January 7th, 2009
06:05 PM ET

Eat your heart out, Dr. Phil

Former U.S. surgeon general C. Everett Koop and CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Former U.S. surgeon general C. Everett Koop and CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Jack Gray
AC360º Associate Producer

So, I’ve been practicing my salute in case I run into Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the hall today. Granted, I’m used to saluting Anderson whenever I ask for a day off from taking Esther, his Orangutan, to tap dancing class but this is different. I can’t believe the next time I want Sanjay to check out a suspicious mole on my arm I’m going to have to go through Rahm Emanuel.

Without a doubt, Dr. Gupta will be an outstanding Surgeon General (assuming he accepts the post). He’s a brilliant neurosurgeon, he has government experience from his time working as a fellow in the Clinton White House and, as CNN viewers know, he’s an enormously gifted communicator. And, yes, Sanjay was once named one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive.” Just like C. Everett Koop.

The Sanjay news, of course, is only one item on a big list of headlines for the Obama camp this week. Among the others: Leon Panetta is going to be Director of the CIA. I know there’s some concern about him not having enough of an intelligence background but I think that’s unfair. After all, he owns The Bourne Supremacy on DVD and was once in line behind Tom Clancy at Wendy’s.

Then there’s my new favorite soap opera: As the World Turns and Roland Burris Holds Another News Conference. Burris has now upped his demands to 10 senate seats and Kelly Clarkson tickets. The poor guy – stuck out in the rain, trying to convince people he belongs there. It’s like me at Ali Velshi’s book party all over again.

Don’t forget about the big gathering at the White House today. President Bush is hosting President-elect Obama, former President Clinton, former President Bush and former President Carter. They’re scheduled to discuss the economy, foreign policy and whether Paula Abdul and that new lady judge on American Idol are already in a feud.

And for those of you who have asked, yes, just come to AC360.com on Sunday night at 8pm Eastern Time for my live blog of the Golden Globes – the annual gala where Hollywood stars come together, drink too much and say no, as a matter of fact it is NOT an honor just to be nominated.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy a pack of cigarettes so I can have Sanjay autograph the Surgeon General’s Warning. Because it’s never too early to be thinking about next Christmas.

Post by:
Filed under: 360° Radar • Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Jack Gray • Raw Politics
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Max, Dallas, TX

    Be careful getting past Rahm Emanuel. You'll be first in line for a severe Rahming.

    January 7, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  2. EJ (USA)

    Does the Surgeon General get to throw fancy parties where healthy food is cooked & served in new & creative ways?

    January 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  3. Phebe

    Jack, have you given serious thought to the fashionista aspects of live blogging the Golden Globes? Are you ready to discuss if Britney is wearing underwear and who has the best cleavage (and no it's not Danny Devito)? Do you know your Galliano from Monique Lhuillier and Versace? This is important stuff if you are going to be our leader for the night.

    January 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  4. Helen, Reading, UK

    Afternoon Jack!
    Gotta say I didn't have Anderson down as an orangutan man. Why don't you see if you can get him and Esther to do a re-make of Every Which Way But Loose?? If you're nice about Clint Eastwood on your Golden Globes blog, he might even direct it for you. And just think, next year, it could be you & Sammy trippin' down the Red Carpet to be interviewed by Seacrest – which reminds me – did he and Dick Clark find their way back from New Jersey yet?? And don't forget to dedicate that award to Erica Hill when you give your acceptance speech!
    Congratulations to Dr Sanjay Gupta, by the way – your politicians are so much hotter over there.. As for the uniform, wouldn't it be scrubs, rather than the general's gold braid and medals??
    Helen xx

    January 7, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  5. Stacy

    Jack, you have a picture now! You've come a long way, baby. Does this mean the interns are no longer allowed to make eye contact with you?

    @Erica, I agree on the book. Keep dreaming on that 10%. Jack's hit the big time now–he's not giving that up.

