...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dr. Phil to the rescue. Of Dr. Phil.

Dr. Phil visited Britney Spears’s hospital room, then made a statement. The Spears family called him out on it. He said, if he had it to do over, he wouldn’t have made that statement. Non-apology of the month. On a Christian TV network.

Let me be clear. I’ve been a Dr. Phil fan from the start. Still am. Oprah was right. He’s a phe-nom.

This morning Phil made the rounds of the network morning shows, a phenomenon in itself -- not every superhero gets to do that. I saw his interviews with Diane Sawyer on ABC and Matt Lauer on NBC. I have to assume he made it to CBS’s cellar-dweller, too, since CBS owns his show. He repeated and embellished his non-apology. Nobody out-explains Phil.

Fact is, he flew all the way across the continent to say that this is no big deal. Mainly he wanted to slap down those tabloid lies about Oprah firing him, his wife leaving him, etc. Fine. Done.

But the part that others have been saying for him, that since he retired his psychologist’s license (in good standing, we hasten to add) means he had no legal or ethical responsibility to maintain patient confidentiality -- that fine lawyerly point, that’s a crock, folks.

Having heard Phil thunder countless times at wrong-doers on his show about his professional responsibility to turn them over to the legal authorities unless they clean up their acts, I’m not buying it. Hype wraps itself in all kinds of righteous raiments.

Dr. Phil, you moved to Hollywood. You wear the silk suit well. But your makeup’s looking a little shiny these days. It shows up in hi-def.

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