Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dear Mike: Man, that's gotta sting.

The setup:

Hey Mikey, can't take the heat????

Well get out of the kitchen, then. Actually, just get out of the kitchen entirely, it sure looks like ya spend a teensy bit too much time in there. You've seen by know the Fat Bastard blew his lid at Wolf Blitzer on CNN, & why?? CNN had the cojones to hold the sumbitch accountable. Imagine that!! It's nice to see that finally, finally!! the MSM is holding this guy accountable. He's gotten away with so many lies, distortions & grade A bullshit over the years that he thinks he can continue to do so with impunity. Michael Moore has been exposed as a bully & a thug & that the best way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him. Good on CNN for leading the way & standing up to the Fat Bastard.

And the delicious Mike McGuire-sized towel snap to the nads (emphasis gleefully added):

Michael Moore makes CNN blush

After a much publicized tête-à-tête between Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, and the outspoken director of "Sicko," the network released a rare statement of apology. In it they owned up to two errors made while reporting on Moore's new documentary...

"CNN confirmed that all our statistics in "Sicko" are the correct numbers from the sources we cited," Moore writes. "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 UN data. (In "Sicko," we consistently use only UN Human Development Statistics unless it's for studies they don't do or have recent numbers for."...

Moore's beef with CNN first began during a July 9 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Prior to that segment, the show played a fact-check piece on "Sicko" by Dr. Gupta. That report led to a contentious exchange between Moore and Blitzer. It also fueled Moore's ire further on July 10, when he and Gupta butted heads on CNN's Larry King Live.

When asked by King why he took such exception to Gupta's piece, Moore replied, "He said the facts were fudged. That's a lie."

In Gupta's original piece he refuted figures Moore presented regarding Cuba's per capita spending on healthcare. Gupta alleged that the $251 per person cost reported by Moore was untrue.

Yet on "Larry King Live" Gupta admitted the error was his, not Moore's. "Michael correctly said $251 in the movie."

Gupta also made a correction statement on July 11.

"To be clear, I got a number wrong in my original report, substituting the number 25, instead of 251."

Snap. But don't worry, Mike -- you're a Blogging Tory so it's not like anyone's going to hold you accountable or anything. They never do.


Mike said...

I wonder if the socialstgulag guy realizes how poorly he called the CNN-Moore conflict. Moore creamed 'em.
I can only shake my head when I read comments to like "Moore does no research" or "Moore fills his documentaries with lies." The truth is Moore (and his people) clearly does copious research. You may not like his choice of facts - and yes, he does "cherry-pick" as Gupta claimed on Larry King Live, but then he's a polemicist, not an academic. But his films are well researched.
The people who say he didn't do his research for Sicko never give us anything to back up that assertion.

M@ said...

You know, doc, I'd go even further in characterizing the CNN vs Moore thing. CNN's claim was that Moore "fudged his facts". That would imply something like using statistics to mean things they didn't, or making unfounded conclusions based on limited evidence.

But that's not what happened. Moore had a straightforward way of choosing his numbers: Bush admin numbers, then UN numbers, wherever they were available; then other studies where those numbers weren't available.

CNN's approach was to take all the numbers from the same study, whatever that might be even though that might put them a couple of years behind.

I think that if Moore had used CNN's numbers, they would have said "but it's old data! It's WHO data! What about the US gov't numbers, which say something else?"

My point is that it's a matter of approach, and as long as the approach is clear (which, I know, is not something that's easy to do in a film -- nor on a cable news channel) it can't be criticised for being dishonest.

But that's what Gupta did. The statement "Moore fudged his facts" is in fact incorrect (and it seems Moore fudged many fewer facts than Gupta did); CNN should withdraw that statement and apologise, something that they have not done.