I'm not so sure he is a shill. He just strikes me as someone who pretends to be smarter than he is, and he's not fooling me (or most everyone). He doesn't hold a candle to Flechas, Brownstein or Abraham. Although I don't find him to be HORRIBLE, I too usually ignore anything he writes.
There are much smarter people out there with a good grasp of holistic/alternative healing methods. Yet for some reason Mercola seems to get a lot of air time. Good for him, not so good for everyone else.