2011. The wizard may be reining in somewhat.

  • dhall

    Coming during the same week that Montel Williams apologized for Sylvia Browne’s bullshit statement that one of the young women kidnapped in Cleveland was dead, this is extra special.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    My wife and I had gone on vacation a while back with several friends — five couples — and I happened to ask how many of them believed in the afterlife. Seven of the people were believers — five women and two men — and I was very intrigued by that. It was much more than I expected. We also found out there’s a Pew poll [from 2008] that says 74 percent of the American public believes there is an afterlife. So, basically, we had John on the show because I’m all about learning.

    In other words, he’s pretty much admitting he booked Edward because a poll told him there was a market for his bullshit. And because charlatans have to stick together when public scrutiny gets too harsh (sort of like discredited religions having “interfaith dialogues” to form a unified front against their critics).

  • moarscienceplz

    “There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase most likely spoken by David Hannum, in criticism of both P. T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid 1800s, and his customers.

    Wikipedia

    Hannum’s watch probably ran fast.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    That’s why his “spirit guides” can never just give him someone’s name, only popular letters so that he can turn any miss into a hit.

    That’s probably also why astral projection hasn’t revolutionized spybiz.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    He seems authentic, not at all like a charlatan.

    “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.”

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Hercules: a fictitious President in a Tom Clancy novel referred to his “sincere act.”

  • ibbica

    Is there any way to persuade CBS & CTV that it would be appropriate to air the South Park episode on John Edwards immediately before, and maybe again after, this “Dr. Oz” episode?

  • brewlord

    Today I saw a promo for his show. He’s apparently upset that people are using his good name to sell miracle cures and fake supplements

  • pixiedust

    Not the John Edwards I thought.

  • Sastra

    Oz: [Laughs] Trust me, I was probably the last person who ever thought we’d have John Edward on our show!

    Yeah, because you’ve always been such a staunch skeptic and adamant atheist who dismisses anything outside the well-attested findings of modern science and the working theory of naturalism.

    Anybody who thinks reiki is legit has no right saying he would never have believed he’d bring in a psychic.

  • thebookofdave

    I’m surprised Oz waited so long to extend the invitation. Many of John Edward’s contacts owe their big break to rejecting dependency on Big Pharma and following Dr. Oz’s advice.

  • latveriandiplomat

    @5: My thoughts exactly. He’s just trolling us now.

    I eagerly await his show on free colonoscopies by means of UFO abduction.