    @Renee: Regarding Rahm Emanuel, you'd be surprised how many people think that. It kinda freaked me out at first, but I've since given in. Yes, Rahm is hot. With the probable addition of Sanjay, Obama is putting together quite an aesthetically pleasing administration.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  6. Dee from CT

    Oh Jack – Your own avatar ... yet another password to remember – but now you can't hide your gorgeous mug! Anonymity is gone – you have arrived and Hollywood will soon be calling.

    I’ll miss the live blog on Sunday 😦 I’m sure it’ll be an instant hit, and your new title will be “master blogger” for all the award shows: The critics awards, the actors choice, the teen people, the sag awards … wait I just realized I know wayyyyyy to much about what awards are out there … I’ve scared myself!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  7. ericacnn

    Jack will be re-enacting the dating show tonight on the webcast as part of his plug for GG Special – stay tuned!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  8. Jennifer NC

    Jack- this post was laugh out loud funny! Can't wait to see what you do on Sunday.. should be hilarious.
    Great news about Sanjay – he will be a great SG.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  9. Jack Gray

    @ky: it's 8:00 on Sunday night and yes, it's real

    January 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  10. Marilyn

    Congratulations to Sanjay! If he accepts, it is quite an honor for him and his family.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  11. Theresa, Nickerson Ks

    I love reading your stuff. Such a nice, lighthearted break from the otherwise not llighthearted news of this world today. Thanks!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  12. ky

    Is this 8:00 thing on Saturday night for real?

    January 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  13. ky

    Jack! Finally, you have a picture!

    Things are now right in the world.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  14. xtina, chicago IL


    January 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  15. Pati Mc

    Whoa Jack...you HAVE arrived. Your own picture! It's great! Whoo Hoo to you my friend!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  16. Cindy

    UMM..are you sure that you weren't on that dating show and the reason that Erica now isn't!? I mean, dude, that could be why she never paid ya! Just sayin..LOL

    I see you finally got you a pic like the "big" dogs of the network! That should make Sammy really proud! LOL

    And if you're gonna be on the webcast then bring along Sammy too! Hey, you can't leave her out! After all she's the one that made you. Without her you'd have no material! Give the girl her props!


    January 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  17. Jack Gray

    You still owe me producing royalties for your brief stint hosting that Australian dating show. We'll discuss it when I come on the webcast to plug my Golden Globes live blog.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  18. Pati Mc

    LOL, Jack....Erica is trying to get in on your good thing...now you KNOW you have hit the big time. Next thing you know, you will be hearing from Anderson! Call a literary agent pronto, dude!

    (PS: Good call Erica!)

    January 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  19. Charlotte Jacques

    Congratulations Sanjay.If you take the job, we'll miss you. I have your book and it's great.
    Love to all from an old librarian.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  20. ericacnn

    Jack, you should write a book... and dedicate it to me, along with 10% of the profits

    January 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  21. deborah s., oh

    Jack, you have made my Wed.! You are hysterical!! Thank you.

    Congrats to Dr. Sanjay! Of course, we will miss him immensely at CNN, & who to replace him...

    And, Jeff Toobin, are you sitting by your phone for The Call. That was mean of Anderson, but all in good fun!

    January 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  22. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Happy Wednesday Jack. I guess your appointment to Secretary of Comic Relief is still pending the vetting process. However, never fear, it could be breaking news at any moment...Jack Gray tapped for key postion in new Administration..Will the humorist take the job or forgo his duties for gal pal Esther? We'll discuss the details with our best political team coming up after the break...

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    January 7, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  23. Jude

    p,s. What does a Surgeon General do ?
    I'd love to know – but please no reply from the guy who told Sarah Palin about the duties of the VP.

    January 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  24. Jude

    Esther? Really? I thought Anderson's orangutan was named Chester.

    January 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  25. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    Great choice! Dr. Gupta, is well known and liked. The Surgeon General should be a person that is well-known, so that he/she can come into the job ready to engage the American people!

    Hope that Dr. Gupta accepts!

    January 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  26. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    As usualy, you do not disappoint with your blog entry! Maybe the Obama team could consider you or Sammy for Commerce Secretary. Then Anderson could help keep you "honest" for the next four years!
    I think Dr. Gupta would be a great Surgeon General. I hope he accepts the post.
    I look forward to your blog on Sunday night- you and Sammy can take control of the Best and Worst Dressed list.
    Best Wishes!

