The frequently ridiculous Dr. Sanjay Gupta and the always ridiculous Wolf Blitzer tried to take apart filmmaker Michael Moore case against the failed U.S. health care system this week on CNN's "The Situation Room."
After airing Gupta's four-minute attack on Moore's new documentary, "Sicko," which sounded at times more like an insurance-industry advertisement than journalism, Blitzer introduced a live appearance by Moore.
"That report was so biased, I can't imagine what pharmaceutical company's ads are coming up right after our break here," Moore immediately declared. "Why don't you tell the truth to the American people? I wish that CNN and the other mainstream media would just for once tell the truth about what's going on in this country."
Focusing on CNN's on-bended-knee coverage of the Bush administration's pre-war arguments for attacking Iraq, Moore suggested that viewers might have their doubts about the willingness of the network to speak truth to power -- in the Oval Office or in the boardrooms of insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.
"You're the ones who are fudging the facts," Moore told Blitzer. "You've fudged the facts to the American people now for I don't know how long about this issue, about the war, and I'm just curious, when are you going to just stand there and apologize to the American people for not bringing the truth to them that isn't sponsored by some major corporation?"
Moore did not back down and, to their credit, CNN's producers invited him to stick around an tape a longer segment in which the filmmaker ripped apart the network's attempts to discredit his reporting on health care systems in foreign countries that are dramatically superior to the U.S. system.
"Our own government admits that because of the 47 million who aren't insured, we now have about 18,000 people a year that die in this country, simply because they don't have health insurance. That's six 9/11s every single year," said Moore, who argued that the U.S. needs "universal health care that's free for everyone who lives in this country, it'll cost us less than what we're spending now lining the pockets of these private health insurance companies, or these pharmaceutical companies."
It's all at www.michaelmoore.com
Check it out. This is almost as good as "Sicko."
John Nichols' new book is The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson hails it as a "nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the 'heroic medicine' that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"
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