- Dr. Oz and his wife had an angry exchange about a reporter without realizing she was on the phone.
- Oz, the subject of a New York profile, is running for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania as a Republican.
- Oz’s wife failed to hang up on the reporter and instead connected the phone to her car speaker.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican US Senate contender, has some unique advantages as a daytime TV-show host but is still on a learning curve when it comes to the basics of running for office — including making sure to hang up on a reporter before cursing them and their reporting out.
The New York magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi on Tuesday published a profile of Oz and his campaign for a US Senate seat in Pennsylvania. In it, she recounted how Oz and his wife had a nearly four-minute phone conversation panicking about Nuzzi’s reporting and about one of their friends who’d talked to her.
After having no luck finding anyone associated with Oz’s campaign at its headquarters in Montgomery County and getting no response from phone numbers connected to Oz, Nuzzi decided to call a number associated in public records with Oz’s wife, Lisa Oz — who picked up.
Lisa Oz, however, wasn’t too keen to chat, and curtly told Nuzzi to “have a nice day.” She thought she hung up the phone, but she had instead connected it to the speaker of her car, as she was driving with her husband, Nuzzi said.
“She’s down at the office,” Dr. Oz told his wife of Nuzzi. “Your father called and said there’s a reporter from The New Yorker waiting for me down there who said she had an appointment … We?! We had an appointment to meet today!”
“You think she made it up?” Lisa Oz asked.
“I think she made it up completely!” Dr. Oz said. “Y–y–you know what it’s — it’s — it’s called, it’s called lying also. It’s called being a liar.”
Lisa Oz called Nuzzi “this fucking girl reporter” and referred to a baseless accusation from Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager, that Nuzzi had broken into his home in 2018 in the course of reporting an article about Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director.
Nuzzi told the Columbia Journalism Review that while reporting that story, she visited a townhouse in Washington, DC, where a lobbying firm was headquartered and where Lewandowski happened to live upstairs. She was seeking to speak to the resident of the basement unit. Nuzzi did not enter Lewandowski’s unit, and Lewandowski never took any legal action against her.
Dr. Oz then ranted about quotes — which were overwhelmingly flattering and complimentary — that one of their friends, Michelle Bouchard, had given Nuzzi for the story. Nuzzi detailed the angry back-and-forth in the profile.
“She said things she shouldn’t have fucking said,” Dr. Oz said of Bouchard. “She shouldn’t have fucking said— “
Lisa Oz interjected, telling Oz, “She didn’t say—”
“She said shit she shouldn’t have said!” Dr. Oz replied. “That I was going to be the next leader of the Republican Party— “
“No, she didn’t say that,” Lisa Oz said.
“You were the one who told me that!” Dr. Oz said. “You told me that’s what she said!”
“No — I— ” Lisa Oz said.
“That Michelle told her I’m going to be the next leader of the Republican Party, shit like that, that’s what you told me she said!” Dr. Oz said.
Bouchard told Nuzzi that she saw Oz, along with Republicans like Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, as part of a “new guard.” Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon by training, became a household name thanks to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and cemented his status as a celebrity doctor with his own popular daytime talk show, “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Over the years, medical experts have criticized his show as promoting dubious medical advice. In 2020, he touted a malaria drug as a COVID-19 treatment despite a lack of evidence — on-air advocacy that caught the attention of President Donald Trump.
Bouchard told Nuzzi of Oz: “They should be very grateful that someone that intelligent and that objective, someone of his caliber who is able to reach across aisles, is actually running. He’s the greatest healer I’ve ever known.”
“Had I not been listening to Dr. Oz freak out about it, and had I not heard Lisa Oz misrepresent what had happened, I probably would have forgotten about what Bouchard had said,” Nuzzi wrote. “Now I had to wonder why a candidate running for a high-profile position of power in the Republican Party wouldn’t want to be seen as a leader of that party.”