Oz Owned Novella? Hardly.

Today I stumbled on a blog called “Bolen Report” and the post I will be talking about was titled “Top Pseudo-Skeptic, Steve Novella, Humiliated on National TV… And it was fun to watch…”


After getting around all the ad hominem attacks Bolen made on Dr. Novella the only thing I see here is someone who can decipher facts from bullshit.

Bolen makes a claim that Dr. Novella wears a shitty toupee.  Alright, he obviously doesn’t have a toupee but even if Dr. Novella was wearing a crappy hair piece, what does that have to do with the LEGIT science Novella is promoting?  As if a toupee somehow corrupts an individual’s logic and the ability to use critical thinking.

Another awesome claim Bolen makes is this “Novella claims to be a neurology professor at Yale University, and throws the name “Yale” around like he was throwing seed to the morning chickens – but, to me, that is an outright fabrication.”  If real research was done or just a simple look through Yale University’s directory of staff, we can easily find Dr. Novella’s name, his position, where he works and so on.  That is what the real evidence shows us Bolen!

Another claim Bolen makes “In short, Novella is just another justifiably self-disappointed crap-career loser…”  Far from it, Dr. Novella is a very highly respected individual in the science and medicine fields.  His knowledge in the things he speaks about, for instance, alternative medicine and homeopathy and how they show no real SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that they work has made him a well respected individual in the skeptical community as well, not to mention his ability to use logic and think critically.

Another amazing statement in the post by Bolen, “What am I looking for?  Knowing what I know about Randi’s sexual proclivities, that Randi/Novella video, and Novella’s obvious relationship with James Randi, has raised red flags with me about the ENTIRE pseudo-skeptic movement.”  I would have to say that this may be one of the boldest statements Bolen could make.  Please tell me you are not saying that because James Randi is a homosexual, that somehow suggests that Randi and Novella have some type of relationship more than friends. 

“All over the internet they are calling Oz names,” isn’t that what you did in your whole entire article?  You attacked everyone in the skeptical movement and called people out by name.  Providing people with fake information and using your own biases to come up with your conclusions.  Your article is filled with bigotry, poor journalism and hypocrisy.

“Each of the pseudo-skepics, I estimate, has between fifteen and thirty different made-up internet identities.”  How are you coming up with this information, or is it more “guessing”? 

“No one with any real credentials wants to be associated with them in any way.”  Again this is just a blatant lie.  Do you even realize the trouble a doctor could get into if they only offered alternative medicine as a way to treat patients?  It is called malpractice, it’s illegal, a doctor could be sued and lose his license to practice medicine.

IMO this guy seems upset because Novella made amazing points when he was featured on the Dr. Oz show.  When people have to resort to name calling, it is usually a result of feeling threatened.  What really happened on the Oz show was this.

Right off the bat Dr. Oz makes an interesting claim “We are putting our reputations on the line, because we are using alternative therapies in our traditional practices.  Many doctors claim that this is nothing more than junk science and could even be dangerous, your doctor may be one of them.”

To me this sounds like Dr. Oz knows that he is doing nothing more than buying into the hype, another niche to make more money, nothing more.

Dr. Novella gives a brilliant explanation of what the general consensus among doctors is on the subject of alternative medicine.  “It’s an artificial category that doesn’t really mean anything and it exists to provide a double standard.  What we think is there should be one science-based, common sense standard to figure out what therapies work and are safe, and not these artificial categories that are used really to market things, in our opinion, that essentially don’t work.”

Dr. Oz asks Dr. Guarneri, a cardiologist to comment in which she tries to make the claim that doctors “And certainly, I don’t think today we can call nutrition “alternative medicine” or call exercise “alternative medicine”–other things that I teach my patients every day to prevent heart disease.”

Novella responds beautifully “Well, I agree that nutrition and exercise are not alternative. They’ve been part of science-based medicine for decades. They’ve just been rebranded as alternative to create this legitimacy for this whole umbrella that now also includes a lot of things that don’t work or not based upon science or evidence. There’s lots of things that we do to prevent heart disease. We recommend dietary changes, regular exercise, weight control, using medication like aspirin or other blood thinners when necessary. Preventive medicine is science- based medicine. It’s not alternative.”

After a very small dialogue between the 3 doctors, Dr. Oz says “Is that close to on-target, folks? Right? So, if I can give you my take: alternative medicine, I think, is at the grassroots level. And because of that, nobody owns it. Now, that stated I think we got our homework to do. But I think alternative medicine empowers us, and that’s the big message for all of ya, but only if you know more about it, and it if does work for ya, trust me, do not let anybody take it away from you. Dr. Novella, thank you very much.”

Novella hardly looked like a fool, IMO I feel like Dr. Novella made some brilliant points and instead of Oz counter arguing them, he makes a quick statement and ushers Novella off the stage.  I felt it was actually very unfair of Dr. Oz not to let Dr. Novella comment on that last statement, but hey Oz is promoting Woo on HIS show, so he has to get the last word in.