    January 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  27. Paul From Round Rock, Texas

    An outstanding choice!! Good Luck Sanjay and keep up all your good work!! Dr. Gupta will do his best as he always does. Again congradulations Sanjay!

    January 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  28. Marcia, Warren MI

    And may I add Dr Gupta is an alum of the University of Michigan, home of the Michigan Wolverines. It was great to hear them mention him on the local news this morning with nothing but praise.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  29. Terra Hoskins

    OK, getting Sanjay's autograph on the surgeon general's warning of a pack of cigarettes? Jack, that's just inspired!

    January 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  30. Larry

    Does the S.G. require vetting?

    January 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  31. Renee

    @ Presley: Your comments always make me laugh. Ron Emanuel hot?! Thank God my conference call is on mute.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  32. Rupa

    Congrats Dr Gupta. We are so very proud of you.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  33. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Good Morning Jack! Your posts always make me laugh! Dr. Gupta would make an excellent Surgeon General. But I think he would be good at any job he was offered. If he does accept that post it will be tough to replace him at CNN...we will miss him a ton!

    January 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  34. Dee from CT

    I was going to make some snippy remark about Dr. House not being available and Dr. Oz turning down the position, but darn it, I like Dr. Gupta. So I can't very well make fun of a nomination that just sounds really great, I hope Dr. G takes acts on best interests all around. How cool that it's someone that the nation knows and listens to, someone that knows how to reach out and deliver the much needed messages. Very nice honor indeed!

    Otherwise, Jack I say talk to Sammy and have her take Esther to her classes ... time for Sammy to earn her weekly bar tab! Besides, this way you have more time to get the car cleaned and detailed, the dry cleaning picked up, the coffee mugs aligned properly and of course the awards all buffed and shined.

    I just thought of this – have you fed the goldfish since Anderson left on Sunday?

    January 7, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  35. Carol B., Virginia

    Esther? Orange hair? Could this be code talk? A.C.'s NYE dance partner needs a snappy comeback. Nevermind. It's better not to stir the pot. Anyhow, Gupta seems like a logical choice based on his personality and c.v./dossier. He probably won't have time to be a guest blogger or reporter and would it be a conflict of interest somehow?Thanks for another good blog. To paraphrase a daytime show: Like so much sand through the hourglass, so are the days of J.G.

    January 7, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  36. Cori from Colorado

    I hope he accepts the position. I was thrilled when I heard about the offer, and I know that he will be the perfect man for the job.

    Sanjay, if you're reading this, I hope you consider taking it. You're so amazing to watch on CNN. I loved watching you on "Planet in Peril", and was excited to see you travel around the world and cover everything that you did, you just amaze me and my family. You're inspiring, and I know that you will continue to inspire. Good luck!

    January 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  37. Renee

    Morning Jack! Husband and I were chatting about Dr. Gupta this AM. We were thinking about all the loss of income for him to take the position. My gut is Dr. Gupta will not take the position (unfortunately). It would be like Anderson becoming Press Secretary. Why? Even Tony Snow said he was broke when he was Press Secretary. These jobs hardly pay a professional salary.

    January 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  38. Jessie

    As a physician who has spent a lifetime in public health, I was delighted to hear about Dr. Gupta as a prospective Surgeon General. Great and very smart choice by President-Elect Obama's team.

    January 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  39. Susan


    You have about 13 days and counting to get all those moles looked at.
    Please give Dr. Sanjay our best. He will make an excellant Surgeon General.


    January 7, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  40. Presley

    Big kudos to the good doctor and YOU GUYS!
    And, I wouldn't mind having to check in with Rahm Emanuel about anything, I must be getting old but he's kinda hot.

    Maybe all the Presidents will also review the Puppedential Debate and how and when Anderson will be adopted by the Obamas.

    Happy Wednesday Jack.
    XXO ♥

    January 7, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  41. Pati Mc

    Morning Jack,

    Glad to see you made it to work in spite of the ice storm. Like we do not have enough "slippery" goings on already.

