James Randi sat in with HuffPo‘s Josh Zepps to discuss his recent appearance in the documentary An Honest Liar. With his usual cheery frankness, Randi also took a moment to call out Oprah on her gullibility and her pet charlatan Dr. Oz on his utter quackery.
If you haven’t heard of The Amazing Randi he was once a magician and escape artist but has spent the latter part of his life investigating and debunking paranormal claims. He is perhaps most famous for exposing Uri Geller, the original “spoon bender”, as a fraud on the Tonight Show. Randi has been doing similar work ever since, and in 1996 founded the James Randi Educational Foundation to help make the public aware of shifty claims and encourage scientific reasoning and investigation.
Randi was recently the feature of a documentary, An Honest Liar, and joined the directors for an interview regarding the film. When asked by the host whether our society has really changed, Randi brought up Oprah and Dr. Oz.
The problem with Oprah is she endorsed everything immediately if it sounded good. And of course she endorsed on a very early program, before she was really ‘Oprah Winfrey’…Geller appeared on her show and she just fell in love with the man immediately and accepted everything.
…Oprah like I said accepts anything that ‘sounds good’ and that you would like to be true, and she has endorsed people. She even bought Mehmet Oz, a cardiac surgeon of rare ability. I would trust my heart to him any time at all…Strictly speaking I would trust my heart to Mehmet Oz, no question to that. But when it comes to being reasonable, he actually has a reiki practitioner, his wife, on the set of his operations.
Reiki, or palm-healing, is an alternative form of medicine that believes healing can be done by transferring of ki to the patient through the palms. Remember that next time you think about trying Dr Oz’s new diet plan.