I've never really had an opinion on Phil "Dr. Phil" McGraw. For me he will always be that bald guy I ignored waiting for Oprah to come on, and now that she's gone I pretty much never see the guy. While I'm sure there are people who do care about the good doctor and watch him every day, he pretty much doesn't exist to me unless he does something really dumb.
So yesterday Dr. Phil did something really dumb.
Or, more accurately, the person that runs his Twitter account did something very dumb. See, the verified Dr. Phil account (@DrPhil) likes to ask its legion of one million followers questions. I assume this is one of those crowdsourcing things that makes Twitter so great and will leave a generation of folks wondering what "man on the street" interviews were.
And so after asking questions about when the right time to have "the talk" is and whether or not sex addiction is a thing that actually exists, the account asked another question, one that only exists now through the magic of screenshot technology.
So this is what it's come to in Phil's increasing pathetic attempts to stay relevant.
It didn't take long for an explanation to come out as to why the question was asked. In a statement released to Buzzfeed, a spokesperson for the show stated: "This tweet was intended to evoke discussion leading into a very serious show topic."
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I hope that the "very serious show topic" is about responsible tweeting and not asking dumb questions on the internet, but something tells me I'm going to be disappointed.
My gut tells me it won't be long before we see Phil on one of the morning shows, explaining in his folksy way what he was trying to accomplish. He'll let everyone know he didn't mean any harm and, if we're really lucky, he'll have some sort of nugget of wisdom to share with all of us about thinking before acting.
Listen, we don't need to have a discussion on the ethics of having sex with drunk people. As much as I love the marketplace of ideas, I'm perfectly fine having the opinions of rape apologists marginalized.
And if we are going to have a "discussion" on the subject (which should only last as long as it takes for someone to get in front of a mike and say "Don't have sex with someone who can't offer their consent") I'm not sure Dr. Phil is the man to be moderating it. I mean, if we can't trust him to hire someone who will say, "Hey, maybe we shouldn't tweet this awful question," how can we trust him with anything?