Sunday, May 19, 2024 May 19, 2024
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Warning: Dr. Phil Is Bringing His Freak Show to North Texas

Phil is teaming with Trinity Broadcasting Network to launch Merit Street Media in Roanoke.
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Phil pic DOUG HOKE/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

What to say about the news that Dr. Phil McGraw is moving the headquarters of his operation to Roanoke? Other than it seems the gift of DFW Airport has brought with it certain ills, too. “When we were in California, bringing in a guest from New Jersey or Orlando could be an all-day affair,” McGraw told the DMN. “Now, we’re not far from the gates of a truly international airport.”

Mmm, yes, indeed. Glenn Beck, with a studio in Irving, would probably echo that sentiment. One wonders when Tucker Carlson will realize that Maine is a tough travel destination.

And how do we feel about McGraw running his show out of our fair land? I’ll throw you to a BuzzFeed article from 2021, back when BuzzFeed felt like it might be a thing:

In mid-February, Dr. Phil aired an episode about a 56-year-old woman named JoLynn with an alcohol addiction. But unlike other shows—or even an old Oprah episode—she isn’t coiffed or remotely prepared for the interview. She’s very clearly intoxicated, disheveled, and isn’t wearing any shoes. She rambles and at one point, starts to walk away from her chair. When Phil McGraw (more commonly known as Dr. Phil) asks her repeatedly where she’s going, she looks like a lost child. 

Which led the author to write:

A reconsideration of McGraw’s work has sort of begun, but his critics tend to get more attention when the targets of his “advice” are well known. In 2016, when The Shining star Shelley Duvall—who has been vocal about her mental health struggles—was featured on Dr. Philother celebrities spoke out about how obviously exploitative it was. “There shd [sic] be laws to protect mentally ill people from tv talk show predators like @DrPhil who is exploiting Shelly Duvall for his own gain,” tweeted Mia Farrow. Stanley Kubrick’s daughter called it “lurid entertainment,” asking for others to boycott the show. 

I’ve seen tweets from people I know celebrating their new gigs at McGraw’s Roanoke studio. I’m happy for them, glad they’ve found a steady income. But I hope they buckle up. Clowns aren’t known for safe driving.

Author

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…
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