Mehmet Oz, inept man of the people at the grocery store: let them eat raw vegetables

SAY WHAT? – So…. Given his ill-fated, tone-deaf, kamikaze commercials, maybe a millionaire porter, a peddler of magic pills that cure everything, and “the ridiculous performance artist that is Mehmet Oz” doesn’t want to beat the Lt. Governor John Fetterman will become a GOP senator for Pennsylvania after all. Like several other famous but otherwise miserably without reservation The GOP candidates, the guy who once ate $2,000, gold encrusted steak while playing a nerdy TV doctor carries as much ill-fitting baggage in a key battlefield race as the traveling professor transformed, in a formidable MeidasTouch advertisement, in a slippery Wizard of Lies. Dorothy to the wizard: “You are a very bad man.” A well-known, Trump-endorsed snake oil salesman – sex robots! – Oz and company got hit this summer with the largest class-action settlement on record, over $5 million, for lying about a “magic weight loss cure” that wasn’t; he later succeeds in crop the payment at $625,000, a pittance compared to an estimate net value over $100 million that would make him one of the Senate’s biggest cats. Not only is he a rich crook; he’s also a famous, longtime resident of New Jersey who might actually still live there, despite running for the Senate seat in a hyper-localized Pennsylvania where residents proudly identify themselves by county, city, even neighborhood.

Pennsylvania-born and raised, Fetterman took that dissonance and ran with it, hammering home the message that Oz “isn’t from here” and might not even live there. A muscular, outspoken, Harvard-educated progressive and former football player who boasts that he doesn’t look or sound like a politician, he fought for health care, GED, fairness economic, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice reform, weed legalization; as mayor of the impoverished and largely black town of Braddock, he opposed a highway project because it represented environmental racism. In a campaign that takes place mostly on social media, he’s also a master troll. He started an online petition to induct Oz into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, rented a plane to pull a banner over Jersey bathers welcoming Oz home, and recruited Jersey celebrities like “Snooki” from “Jersey Shore” and Little Stevie Van Zandt of Springsteen and “Sopranos” fame harass Oz. “Yo, Dr. Oz! This is Stevie VZ!” he calls. “What are you doing in Pennsylvania? Everyone knows you live in New Jersey and just use your in-laws’ address there… No one wants to see you embarrassed, so come back to Jersey where you belong.”

Van Zandt also cautions Oz, “You don’t want to mess with (huge) John Fetterman – you’re a little out of your league.” True that. To date, Oz commercials have been what Nazi ghoul Stephen Miller – yes, still with us – just called it, trashing FBI research, “laughable,” although he pronounced it “mountable”. In a “new, desperate, weirdAn ad that looks like a 50s cereal ad or a rude toon by a bored 10 year old – no offense to bored 10 year olds – Oz calls Fetterman “crazier than you think” think “and”radical,” which must be why he has a bang, AOC and Bernie popping out of his head as he calls for free healthcare, legal weed and less energy production to save the planet. Come on, who wants that? Critics wondered if the Oz team knew Monty Python created these visuals decades ago, and how making Fetterman awesome would work for them. Yet this ad looks like Michelangelo compared to the “worst Everyman shtick (ever) seen, recently resurfaced starting in April, where Oz claims he is grocery shopping for his wife to make raw vegetables. Because with Americans having a hard time putting raw vegetables on the table, “nothing says I’m a people man like fake buying raw vegetables.”

God, what a performative mess; no wonder he’s lagging behind two digits. Seek to reproduce the inflationary woes of the poor, Oz grabs broccoli, asparagus, a huge bag of carrots, guac and salsa – hugging them because he’s clearly never ventured into a grocery store and has never saw those cool carts on wheels – and complains to the camera that there just so happens to be prices: “It’s $20 for raw vegetables and that doesn’t include tequila.” This is outrageous and we have Joe Biden to thank for it. Also, thank you Obama. The problems are many: said it is “at Wegner”; there is no Wegner, but there is a Radner and a Wegman. He says they do crudités — a fancy French term that, in Pittsburgh, would be a platter of crudités with ranch dressing — which doesn’t usually include asparagus, tequila, or Mexican dips. He lies about the prices, which are by the pound. Ditto the questions: Does his wife really dip the raw asparagus in the salsa? Given the 5 pound bag of carrots, is his wife Bugs Bunny? Was the helper, who usually buys the groceries, absent that day? Who thought that was a good idea? Is this the most fake news of all time?

Let the trolling begin: My grandfather once told me that raw vegetables were his favorite thing to eat after a long, hard day in the steel mill. Time to buy normal groceries for my human family – we’ll start with 30 carrots and a tub of guacomole. Ah the raw vegetables, food chosen by everyone. Cleaning in aisle 10: Dr. Oz has just reversed his senatorial campaign. Chef Jose Andres Free go bipartisan shopping with him and make guac/salsa for a dollar a head. Ted Place, falsely horrified at the price of mirepoix, asked, How does my executive chef prepare the cock in wine? Fetterman intervened – “In PA, we call it…a vegetable platter” – and giddy famous his birthday present from Oz: “I never imagined ‘Dr. Oz’ and ‘Crudités’ would be trending nationally on Twitter – on my birthday – but here we are.” In gratitude, it is offer a “limited edition sticker” that reads “Wegners: let ’em eat raw vegetables”. The last joyful word on the Revenge of Crudities goes to the sage-acre food workers and agricultural workers – “We feed you” – who made this possible. In the middle of a walk to assure a safe union vote, farm workers ask, “Have you ever wondered where the broccoli in your rawness comes from?” a top videos of their exhausting work. “Remember the hands that harvested those tomatoes,” they ask, “next time you dip your asparagus in salsa.” Ooh: Burnt raw vegetables for the (recently) landed nobility. It is magic.

(Abby Zimet wrote CDs Further away columnist since 2008. Long-time award-winning journalist involved in women’s issues, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights. E-mail: [email protected])

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