Michael Reagan at YAF2005

And Other Answers for Michael Reagan

Conservative radio host Michael Reagan, son of former president Ronald Reagan told online newsrag Newsmax today that the president shouldn’t have appointed a political guy to be the Ebola czar. He’d much rather have TV medical charlatan Dr. Oz.

Okay, maybe we’re being a little unkind about Dr. Oz. He may not be a charlatan – maybe he’s just a simpleton who lets $$$-signs get in the way of his critical thinking skills. I’ve got to tell you, I don’t put a lot of faith in the medical knowledge of a guy who hailed Garcinia Cambogia extract as the Holy Grail of weight loss – but admitted in a Senate subcommittee hearing that well, the claims he makes about weight loss products are not true.

“I recognize they don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact,” he told Sen. Claire McCaskill. “My job is to be a cheerleader for the audience.”

So, just to be clear, Reagan considers the guy who openly admits to shilling for snake oil salesman to be a qualified medical expert. He wants the self-confessed cheerleader to be the Ebola czar – the person in charge of coordinating the overall government response to the Ebola crisis. Dr. Oz is someone, Reagan says, who works in the field and really understands it. Unless he’s talking about the field of daytime TV, that’s not exactly true. On the other hand, he does understand how to massage his audience and make them feel good, and that could be a valuable talent for someone dealing with the over-the-top hyperbole and freakout.

But wait – it gets better. Reagan went on a delightful little mini-rant featuring a whole buttload of stupid:

“What happened with the surgeon general of the United States of America? Where is the surgeon general at this point? Do we have one? I don’t know because I haven’t heard anything from the surgeon general, which is the top doctor in the United States of America,” he said.

Hello, Mr. Conservative Political Pundit. No, actually, we haven’t heard anything from the surgeon general, who is not exactly the top doctor in the United States but close enough. The reason we haven’t heard anything from him is because no, we don’t have one right now. In fact, we haven’t had a surgeon general since July 2013. And the reason for that is a simple one – the NRA doesn’t like the president’s pick for the job. Dr. Vivek Murthey committed the cardinal sin of stating out loud that gun violence is a public health crisis in the United States of America. Back in February, the NRA announced that it would score votes on the confirmation of a surgeon general – that is, they’d count them against senators in their ratings. Ergo, the Senate can’t get enough votes to confirm Murthey. And of course, Sen. Rand Paul announced that he’d put a hold on the confirmation if Harry Reid tried to bring it to the floor.

To sum it all up, Mr. Reagan doesn’t understand the role of a coordinator. He thinks a TV huckster qualifies as a medical expert. He doesn’t know where the surgeon general is, doesn’t know that we don’t have one, and doesn’t know that the reason he hasn’t heard from our top medical doctor is because one of his favorite conservative political organizations doesn’t like the guy the president wants appointed. And this is a guy that conservatives get their news from.

And that explains a lot.


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