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Newsletter: Dr. Oz’s descent into right-wing politics

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Andrew Wyrich


Claire Goforth


Posted on Apr 14, 2022   Updated on Apr 18, 2022, 9:10 am CDT

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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.

Today’s top stories include accusations on Reddit that a creator of a COVID tracker stole the idea, and Starbucks being called out for using fake union tweets on flyers. Plus, Claire’s weekly “Dirty Delete” column focuses on the social media transformation of Dr. Oz, who is running for Senate. 

Let’s dive into the news.


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BIG TECH: Police have been relying on digital technology to find proof of suspects’ queerness to arrest, prosecute, and harass members of the LGBTQ+ community in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia, our Contributing Writer Viola Stefanello writes. But there are ways big tech can help the community. You can read Viola’s whole report here

STOLEN?: The creator of a COVID-19 data tracker and Ukraine Take Shelter is being accused by people on Reddit of stealing the idea from a volunteer group. The creator told the Daily Dot that he denies the claims, but that hasn’t stopped Redditors from claiming that the creator copied a group’s work and profited from it

FAKE: The Starbucks Workers United union is alleging that the company used fake tweets from the union account in anti-union pamphlets. The allegations come as a store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania became the 19th store to unionize nationwide. Check out our full report here

In Body Image
Dr. Oz speaking on the campaign trail.

Dr. Oz’s transformation from beloved television doctor to right-wing politician

Dr. Mehmet Oz has taken a hard right turn since he was TV’s favorite doctor.

Most people met the affable Dr. Oz as a regular on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which he parlayed into his own show.

Now that he’s a candidate for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania, the former cardiothoracic surgeon is revealing the man behind the curtain. The turn from TV doc to Republican candidate has revealed the saltier side of Dr. Oz.

These days the man who was once “honored” to welcome Michelle Obama on his show is now tweeting things like “CHINA GAVE US COVID” and whining about “big tech.” He’s declared a battle with our tech company overlords—never mind that he reportedly owns at least $10 million in big tech stock.

Oz may be the only Senate candidate on TikTok. Please enjoy this TikTok of him dancing to Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Jump On It.” You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Gettr.

His platform is like a paint by numbers kit for Republican pandering. Abortion bad, China bad, cancel culture is “destroying our country,” guns good, cops good, Trump (who recently endorsed him) good, and frack, baby, frack.

People with memory spans longer than goldfish may be surprised to learn that the man who wrote articles expressing concern about the health effects of fracking has had a major change of heart since he filed to run for office in fracking country. 

Oz’s turn from the guy giving us weight loss advice to the man pretending to live in Pennsylvania hasn’t been without some stumbles.

When his show was canceled due to his Senate run, Oz did what any megamillionaire would do: he unceremoniously fired people who’d worked for him for years.

The citizens of the internet don’t hesitate to remind Oz of his enormous wealth, either. He routinely gets ratioed every time he tweets a call for campaign donations.

Oz’s latest internet misstep came last week when he wandered around a grocery store complaining about inflation, which he naturally blamed on President Joe Biden.

What he probably imagined as a “gotcha!” moment had something of a boomerang effect, however. Twitter had a pretty hard time imagining a man worth more than $100 million doing his own grocery shopping.

“’I haven’t been to the grocery store myself in 15 years, but I’m going to today, and boy am I going to tuck my shirt into my pants,'” retorted one person online. “’I’m going to tuck them in good!'”

Now that he’s (sort of) abandoned his New Jersey and cable syndication abodes, Oz is learning that there’s no place like home.

Claire Goforth

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Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net. 

🚓 A TikToker claims that she was charged with a felony after she went to the police station to retrieve her lost phone.  

🔍 A creator posted a video explaining how job interviewers asked if she had social media accounts and why they were so difficult to find. Viewers found the questioning “invasive.” 

⌚ A hotel worker has gone viral for posting a video where he tells viewers why they shouldn’t wait until the last minute to check into their rooms. 

🌙 Are you into Moon Knight, the latest MCU show on Disney+? If so, be sure to check out our recap of episode three, which “sows the seeds for an intriguing mystery.” 

📱 In “Viral Labor,” the Daily Dot explores the way workers are fighting for their rights and using the internet to advocate for themselves. 

🌯 Here’s an interesting “life hack.” A TikToker shared a video of how to get a $2 burrito at Chipotle

🥝 Former TikTok employees are speaking out against the company’s grueling work culture. Want more stories like this? Sign up for Passionfruit, the Daily Dot’s weekly creator economy newsletter, for more coverage.

🐰 Looking for egg-citing Easter gifts? These are the best DIY Easter baskets on Amazon.

🏀 Here’s how New York Knicks super fans forged a new era of coverage for their favorite team.

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Talk about a caffeine rush. A viral TikTok showed footage of the aftermath of a user’s four-year-old nephew ordering $200 worth of Starbucks on UberEats.

Uber Eats logo on black background (l) Starbucks smorgasbord on dinning room table (r)
Sam Kresslein/Shutterstock @marcfranks7/TikTok (Licensed)

Now Playing: 🎶The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd🎶

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*First Published: Apr 14, 2022, 12:00 pm CDT