Gupta Goes to Washington

Color me jaded, but I find it difficult to believe that CNN hot guy Sanjay Gupta is actually the very best choice to be -- wait for it -- Surgeon General of the United States. Okay, it’s true: he is a neurosurgeon. But, let’s face it: we’ve just come through a very fat time, economically. Surely, there are a lot of neurosurgeons running around these days. It must be like MBAs in the 1980s. Or close.

Seriously, though: it’s a big, important job. And it’s generally held by much, much less attractive dudes. (Dudes that look like they’ve drafted the Surgeon General’s warning on cigarette boxes directly from experience.) Gupta is… well, he’s not that. Heck: Gupta looks like he might not have ever even smoked. (Just so you don’t think I’m being mean, the current acting surgeon general isn’t gross or anything. He just isn’t -- sorry Steve -- CNN hot. Andy Cooper he ain’t, am I right?)

And, anyway, according to Wikipedia (okay, okay) this is generally a job held by someone from the military:

The Surgeon General is nominated by the U.S. President and confirmed via majority vote by the Senate. The Surgeon General serves a four-year term of office and is normally the highest ranking uniformed officer of the PHSCC, holding the grade of a three-star vice admiral while in office.[1] In carrying out all responsibilities, the Surgeon General reports to the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), who is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on public health and scientific issues, and is the overall head of the United States Public Health Service (PHS). The ASH would be the only person that could outrank the Surgeon General if he or she is also a commissioned officer in the PHSCC.
Ah well, the President-Elect did say a couplea things about change, did he not?


I don't even know what the Surgeon General does, but having Gupta as him seems kind of shallow. I guess I'm used to the stern military guy.
John McFetridge said…
"CNN hot," I love that phrase.

I really thought the Naked News ( was going to catch on way more than it has.

Maybe if it was all sports....
It's pretty clear that President-elect Obama is looking for a surgeon general who can help promote good-health programs to the general public, rather than somebody who dictates health policy behind a stern facade. The last publicly popular surgeon general the United States had was probably C. Everett Koop, who made himself something of a media personality in order to convince Americans that smoking was bad for them. Gupta already starts out as somebody with media savvy. If he can wield his existing appeal to get Americans to eat less, exercise more, and listen to advice on AIDS prevention and teen pregnancy avoidance, he will prove himself the best person Obama could have tapped for the job.

Actually Andrea -- and Jeff, for that matter -- I was just having a bit of fun. Gupta may be hot, but he's also quite brilliant. And a lot of people are used to listening to him. I'm sure he'll do fine at the job. But first reaction? It was: WTF?

And John, I guess I've been living under a rock: I hadn't heard of Naked News before. However, having now peeked at it, I've got to say that I find it a bit reasurring that it hasn't proven real popular. Could it mean that (gasp!) we actually really *do* expect there to be real journalists behind the mic? What a concept!

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