The secrets of Dr Phil, our favorite redneck Adonis
“That dawg won't hunt.” The Texan drawl erupts from the television speakers as Dr.Phil chastises yet another cheating husband, overspending wife, teenager hooked on cough medicine, whatever. One phrase fits them all don't you know, and the Dr. Phil stage has been filled with more dawgs that won't hunt over the years than a hippie pet convention.
What is it that makes this man so irresistible? Is it his twinkly eyed charm? His thinly veiled Republican-Christian politics? The fact that he makes middle America feel special? Or could it just be the irresistable pull of the dark side?
At one time, parents who brought their children too many toys simply dealt with a freeloading son or daughter forever and used them to store spare jackets on or something. Now they take them on television where Dr Phil informs them that they won't hunt, as they loll about, slack jawed in the chairs that look suspiciously like well padded high chairs.
The Dr Phil phenomenon is a bizzare one, and one day, whilst watching him point out that messing around on the side while you were married was a bad thing, I decided to find out the truth behind his mustachioed smile. I knew there had to be evil lurking there somewhere, that mustache alone was a pretty good indicator.
I had to do research for this article of course, and every writer worth his or her salt checks Wikipedia. I wanted the dirt on Dr Phil, the real hardcore stuff. Here's what I found: “McGraw is noted for his Texas accent and for his one-finger wave to his wife Robin, in the audiences at the beginning of every show. “
So essentially, according to Wikipedia, Dr Phil is noted for virtually nothing except sounding nice and being nice to his wife. This is typical of the Phil-o-media. Innocuous facts abound supporting the nice guy image to a point where Dr Phil occasionally makes Jesus looks bad.
But there is always dirt people, and in Phil's case, it comes in the form of a 19 year old girl. In 1988, Dr Phil was reprimanded by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for an “inappropriate dual relationship” with his client, and forced to take ethics classes. Dr Phil maintains that the relationship was not sexual, but the girl says otherwise. Is this another dawg that won't hunt? Or did Dr Phil let his lil dawg out one time too many?
Dr Phil also has a little bit of an inner snake oil salesman it would seem, in 2003 he got started in the weight loss business, selling products under the name “Shape Up.” Dr Phil's products stated that "These products contain scientifically researched levels of ingredients that can help you change your behavior to take control of your weight."
Oopsie, the FTC didn't think that was very likely true, and launched an investigation, as people who had actually been suckered into buying the products sought to bring a class action law suit against Dr Phil because the products didn't work even after paying $120 a month for them, a suit he settled out of court for the princely sum of $10.5 million dollars.
Naughty, naughty Dr Phil. I wonder if his books work any better, or if maybe people should, uh, eat less and exercise more?