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Making a Point with Humor: John Oliver and Dr. Oz

June 24, 2014

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver (you may know him from his work on the Daily Show) recently took on the subject of Dr. Oz and the nutritional supplement industry. This past Tuesday, Dr. Oz appeared in front of a Senate subcommittee which took him to task on his often “enthusiastic language” regarding supplements. Quoting Dr. Oz:

I recognize that my enthusiastic language has made the problem worse at times.

While Dr. Oz says he never endorses a particular product, he says that companies often use his name and his videos as tacit endorsements for their products. The Senate grilled him about giving false hope to his viewers about these so-called miracle supplements and products.

Others have written articles about this, but I found John Oliver’s video take especially good because he uses humor and factual information to get his point across:

Compare Dr. Oz’s statements with those of MLM practitioners. Many of them say that they are providing hope for their followers, but is it really false hope they are peddling? With the recent government shutdowns of TelexFree, Zeek Rewards, and FTHM, along with the ongoing investigations into Herbalife, more people are seeing these opportunities for the financial scams that they really are.

My advice to those being prospected by friends, family, work colleagues and complete strangers is to get detailed and objective information about these “opportunities.” Read up on the history of the founders and those that you will get involved with. Is there a history of serial MLM-hopping among the founders? Does an analysis of the income disclosure statement show that the majority of people are making no money at all? Does the time and money commitment outweigh the benefits? Does the opportunity sound too good to be true?

The FTC has a good page that asks these questions and more. Familiarize yourself with them and be prepared to ask them when presented with these business opportunities. Don’t let those who are prospecting you answer your questions with a question. Get an answer or walk away.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 24, 2014 8:17 pm


    Great Information, advice, he nailed it and funny to boot! I’ve come to the conclusion any “marketing” or “paid for” spokesperson or “reputation manager” is nothing but a complete joke? Wonder why most can’t be trusted? Not a mystery!

    He nails it about them left to police themselves….JUST LIKE the MLM’s have been left to do for decades and why it is such an epic disease/virus! Do they think that people don’t believe you earn your reputation?…. Marketing ought be outlawed and jail those abusing it especially those using their “Doctor” status…Notice how every MLM uses this to some degree. I will never take their word for anything at face value, EVER!

    Don’t believe a word of it… It is a con game in itself….it’s ALWAYS about the MONEY. 🙂

  2. Vogel permalink
    June 25, 2014 7:11 pm

    Amen Melanie

  3. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 26, 2014 10:54 am

    You know it’s the obvious when you get asked the hard questions that make these greedy folks uncomfortable (because they know they can’t be completely honest to save their soul) like I spot in this video, Dr. Oz squirms, just like the dishonest MLMers who know they can’t tell you the whole truth….Dead give away…. they gotcha ya, :)…no matter what you try after that to CYA or cover up, your credibility is gone… waa, waa, waa…nobodies listening!!! And you have been found out! People just aren’t that stupid…. 🙂

  4. Vogel permalink
    June 26, 2014 4:33 pm

    “People just aren’t that stupid…. :)”

    I hope you’re right but sometimes it seems like people are getting stupider by the day. There are a lot of bad apples who recognize that the dumbing down of America is good for business. A less informed, less demanding consumer is a lot easier to sell to than someone who relies on evidence and critical thinking.

  5. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 26, 2014 4:51 pm

    I hear you Vogel, but there is so many good and smart people who point out the truth such as Amthrax, you, Lazy Man and so many others who at least others see the through this BS.

    People are definitely too trusting, desperate, and gullible when it comes to these con games. Sadly the greed and corruption in America is so out of control, the BS “Marketing” has been allowed & ‘accepted’ as the status quo…. “just doin business”.

    You either have to learn the hard way or get a Doctrine in Science, most individuals don’t have the patience to do the research nor understand the BS, sounds to real .

    They prey on people who are desiring to “better” themselves who trust if it’s allowed in the public and comes from a “Doctor’s” endorsing it, then it is a breeze for those to be duped.

    Funny This “dumbing down” is trade mark of MLM and also the results of years of allowing lies to be told. It is the con’s game that is very convincing. but I don’t believe they people are that stupid when it comes to detecting a liar. 😉

  6. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 26, 2014 4:57 pm

    Or maybe we could start a ‘school’ where you get a Doctrine in scametry? Haha, I might be able to help there, for one hated Science so, probably why I was gullible, and too trusting. lol

  7. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 26, 2014 5:02 pm

    I should have said “unfortunately” I could help in the scametry school. No I am not proud and quite disheartened to figure it out but I did unfortunately learn from some of the best.

  8. Vogel permalink
    June 27, 2014 10:16 am

    Funny you should mention that. I’ve been outlining a curriculum for a course that would essentially be what you described. The course would cover critical thinking skills, common types of logical fallacy, stereotypes about scientists, how science is mangled by advertisers and misreported by the media, and high-profile scams (including MLMs/supplement companies, as well as high profile cases of fraud in academic research — e.g., cold fusion, homeopathy, distant prayer, etc.).

  9. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 27, 2014 11:10 am


    That is awesome!!! You are the best, thanks for all you do obviously it is much needed in our society especially for those like myself who Science wasn’t a favorite. 🙂

    Perhaps somehow that would lead into getting the justice that desperately needs served on the scammers! 🙂

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