Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Michael Moore Redux

CNN Throws in Towel, Admits to Two Errors, and States That All 'Sicko' Facts Are True to Their Source (or something like that)... Moore Realizes All This is Huge Distraction and Then Spends More Precious Time Thanking Paris Hilton for Seeing 'Sicko'... Meanwhile, More than 300 Americans Die Because They Had No Health Insurance During the 8-Day Gupta-Moore War...

July 17th, 2007

Friends,

The mighty CNN, in a lengthy and sad online defense of their woe-begotten 'Sicko' story of last Monday, has admitted that they did indeed fudge at least two of the facts in their coverage of my film and have apologized for it:
1. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN: "To be clear, I got a number wrong in my original report, substituting the number 25, instead of 251." -- My Conversation with Michael Moore, July 11th, 2007; and

2. CNN: "Moore is correct. Paul Keckley left Vanderbilt in late 2006." -- CNN's Response to Michael Moore, July 15th, 2007.

Furthermore, CNN confirmed that all of our statistics in "Sicko" are the correct numbers from the sources we cited. Although CNN still prefers to use older World Health Organization statistics, we will stick to using this year's Bush administration stats and more recent U.N. data. (In "Sicko," we consistently use only U.N. Human Development Statistics unless it's for studies they don't do or have recent numbers for.) CNN did apologize for these two factual errors, but no apology seems to be coming for the rest of their errors. These days, to get the mainstream media to admit they were wrong is rare; to get them to admit it twice, as they have with "Sicko," I guess should be considered a whopping victory. Will they eventually apologize for the rest, or for their reporting on the war? Will the Cubs win the World Series this year?

So the truce has been signed, the peace pipe has been smoked. And the public is left with a much more cautious and wary eye when it comes to CNN. To be fair, this is what happens when you have to grind out "news" 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a staff you have shrunk through layoffs over the years (like all the broadcast networks have done). You end up rushed and having interns do your research. You have robots replace live camera operators. And, if you're CNN, you are constantly dodging the accusation that you are "too liberal." So when you do a piece on someone like me, you have to make sure you add superfluous and standard ad hominems attacking me simply to prove that you are NOT too liberal. I get it.

Until the last month or so, I have not appeared on a single national TV show for nearly 2 and 1/2 years. After the attacks I had to endure three years ago, from a media intent on questioning my patriotism because I dared to speak out against the war when none in the media would, I decided I had had enough and would simply concentrate on making my next film. I had no desire to participate in networks that were complicit in the war because of their refusal the challenge the commander in chief.

I have to admit, though, I do feel kinda bad taking it all out on Wolf Blitzer. It's not like he's the official representative of the mainstream media. I mean, he's from Buffalo, for crying out loud! He said to me at the end of the show last week to please come back on "anytime you want." I will take him up on that offer and appear again with him tomorrow (Wednesday). I'm not expecting a dozen roses or make-up sex -- I only want a promise that there will be no more distorted distractions so we can have a decent discussion about the REAL issues like why 18,000 Americans die every year because they don't have a health insurance card. More than 300 of them died this week. As Ehrlichman said to Nixon in "Sicko": "The less care they give 'em, the more money they (the insurance companies) make."

THAT'S the only thing we should be talking about. How profit and greed are killing our fellow Americans. How profit and private insurance have to be removed from our health care system. CNN should join me in asking why our 9/11 rescue workers aren't receiving medical care. Somebody should send a crew to Canada to find out why they live longer than we do, and why no Canadian has ever gone bankrupt because of medical bills. And all of the media should start saying how much it costs to go to a doctor in these other top industrialized countries: Nothing. Zip. It's FREE. Don't patronize Americans by saying, "Well, it's not free -- they pay for it with taxes!" Yes, we know that. Just like we know that we drive down a city street for FREE -- even though we paid for that street with our taxes. The street is FREE, the book at the library is FREE, if your house catches on fire, the fire department will come and put it out for FREE, and if someone snatches your purse, the police officer will chase down the culprit and bring your purse back to you -- AND HE WON'T CHARGE YOU A DIME FROM THAT PURSE!

These are all free services, collectively socialized and paid for with our tax dollars. To argue that health care -- a life and death issue for many -- should not be considered in the same league is ludicrous and archaic. And trust me, once you add up what you pay for out-of-pocket in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, overpriced medicines, and treatments that aren't covered (not to mention all the other things we pay for like college education, day care and other services that many countries provide for at little or no cost), we, as Americans, are paying far more than the Canadians or Brits or French are paying in taxes. We just don't call these things taxes, but that's exactly what they are.

See you all when I'm back on CNN tomorrow -- where the discussion will be not be about whose statistics are right, but rather about the guy without insurance who died while I was writing this letter.

Yours,
Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com
www.michaelmoore.com

P.S. Oh... I forgot to tell you about Paris Hilton. Apparently cooped up for too long at home since getting out of jail, she decided to head out for a night on the town. But where does she go? Clubbing? Cruising down the Strip? No! She and her sister decide to go see "Sicko." Now THAT'S news! So, no more bad words about Paris Hilton!

4 comentarios:

Christiane said...

Hey thanks for the update!
If it wasn't for the "media rebels" things would be worst than they actually are.

I just watched a re run of last night Daily Show... God Bless Jon Stewart!
He interviewed a former navy press officer, Josh Rushing, and I was mesmerized! and I quote:
About the coverage of Paris Hilton, ANS and the War:
They (Iraq and Africa) wished they had a life that would let them afford to care for ANS
His path is harder than Moore's, the right wing have blasted him for leaving the military and joining Al Jazeera. Balsy! Personally I'm DYING to have access to that TV Station... I really want to have a 360 point of view!

ivy said...

@Courtney, thanks for the post!

I missed TSR today, have you seen it? Moore and CNN was probably smoking not the peace pipe but the peace joint -) So is it about war between Moore and CNN or MSM? It looks like it reading this letter and CNN response before. I wish the airtime would be used more to highlight the real issues then the clash of egos.

Wow, since Paris is society conscious now, I guess we all must care about her every step a lot more so then before!

ivy said...

chris - I caught the last part of that interview on Stewart and it was definitely refreshing to hear a different perspective on news coverage and what should really be a priority.

tink said...

Was anyone watching the back doors of the theater to catch Paris sneeking out? I don't believe she'd have stayed for the whole thing! (maybe she hid in the bathroom...)

MANIFESTO

Don't think for me. Don't assume what I want to hear or read. Give me facts. Give me reasons. But not yours. Bring me debate. Enlighten me. Today, accountability is masked behind anonymity; bylines are hidden by zeros and ones. Everyone publishes; everyone is "in the know." Ethics are non-existent. Speculation is king. The truth is masked and a hostage. Empowered by our minds, WE ARE THE FREAKSPEAKERS!

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental, political, news and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such material as provided in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with the title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this blog is distributed and available without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

If your obsession against us and our content endures, you might find more information at: Law.

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the blog owner.