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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 01/ 7/2008

Dr. Phil Gets Real. Real Low, That Is

By Liz Kelly

Dr. Phil McGraw: A friend in need is a friend in greed. (AP)

I always suspected Dr. Phil McGraw of being a major league fathead and now I'm sure. His unsolicited Friday visit to Britney Spears at Cedars-Sinai hospital has finally given me the opportunity to properly vent my spleen about the drawling, mustachioed huckster.

Okay, so most of us were somewhat riveted by news that Brit had been locked down for a psych evaluation following a Thursday night custody standoff, but it takes a special kind of ego to look upon someone else's misfortune and spin it into an opportunity for self -promotion. Not since the days of Howard K. Stern and his unapologetic use of Anna Nicole Smith to declare himself a celebrity have we seen such chutzpah, such a naked play for press.

To be fair, Phil says Britney's mom Lynn Spears asked him to intervene and visit her daughter at the hospital. But were the ensuing press statement and tomorrow's scheduled very special Britney-centric episode of the "Dr. Phil" show (which I'm hoping against hope won't include the rumored sit down with mom and pop Spears) also mom's idea? (Update, 7:10 p.m. ET: Dr. Phil has since canceled a Britney-focused show, saying things are just "too intense" right now.)

Because that's just what a possibly bipolar, possibly drugged, definitely flailing pop star who just lost custody of her kids needs right now: a nationally broadcast intervention facilitated by the Jeffrey Tambor of the TV talk show circuit.

Could someone please intervene and pull the plug on this soundstage snake-oil salesman?

By Liz Kelly  | January 7, 2008; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Britney Spears, Celebrities, TV  
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