Baker, Lazar & Russell Discuss Dr. Phil Ambushing Britney

After psychologist Dr. Phil rushed to Britney Spears’ bedside, ‘MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams’ asked Us Magazine’s Ken Baker, entertainment reporter Shira Lazar and psychologist Brian Russell if the television host was exploiting the troubled pop star. “Look, I like Dr. Phil,” Abrams said, “but I fear this TV shrink ambushed a troubled young woman in a middle of a public meltdown.”

Baker added, “I think what happened was, like you said, if he was there personally to help her, to sort of be there for her as a therapist, and to help her, that would be one thing. But he was there also too book her on a show, and to book that family on a show, and I think it came across as inelegant at best, and exploitative at worst. And I think he realized that and in the end he did the right thing.”

Russell concurred. “He needs to either be this woman’s therapist behind the scenes privately, or he needs to exploit the story for ratings on his show,” Russell explained. “It’s one or the other. And the reason is when you take on a professional role, you take on a professional responsibility to be looking out after your patient. I’m sure that none of us believe that if it’s Britney Spears’ best interest to have more of this play out in front of the world.” Watch the segment, aired Monday (January 7), below the fold.

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