B’Man: I can think of several reasons why I don’t think Dr. Sanjay Gupta should be our next Attorney General. One revolves around the fact that he is a TV personality (and one of People magazine’s “sexiest men alive”, even) and is beholden to the same liars and corporate interests that have been using and screwing us for decades now. Even Keith Olbermann had this to say, “Isn’t this like making Judge Judy the Attorney General?”
The man is owned by Big Money. Obama is owned by Big Money. Virtually every person in appointment is owned by Big Money. The entire establishment is owned by Big Money (with so few exceptions that it is meaningless).
Yes. We. Can. Right?
But another reason I think that Dr Sanjay is a terrible pick is that I have heard him make some of the most ignorant comments a “Resident Neurosurgeon” ought to say (especially in the area of marijuana medical use).
Russ Belville, of NORML wrote an article about him showing that he puts politics before medicine much too often and bases much of what he says of erroneous and outdated information. Russ says:
But is Gupta ready to deliver the Obama administration’s promised end to the politicization of science and medicine? More specifically, will Gupta toe the federal line that cannabis is lacking in any medical value, or will he recognize what 13 states and the past 12 years of research prove — that cannabis is a beneficial medicine for some people and an intoxicant far less harmful than alcohol for others?
In 2002, Gupta was more than willing to echo the outrageous claims that smoking pot would lead to psychosis, depression and schizophrenia:
But the three studies you are talking about talk specifically about schizophrenia and depression, and the fact that marijuana use earlier in life actually may lead to an increased — 30 percent increase — in schizophrenia later in life.
Depression, also a very big diagnosis — roughly 18.8 million in this country have it. Again, they looked this time at 1,600 high school students and followed them over about seven years. This is in Australia, not in the United States. But they actually found that all of these boys and girls, particularly girls, were more vulnerable to the symptoms of depression later on in life, again if they were frequent or even daily marijuana users.
I hope that the next surgeon general has been following the research on cannabis and mental health since 2002. This year, Dr. Mikkel Arendt of Aarhus University in Risskov, Denmark, said that people treated for a so-called cannabis-induced psychosis “…would have developed schizophrenia whether or not they used cannabis.”
I hope that Gupta has kept up with the journal Schizophrenia Research and the research published there last year by the London’s Institute of Psychiatry, which found no statistically significant “differences in symptomatology between schizophrenic patients who were or were not cannabis users,” found no “evidence that cannabis users with schizophrenia were more likely to have a family member with the disorder” and that these findings “argue against a distinct schizophrenic-like psychosis caused by cannabis,” authors concluded.
B’Man: According to Melissa McEwanof Shakesville, the “Villagers“ want Dr Gupta as this appointment. They like him because he says what they want him to say… not what is necessarily the truth. It is a way for their propaganda to be spread to keep various societal improvements from happening (single payer healthcare, medical marijuana, etc). He is a “known” face to many Amereican sheople. Trusted.
She quotes a couple of well known voices about their trepidation over this selection:
I don’t have a problem with Gupta’s qualifications. But I do remember his mugging of Michael Moore over Sicko. You don’t have to like Moore or his film; but Gupta specifically claimed that Moore “fudged his facts”, when the truth was that on every one of the allegedly fudged facts, Moore was actually right and CNN was wrong.
What bothered me about the incident was that it was what Digby would call Village behavior: Moore is an outsider, he’s uncouth, so he gets smeared as unreliable even though he actually got it right. It’s sort of a minor-league version of the way people who pointed out in real time that Bush was misleading us into war are to this day considered less “serious” than people who waited until it was fashionable to reach that conclusion. And appointing Gupta now, although it’s a small thing, is just another example of the lack of accountability that always seems to be the rule when you get things wrong in a socially acceptable way.
Anyone who can utter that many conservative lies and talking points about single-payer/”socialized” medicine is, to put it generously, the wrong choice – and looks an awful lot like a signal from Obama that he doesn’t give a damn about one of the most vital issues facing us. It’s not bad enough that he said before that he doesn’t support single-payer, but he clearly hasn’t learned anything of value in his long period of running for president. Another “Up yours!” to the people who voted for him thinking he had to be better than this.
…I don’t consider Gupta an honest voice in the healthcare discussion, and I don’t think anyone should. As a medical journalist, he’s not really that good – he’s on TV because he says things The Villagers like, which means conservative bull.
B’Man: The NORML article I quoted above (Sanjay Gupta: What the Next Surgeon General Doesn’t Know About Pot) is found at Alternet. It is worth a read because it also explains several instances of recent medical studies done that continue to dismantle the lies and propaganda message Gupta spouts.
But more than any other reason, do we really want a dude with a weird animal penis fetish?