I heard a fascinating thing on NPR this morning. People in Iraq listen to Dr. Phil. In fact, for Iraqis with satellite TV access (on those days when they have power) watching Dr. Phil’s show has become an oasis of comfort.

And one of the most amazing things Iraqis are learning is that they are not so different from U.S. citizens. Both have family problems as well as hopes and dreams. Although they can’t imagine actually putting their problems on TV the way they think all of us would – the shame would be too great – they find the real-life problems, along with Dr. Phil’s homespun delivery of his wisdom, mesmerizing.

One man, a journalist, admits he is sad when he misses the show. “I don’t cry,” he says. But he does feel better when he gets to watch. Looks like Dr. Phil is making more headway than our State Department!

One thing people wish Dr. Phil would talk about is how to help their families deal with the daily, unrelenting violence and the fear that forces so many people to keep confined to their homes. This war right outside their doors has been going on for years and the toll on the human psyche is unimaginable.

David Letterman loves to poke fun at Dr. Phil. OK…let’s be honest – many of us do. But I also love knowing that Dr. Phil McGraw and his show are bringing some much-needed moments of happiness and comfort to the Iraqi people.

I only hope one day soon the Iraqi people get to live in peace again. Clearly, Dr. Phil and his show cannot possibly undo the damage these poor people will have to live with the rest of their lives. But at least I’m glad he helps make their days a little better.


To listen to the report on NPR:

Dr. Phil Finds an Audience in Iraq