January 07, 2009

Why? Because I Gupta!

From Newsvine: CNN: Gupta approached about surgeon general post
WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama's reported choice for surgeon general, CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, could bring a dose of star power to a job that hasn't had that much clout in decades.

Gupta doesn't just play a doctor on TV, he's a neurosurgeon who still scrubs in part-time in one of the nation's toughest hospitals when he's not on CNN assignments that have taken him from Hurricane Katrina to Iraq. . . .

People magazine named the then-single Gupta one of the sexiest men of 2003.
Obama's selection process for deciding on the new surgeon general was extremely rigorous:
OBAMA: Okay, so what about Surgeon General?

STAFF: [blank stares all round]

OBAMA: No suggestions?

STAFF: Ummmm....

OBAMA: Can anyone name a doctor?

STAFF: Doug Ross!

OBAMA: Wasn't that George Clooney's character from E.R.?


[long silence]

OBAMA: I'm waiting.

STAFF: Dr Strangelove! Dr Moreau! Dr Frankenstein!

OBAMA: What are you, a film student? Can anyone name an actual doctor?

STAFF: There's that guy on CNN who gets sponsored by the drug companies.

OBAMA: Sold! Okay, now, who do we have for the Hairdresser General?
I mean, apart from the whole "I won't put lobbyists in my cabinet" thing, are we really at the point where a recurring five-minute segment on a morning news show is a valid route into government? What's next, Wolf Blitzer for Secretary of Defense? He does have all that experience in the situation room!

(And yes, I realise that Gupta is not technically a lobbyist, but I think there might be just a few tiny conflicts of interest there, nevertheless.)

Am I justified in finding this really depressing/alarming? Or is it just gratuitous cynicism?


Anonymous said...

What's even worse is Obama's appointment of Panetta to the CIA... someone who has absolutely no intelligence experience. (pun definitely intended.) If Gupta does an ok job, I don't have a problem with him... At least it's not some crazy diet creator.

Anonymous said...

Q: Can you name any previous surgeon generals?

It's possible Gupta could raise the positions profile.

Post a Comment