    What an amazing honor for Dr. Sanjay, and well deserved!!! With him in office, we can rest assured that things will be done in an intelligent and insightful way. Congrats Sanjay!

    Huh, I would love to be a fly on the wall for that White House meeting today. Wonder what will really be discussed? Come on Jack, we know that you have ideas!

    Have a good "Hump Day" Jack, be careful going out for those smokes, and make sure that you hide them well. Maybe you should get a brand Sammy will not be tempted to pilfer. .. 🙂

    January 7, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  42. Linda

    Finally a "human" surgeon general. Dr. Gupta has made learning about and being healthy enjoyable, not preachy. He doesn't talk down, but makes medicine understandable.

    January 7, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  43. Annie Kate


    I hadn't realized C. Everett Koop was one of the sexiest men alive at one time – when was that? 1910? I always wondered why my granny liked him so much.

    So does Dr. Gupta get a real general's uniform with the position he's being considered for? If so how much gold braid and service medals will he have? He surely ought to have one for each year of Planet in Peril – going out to the darkest places of Africa with Anderson must have taken either a lot of courage or a short circuit in his brain waves.

    When you take Anderson's Esther, the Orangutan, to tap dance lessons do you get to participate too? If so, get Sammy to take a picture of you and Esther. Just think it could wind up on Beat 360!!

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham ALa

    January 7, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  44. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Jack, Great post – you’re so funny!!! I'm happy that Dr. Gupta was chosen for such a coveted position. He is so perfect for the job. His book Chasing Life was awesome as wel. What an honor for him – very nice. Hope you’re having a good day today. Glad to see your post.

    January 7, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  45. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    You just keep on makin' my day Jack.

    A GREAT BIG CONGRATS to SANJAY !!!!!!!!!!!!! Just bring some intelligent non-religious fundamentalist balance back to the Surgeon Generals Office. I know you will Sanjay !!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    January 7, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  46. Kristen-University Park, PA

    So at first I was really about to ask if Anderson really had an Orangutan but after reading I'm guessing thats a joke. Funny piece.

    Congrats to Dr. Gupta and hope he accepts the job.

    January 7, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  47. Cindy

    Now don't you go picking on Sanjay' being asked to be Surgeon General...you know now he'll have "friends" that can kill ya in twenty different ways. LOL Be careful Jack!

    I for one think that it's great that Sanjay was asked. He's great at what he does. Hey...who else could put up with you and Coop and still be able to do his CNN work! LOL He should get an award just for that alone...I mean really! LOL

    And poor ole Burris, he just can't win for losing! He gets the nod to finally move on up and gets slapped back down. But hey...seeing his career hasn't moved up in years he should be used to it! LOL But his "singing in the rain" wasn't as enjoyable as Gene Kelly's though huh!? HMM...maybe if he'd done a little dance out there he'd have gotten more support...just sayin.

    Stay away from th cigs Jack! We all know where Sammy got that bad habit from. OK...and all of the others too. You don't fool us! Like father like son..OOPS..daughter in this case! LOL

    And maybe instead of taking Coop's Orangutan Esther to dance classes maybe you ought to take her dad since well he swears he can't dance. And from seeing him on NYE I have to agree! LOL So we're expecting you Jack to get him all fixed up and dancin...cause well he'll need to know how when Sanjay invites y'all to his many swanky occasions when he is the S.G.! Never mind...he'll probably leave you two off the list cause you are quite the jokers. Can't have ya bugging the important people! LOL


    January 7, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  48. Michelle Fonthill,Ont

    Jack You are just the master of wit and humour ! Isalute you and Dr.Gupta for his Surgeon General postion. Would you really have to go through Rahm Emanuel for a check up? That would be funny

    Thanks Jack for your words of humour and sacrasm !

    January 7, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  49. Mechelle Jordan

    You have a warped sense of humor, but it is funny!

    January 7, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  50. Sandra Robertson, Ga.

    Jack you are so comical. Have you written any books? Please let me know if you have so I may order one (no book stores in my town). And if you have not, I like non-fiction; write it real and write it funny. Thanks.

    January 7, 2009 at 10:13 am |
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