I was very disappointed to see Stephen Colbert sucking up to Gwyneth Paltrow last night on “The Late Show.” She was in New York for her Goop health summit, just one part of her empire of pseudoscientific nonsense that sucks in far too many people who believe the garbage recommendations that she and her 150-strong crew of bullshit artists have turned into a multi-million business.
My disappointment came from having seen Colbert acting like a skeptic, making fun of Paltrow’s products and positions many times over the years. Yet here he was, telling her he’s a fan of Goop, and helping her promote her dangerous views.
I had planned on writing a long piece about this, but David Gorski beat me to it:
I remind Colbert that Goop is about more than just fluffy, silly nonsense like jade eggs, magic energy stickers, and water bottles with amethysts in them to infuse your water with energy. It’s part of the mainstreaming of pseudoscience and quackery. Goop also strikes back when attacked, such as when Paltrow ordered her quack doctors to slime Dr. Jen Gunter, one of the foremost critics of Goop, with a condescending, misogynistic, mansplaining hit piece. I can’t help but note that one of those doctors, Dr. Aviva Romm, appeared to distance herself from Goop after that incident. Maybe Goop was too much even for her.
Finally, let’s not forget that the latest In Goop Health summit, which Colbert so gamely promoted by having Paltrow on his show, is a veritable quackfest. One of its main speakers is Dr. Kelly Brogan, a “holistic” psychiatrist who denies that HIV causes AIDS, advocates treating depression “naturally,” and is rabidly antivaccine, as evidenced by her publication of an e-book that features basically every antivaccine trope you can think of, a veritable cornucopia of antivaccine misinformation….
While I’m not so clueless as to expect that Colbert would have Paltrow on his show and attack her, other than gentle ribbing. That’s not what late night talk shows do, by and large. Their purpose is to promote whatever projects the celebrity guests on the show are doing or products they are selling. I just wish that, in this case, Colbert and his producers had just said no to having Paltrow on their show to promote hers. They didn’t have to have her on. They didn’t have to promote her brand so obsequiously. Sadly, they chose to do so.
Although I didn’t write a full column on this subject, I did rant about it on my radio show for about fifteen minutes — you can listen to that segment here (if you subscribe to my podcasts, you already have it).