So, on Wednesday morning, the big news getting broadcast was about Rutgers University's basketball coach Mike Rice and a video that surfaced. The video shows Rice striking players with balls, grabbing and pushing players, launching into profanity- and homophobic-laced tirades against players.
By Wednesday afternoon, the story evolved into one about Rice being fired by the university. By now, you should be well aware of the story. As this is being written Wednesday for today's paper, by now you should have heard all sorts of commentary on the matter and formed your own opinion, so I'll not belabor the topic beyond this: Were it not for the video, there is a darn good chance Rice would still be the basketball coach at Rutgers. Say what you will about smartphones and all the technology that puts a camera in just about anybody's hands, but in this case it proved helpful. Of course, it should not have taken a video to result in Rice being fired, but once that video went, as the saying goes, viral it was all over. There was no way Rutgers could put any kind of decent spin on the story that would have resulted in Rice staying on. And maybe that says something about folks at Rutgers and elsewhere. Damage control is nothing new, but video sure does, in some cases at least, help tip the scales a bit in making people ultimately do the right thing.
Thank goodness for daytime jobs that keep me away from most of network television's afternoon programming. When the TV is on in the newsroom, it's usually tuned to an all-news or all-sports channel. We're not into "Days of Our Lives" here as the newspaper business presents enough real-life drama; no need for soaps.
That said, I still catch snippets here and there about one daytime fellow who seems to have taken America by storm. And just as with Dr. Phil, we can thank Oprah for introducing us to Dr. Oz.
This guy is strikes me as the Billy Mays of health care. Remember Mays? He was the over-the-top exuberant TV salesman who made folks pick up the phone and buy case upon case of OxiClean. Most of us just thought Mays was an excitable pitchman; turns out he was a cocaine addict, which is what helped send him to a not-so-clean but speedy and early death.
Anyway, this Dr. Oz hawks diets and health products in much the same way. If viewers actually heed his advice, they'll no doubt be on a diet roller coaster. And quite possibly dead. What's good today is tossed out tomorrow; after all, there's a new show to put on, a new product to sell, another day to try to appear relevant as you head to the bank with the next check. But America? Oh, we gobble up that stuff for some reason.
What an appropriate name, too. Dr. Oz. Yes, I'm going to take the advice of a man who has the same last name as a wizard who, it turns out, has no real powers to return Dorothy home to Kansas, give the Tin Man a heart, Scarecrow a brain, Cowardly Lion an ounce of courage.
I don't get to watch the show, so for me it's not so hard to bypass the great Dr. Oz. I think others should consider the words the Wizard of Oz had for Dorothy and the gang after Toto revealed who he truly was: "Ignore the man behind the curtain."
Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-2522; email email@example.com ,or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.