Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rant #565: I've Had My Fill of Dr. Phil

Who is Dr. Phil anyway?

That is the question I ask to start off this rant, and it is a question that the millions of people who watch his show on a daily basis should really be asking themselves.

This guy, whatever his real credentials are, is a TV creation, nothing more. And his fame and notoriety have often jumped over the edge of reasonability.

I remember when he poked his nose into the life of Britney Spears when she was pretty much at the lowest point of her existence. Her father had taken over care of her finances, her concert tour was panned, she had been going through rough marital times, and her kids were being looked at by the state as being improperly cared for.

Whatever you think of Spears, why did Dr. Phil feel he had the right to poke into her affairs?

To me, it was a publicity stunt to spread his name around the world, get him known as the TV self-help guru who chastises people when he should be looking at his own behavior.

The latest fiasco related to Dr. Phil is the case of a child who was filmed being abused by his stepmother so she and the boy could get onto his show.

A woman put hot sauce in her adopted 7-year-old son's mouth, not to punish the Russian boy for lying, but to create sensational footage to get on the TV show, said a prosecutor in a child abuse case in Alaska.

Jessica Beagley, 36, recorded the punishment on Oct. 21, 2010 for a show segment titled "Mommy Confessions," said prosecutor Cynthia Franklin. The Anchorage woman faces misdemeanor child abuse charges stemming from the footage.

The eight-minute video allegedly shows Beagley confronting her son Kristoff about misbehaving in school and lying, and then pouring hot sauce into the crying child's mouth and not allowing him to spit it out for more than a minute. The footage also shows Beagley forcing the screaming boy into a cold shower before sending him off the bed.

The episode aired on Nov. 17, 2010, and it evidently sparked public outrage in Russia, with some demanding that Kristoff and his twin brother, who were both adopted by Beagley and her husband, be returned to their native country.

The boy is in therapy now for an issue causing his misbehavior. And why isn't the mother in some type of program to cure her behavior, which was downright nauseating.

Beyond the outrage about how this child was treated by his adopted mother, why was this video shown on Dr. Phil's show without the proper background checks? Evidently, this woman has tried to get on the show before, but was unsuccessful. Shouldn't a red flag have gone up?

I am sure Dr. Phil, himself, doesn't screen anything. He lets his staff do it. But he is the big name, the guy being paid the big bucks, so he is responsible for what goes on his show. And he is responsible here.

Why anyone wants to air their dirty laundry on national and international TV is beyond my comprehension.

But to stage an act just to get on a TV show is reprehensible, especially when it involves a helpless child.

Dr. Phil should be ashamed of himself for airing this segment.

And again, I ask, who is Dr. Phil anyway?

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