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Dr. Drew Pinsky: It's hard to trust the mainstream media
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Dr. Drew Pinsky: It's hard to trust the mainstream media

We talk to the media veteran about Trump derangment, Biden's mental state, and why we need more people like RFK Jr.

Dr. Drew Pinsky didn’t believe the media twisted the truth until a certain real estate mogul entered the political fray.

Dr. Pinsky, a board-certified physician and addiction medicine specialist, has been part of the media landscape for decades. He co-hosted radio’s “Loveline” call-in show, appeared on reality programs like “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” and hosted HLN’s “The Dr. Drew Show.”

“No one ever told me what to say. There was no bias I could detect until I ran afoul of [journalists]. Then things came crashing down,” Dr. Pinsky told Align. “It all centered around Trump derangement. … They became hysterical around this man.”

“I don’t know what to believe. … Read widely and don’t take anything for granted. The truth matters … and the truth has been undermined for the past 20 years or so.”

Case in point: Dr. Pinsky took part in a White House opioid symposium early in President Trump’s administration. The day featured vital information to help the public at large deal with the crisis, but when President Trump suggested that drug dealers should face the death penalty, that’s all the media cared to share.

“It was a really important day. Nothing got reported. My Spidey sense started tingling,” he recalled.

Those senses did more than tingle during the pandemic. Media outlets overhyped how devastating COVID-19 could be to the average, healthy American, brushed aside natural immunity, and demanded that Americans keep six feet apart even though the protocol had no scientific basis.

“Why don’t you just report the news?” he recalled asking at the time. He’s still posing those questions on “The Adam and Dr. Drew Podcast” and “Ask Dr. Drew.”

“The press was the source of all the hysteria around COVID,” he said.

Since then, he’s gone on record saying the mainstream media cannot be fully trusted. He no longer accepts interview requests from print outlets, having been burned enough times to avoid those exchanges.

He said that lack of trust, which extends far beyond him, is hurting the country.

“I don’t know what to believe. … Read widely and don’t take anything for granted,” he advised. “The truth matters … and the truth has been undermined for the past 20 years or so.”

Dr. Pinsky isn’t a conservative and avoids tribal bickering when possible. His position on the morning-after pill riled elements of the right in the past. Now, it’s the left-leaning platforms and power brokers who get under his skin.

And vice versa.

He’s open to experts across the ideological divide and refuses the notion that some thought leaders are too problematic to interview. He recalled a recent chat with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who said he was “brave” for interviewing him.

“That’s the oddest statement I’ve ever heard,” he said, praising the presidential candidate for not amplifying aggression in his commentaries.

“We need more people like that,” Dr. Pinsky said.

“Platforming” people like Kennedy and Dr. Robert Malone, who helped create mNRA vaccines but it highly critical of the COVID-19 variations, is something he does when possible. And it’s left a mark on him.

“I can tell you with absolute clarity I learned something from every one of them. ... I didn’t agree with everything [they said], but I just listened to them and did my own thought analysis,” he said.

Much of his skepticism has centered around the recent pandemic, from the wisdom of vaccine mandates to the spurious science behind masks.

He’s similarly cynical of how the media has downplayed President Joe Biden’s mental faculties.

“Something’s going on,” Dr. Pinsky said of Biden’s recent demeanor, having treated “many hundreds” of patients grappling with dementia over the years. Those patients often deploy “aggression and righteous indignation” when their mental clarity is challenged.

Dr. Pinsky has maintained his medical practice for decades, but he’s kept up a steady side career as a TV pundit, show host, and occasional actor (“Wild Hogs,” “New York Minute,” “Family Guy”). He’s now an unofficial free speech warrior, aghast at the measures being taken to silence dissent across social media and elsewhere.

He’s equally shocked by the relative silence on the subject from Hollywood celebrities.

“It’s mind-boggling to me ... the very people who were speaking truth to power [are now silent],” he said. “I can’t make sense of it.”

Dr. Pinsky’s curious mind has been obsessed with an unusual topic lately – the French Revolution. He noted how the era’s “Committee of Public Safety” sent thousands to their deaths via the guillotine.

“Totalitarianism and reigns of terror are always perpetuated in the name of doing good,” he said of the era, noting some eerie echoes between then and now like normalizing political violence. He hopes Americans figure out the current cultural crisis “before Napoleon gets in and stops us.”

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Christian Toto

Christian Toto

Christian Toto is the founder of HollywoodInToto.com and the host of "The Hollywood in Toto Podcast.”