Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Moore Takes On Blitzer

"Why Don't You Tell the Truth to the American People?"

First I was going to blog about this, then I wasn't, because I saw Station Agent already had a piece up at his place, then I saw some points that other people had missed. You can watch the exchange between Michael Moore and Wolf Blitzer (on CNN's The Situation Room) at Ice Station Tango, but Alternet has a vid that includes the piece by Dr. Sanjay Gupta that led to Moore's ire, links to Moore's site where he defends SICKo against Gupta's attack, and follow up video with Moore and Gupta on Larry King. A fantastic job from Alternet, who had this to say,
He [Moore] has...been ahead of the curve on Walter Reed, the War in Iraq, gun violence, and a host of other issues and all these networks and talking heads can do is try to pick apart his work to "expose" how he's somehow "fudged the facts", always ignoring how incredibly right he has been and continues to be about our American condition. We all love to see Wolf Blitzer (who tirelessly defends CNN medical "expert" Sanjay Gupta) taken down a peg, but the video to your right is really about the whole mainstream media getting called out on their bullshit, which makes it so much more satisfying. Naturally smug bigots like Lou Dobbs act amused by what they consider Moore's "act".
So, if Alternet did such a fantastic job, what could yours truly possibly have to add? Just a couple points I'd like to highlight from the videos. First, from the 'reality check' of SICKo. Dr. Sanjay's voiceover says, "Moore presents a lot of facts throughout the movie. But do they all check out? Keeping them honest, we did some digging." I'd just like to restate MM's point again based on that quote. When, pray tell, has CNN or anyone else in the Corporate Owned Media (COM) ever done some digging to keep the Republican Administration honest? It seems that they have two sets of journalistic standards, one for the left and one for the right. Kind of a reflection of what the Bush 'Justice' system has become, with one standard for the administration and one for everyone else. It's about time that the media itself had someone keeping them honest on the airwaves. (They've always had it on the internet, at Media Matters.)

My second point is from the exchange between Moore and Blitzer, where MM finally gets the Wolf to admit out loud what CNN's standards have devolved to, "We have commercials, this is a business obviously." That's his best defense against Moore's criticism of CNN's coverage. He can't even claim that they are not biased, but offers this up as an explanation.For him to blatantly admit that the content of a news program is influenced by the will of the sponsors says a lot, none of it good.
Wolf Blitzer is nothing more than a spewing piehole, who says what ever he is paid to say, with less credibility than a sideshow barker at a cheap carnival inviting you into a tent to see a two-headed dog.*
My final point is that the Canadian health care system is a lot better than it is portrayed in the US, even by Moore. Wait times are high sometimes, but here is the critical difference. In Canada, the length of time you have to wait for a procedure is mainly based on how serious your condition is. If you need lifesaving surgery RIGHT NOW where I live, they will put you on a helicopter and fly you to Toronto if need be (about 100 miles) RIGHT NOW if the surgery can't be performed locally. And the government will pay for the whole thing, including the helicopter. If you've got a boil on your ass, the details of that story may change, it's true.

In the US, your wait time has little to do with the nature of your medical condition, and a lot to do with how much money you have, and how much you have invested in health insurance. If you are not covered, your wait time could be THE REST OF YOUR (short) LIFE. With over 45 million Americans having no insurance whatsoever, and over half of the rest being underinsured I would say that's a big difference. I told the tale of a Canadian friend of mine who had serious medical issues in A Personal Story back in January, and that was contrasted by this guest post from Kristen Hannum At Our Expense. Kristen's sad experience (her brother died, more from being uninsured than from his underlying condition, an inflamed appendix) led her to start Ave Cassandra, one of the best single-issue blogs there is. If you are interested in the issue of health care in America, bookmark that site.

* The real reason I had to put up this post. I came up with this great line, and I couldn't just use it in comments on another blog, now could I?

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