Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer and My X-Rays
This is a story of two famous women, and a bunch of x-rays that hang in my office. Both wanted to use them on their shows as examples of surgical equipment that had been left behind. One of the films is to the right, and the others on my web site.
A few years ago I received an email from the Oprah Winfrey show. It seemed that some guy named Dr. Oz wanted to use those x-rays for a show on medical mistakes.
Sure, I said, you can use them, so long as you give me credit so that these don’t disappear into the public domain. Interested parties should know their original source. Thus started the most ludicrous negotiation I’ve ever had in my life on any subject. After a few dozen emails over several weeks, they successfully overlawyered the issue to death and they never saw the light of day on the almighty Oprah show.
I confess that, when I finally wrote As Seen On Oprah! (Kinda, Sorta, Almost) I had a lot of fun. More fun than should be legal, perhaps. It never got much in the way of pageviews, but it’s always been one of my favorites.
So this afternoon I get a call from a producer from Diane Sawyer for ABC News. They also want to use the x-rays for show on medical mistakes.
We consummated a deal in about a minute. You can see the clip here as my films have their 15 nanoseconds of fame and glory.
Two different media divas; two different ways of handling a routine matter.