The Sicko Double Standard

In CNN’s hit piece on Sicko (in which they congratulate themselves for “keeping them honest”), they claim Moore “fudged the facts” because Moore’s numbers don’t match match theirs. When Moore got a chance to confront Sanjay Gupta with his own “fudging”, the Michael Moore double standard made itself clear.

With all of the cross-talk and interruptions in last night’s mini-debate, the exchanges aren’t exactly transcript friendly, so forgive me for editing these for clarity. Here’s a link to the full transcript and you can find a video of the segment here.

MOORE: This year Health and Human Services says that we’re going to spend about $7,400 per person in this country, not 6,000, as Dr. Gupta said. He’s using 2004 statistics.

Now, here’s the sad thing about this, Larry, is that this is now the third time this report ran. It first ran on “ANDERSON COOPER” right after I was on your show on June 29.

The day before, on June 28th, we spoke to Dr. Gupta’s senior producer, Chris Gajilan, and we gave her in — writing — all the facts and all the evidence and the backup for those facts. So they’ve known now since June 28th that all their facts are wrong —
. . .
GUPTA: Well, you know, look, we try and look for some of the best sources that we can possibly find, because we think we owe that to our viewers.

You know, Michael has a lot of different numbers here and he’s pulling them from different places.
. . .
MOORE: I posted this e-mail that we had with your producer a day before this report ran so that you had all the facts. You ran the story knowing that the facts were wrong and I posted this five minutes ago —
. . .
GUPTA: Just because you say they’re wrong, I mean it doesn’t make it so, Michael. I mean we try and do what you do. We try and get the best available data

It’s okay if CNN’s numbers are questionable because they’re trying to get “the best available data”, but if Moore’s numbers don’t line up with theirs, he’s a liar. This is ridiculous. There are so many different healthcare studies being done around the world that there is no definitive set of data. If you choose to quote the numbers from Health and Human Services over the World Health Organization, it doesn’t mean you’re trying to deceive people. You just made a different judgment call. CNN’s failure to understand that is what’s most infuriating about their “fact check” segment they used to trash Sicko (and avoid getting angry phone calls from wingnuts).

This other bit from Gupta, attempting to trash France’s heathcare system, is laughably bad :

GUPTA: I also think the whole idea, Michael, of just calling it a free system I think is a little bit nebulous to people who don’t fully understand what you mean by that. Yes, you’ve got to raise taxes significantly. I mean France is drowning in taxes. They’re running a $15.6 billion debt.

$15.6 billion! That would be scary if we weren’t spending that much money every month in Iraq. In France, they’re willing to go into debt to keep their citizens from dying of preventable diseases and injuries. Here in America, we save our debt for wars and tax cuts.