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Oprah Launched Dr. Oz’s Career. Now She’s Course-Correcting by Endorsing Fetterman

Oprah stands in front of a black background at a live event and smirks.

Dr. Oz’s transformation from respected heart surgeon to superstar TV wellness grifter might never have fully happened if not for Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey started having Oz on her talk show in 2004, bringing him back as a regular guest with more than 50 appearances, even giving him the moniker “America’s Doctor.” That led to him getting his own massively popular daytime show—launched under Winfrey’s Harpo Productions banner—where he spent 13 years pushing everything from weight loss to conversion therapy.

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But Winfrey is not endorsing Oz in his bid for a Pennsylvania Senate seat. During a virtual town hall event, Oprah told viewers, “If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman.”

Her full quote on the subject was: “At the beginning of the midterm campaigns, I said it was up to citizens to vote for who would represent them. If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman. There are clear choices and some dynamic candidates who are working to represent the values that so many of us hold dear—like inclusion, compassion, and community. So I ask that voters use discernment and choose wisely for the democracy of our country.”

That wasn’t the only election Winfrey weighed in on. She also said, “If I was in North Carolina, sister Cheri Beasley, if I was in Florida, I’d be supporting Val Demings; if I was in Wisconsin, it’d be Mandela Barnes; in Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto; in Texas, Beto O’Rourke; and Raphael Warnock and the incredible Stacey Abrams in Georgia.”

The race between Oz and Fetterman, somehow, despite Oz’s total ineptitude, is extremely close. Hopefully that famous “Oprah bump” works against Oz instead of for him this time around.

(image: Tom Cooper/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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