Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just so you don't think I'm completely out of the loop...

Yes, your host is aware of what's now being said and written about Dr. Phil McGraw. As we used to say in Brooklyn, I "know some people who know some people" who are connected to The Enquirer, which ran the juicy cover story this past week. And of course, the new Enquirer story isn't the first time such rumors have surfaced. However, I'm not going to wade too deeply into that pool until a little bit more comes to light.

Regardless, I have to feel that somewhere on the outskirts of Kansas City, one Debbie Higgins McCall* must be smiling a knowing smile and saying under her breath, "Girl, I told you so..."


Also, while we're in a self-helpy vein, former Muhlenberg College student Robert Pepper tips me to a new inspirational product featured on Gizmodo. The thing itself is funny enough, especially at $30, but the first paragraph of the description is, as they say in those Mastercard ads, priceless. Incidentally, I discovered this morning that when you google that particular ad campaign
"Mastercard priceless"some interesting stuff comes back. Tasteless, raw, thoroughly profane...but interesting.

* McGraw's seldom-mentioned first wife, whom I interviewed for SHAM.


Stever Robbins said...

I *am* completely out of the loop. What's going on with Dr. P?

Elizabeth said...

I can't stand Dr. Phil, but somehow I do not feel any schadenfreude over his marital problems. Marriage is hard enough for anyone, no matter what an "expert" one wants to (or pretends to) be in it.

But of course it is more than ironic that the man who has built his career on the marriage and relationship "expertise" (which often boiled down to bullying
others into following his pre-packaged advice) has found himself in the mess of his own making (and not the first time, as you, Steve, point out).

However, rather than gloat this time, I sigh and think, "There but for the grace of God..."

P.S. The (banned) BJ "priceless" Mastercard commercial, with the young woman, her eager date and his misplaced elbow, is, well, priceless.:)

Elizabeth said...

Off-topic: could this be a Bush-McCain October surprise -- a last minute war with Syria?

Steve Salerno said...

Stever (or anyone else): Just Google "The Enquirer" and look at the most recent issue. Or check Google news under "McGraw" and "cheating." That enough of a hint?

Stever Robbins said...

Oh, damn. Cheating. Sigh.

I was hoping for something juicy, like Dr. Phil turning out to be having a gay affair. It would dovetail so neatly into the "what's so threatening about gay marriage?" conversation.

It seems like everyone cheats. Or has consecutive marriages, or whatever. Lots of people confuse "commitment" (which means you'll stick it out and find a way to make it work) with "conveniece" (which means when the going gets tough, the tough get divorced).

I would say, "cut Dr. Phil some slack." But I won't. I'm jealous of his incredible fame and fortune, especially since I think my advice is as good as his. So instead, I'll indulge in schedenfreude and say, "Shame on you, Dr. Phil!! Keep it in your pants, big guy."

To his wife, I say, "Oh, you poor dear. The pain! The suffering! The public humiliation! No amount of money could possibly compensate...but why not give it the old college try?"

Steve Salerno said...

Stever: Well, you know, "cheating" doesn't necessarily = "heterosexual."
(NOTE to Dr. Phil and his publicists and lawyers: Any relationship between that last remark and any living persons, known or unknown, is purely diabolical. But--he quickly adds, wimping out--yes, I'm being facetious. ;)

Anonymous said...

The National Enquirer was right about the affair John Edwards a month or so before the Iowa caucus. If the legitimate media had picked up on the story, Hillary Clinton and Edwards would not have split the vote in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

We could very well have Hillary Clinton as the democratic nominee right now, and she would have certainly pulled further ahead of John McCain. There would have been no Sarah Palin bounce, and the conservative wing of the republican party would stay at home on election day.

Don't discount the Enquirer. I look for a huge drop off in Dr. Phil's ratings, and income, as a result of this series of stories.

Look for the "Robin Show" to hit syndication in 2009.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon: Very good points and--I almost hate to say this, but it's hard to pass up--a "regression-of-cause" argument for determinism: if this hadn't happened, and this hadn't happened, etc. The Butterfly Effect.

Of course the point isn't the philosophy of what you say, but the reality of what you say. Even those of us who are feeling pretty good about Obama's chances right now still ask ourselves, How the hell is John McCain even hanging in this race? On the other hand, would Hillary have really made a difference? I'm not sure. Would a Hillary/Obama ticket have been "too much" for some traditional voters to handle? I don't know. Does anyone?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry. I am sure Dr. Phil will spin his divorce into some form of money gaining venture. He will go through his pain on his Oprah produced show and make all seem so right. Remember "divorce is not an option" unless you are Dr. Phil.

Oh, The National Enquirer> also broke the story on Wretched Ray's kinky spit deprived hubby. Ray wants to be the cooking Oprah.

Steve Salerno said...

The Enquirer is often the butt of jokes, and perhaps deservedly so, but in amidst all the lurid and the lowbrow is some decent reporting now and then. Most famously, the tabloid did most of the more aggressive reporting on the JonBenet case. (Which is not to say that we're supposed to be obsessively concerned with celebrity crimes and divorces, but you get the point.)

Anonymous said...

Since when is somebody's divorce an occasion to celebrate? Would you gloat if their spouse died? Divorce is similar in the level of stress and pain to death of a spouse.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 11:02, I agree with you in theory, and mostly in practice. That said, I think you can also appreciate the irony here, and the fact that this man--Dr. Phil--has accumulated many, many millions by sharing with the rest of us "the secret to maintaining a happy marriage," etc. (he did, in fact, write a zillion-selling book called "Relationship Rescue"), and now it appears that his own house may not be in order. It's the Tony Robbins thing all over again.

RevRon's Rants said...

Anon - Nobody here is "celebrating" divorce; only pointing out the obvious "feet of clay" of one who makes his fortune by his claims to having the answers to success in relationships, yet engages in the very behavior he so loudly condemns.

Your implication that anyone would celebrate the death of a spouse was both disingenuous and illogical.

RevRon's Rants said...

"The Enquirer is often the butt of jokes, and perhaps deservedly so, but in amidst all the lurid and the lowbrow is some decent reporting now and then."

Steve, I enjoyed "Men In Black," too. :-)

Anonymous said...

You got to admit, these celebrities set themselves up for a lot of this stuff. Remember Ellen DeGenerous going around saying Anne Heche was the "love" of her life? Anne Heche didn't think so and was found wandering through Fresno, CA. The Enquirer broke the Anne Heche story too. I am just waiting to see what happens with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. When you set yourself up to be the example, you are going to face scrutiny and that's what Dr. Phil did.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "the butt of jokes"

There's a book of tattoo art entitled 'No Regrets.'

In it is a picture of Dr. Phil's portrait, tattooed onto a person's rear end. Kid you not. I saw the picture--the book was at the cash register of one of our local bookstores.

One has to wonder who was willing to pay the considerable money, and endure the pain and time needed to get this kind of tattoo?

For it was quite an accurate likeness of Dr. Phil.

Anonymous said...

The picture can be found in a book, entitled 'No Regrets' a collection of photographs of truly bizarre tattoos.