Sometimes, it’s a little tough for the Fox News-bashing left to stamp the Ailes Network with the Uniformly Right-Wing complaint. For example, it’s not every day that Fox News looks liberal on CNN. But I caught the new commercial for leftist propagandist Michael Moore’s new mockumentary "Sicko" on CNN late this morning. One of three ecstatic reviewers in the TV ad is Roger Friedman of FOXNews.com ("Brilliant!")
Is that one of those tricky studio edits that doesn’t really represent the critic’s opinion? Um, no. Friedman’s online review was a rave. It began: "Filmmaker Michael Moore's brilliant and uplifting new documentary, ‘Sicko,’ deals with the failings of the U.S. healthcare system, both real and perceived. But this time around, the controversial documentarian seems to be letting the subject matter do the talking, and in the process shows a new maturity."
Barbara Walters, who plays an objective journalist on TV, loves to offer her ringing endorsements for left wing films. About a year ago, in June of 2006, Walters, upon interviewing Al Gore, asserted "it’s very important to see [‘An Inconvenient Truth’]." On the June 19, 2007 edition of "The View" Walters spoke with Michael Moore and again endorsed his new socialist advocating film "Sicko."
"A lot of the film is about, is about the insurance companies and the condemnation of them. I just have to say, I don't usually give opinions, but whatever you're Republican or Democrat or whatever you are, this is an amazing film. I thought it was -- I think everybody should see it. When it premiered last night, you got a standing ovation. That's unusual for you. Everybody loved you."
Last night, ABC “World News” sounded a $50 billion call to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
The June 17 program gave the common media prescription: more money, more government.
“Child advocate believe this problem [uninsured children] could be fixed is the federal government shells out $50 billion over the next five years. But, that is 10 times what the Bush administration wants to spend,” said ABC’s Dan Harris.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program shifted into full advocacy mode as anchor Chris Cuomo investigated the health insurance industry. A week after the network promoted Michael Moore’s new documentary "Sicko" for over 21 minutes, co-host Diane Sawyer announced that, regarding health care, the program was demanding "some answers" with a new segment. According to Sawyer, the series is "for you, for all of us." At the close of the report, the ABC anchor even pleaded with the audience for examples of nefarious health care companies:
Diane Sawyer: "...If you have an insurance company policy, a question that you want to raise, you want us to tackle something that you think the insurance companies are doing, you write to us. You let us know about it. ABCNews.com. We are on the case."
And while Cuomo was "on the case" of a woman who had difficulty getting her insurance company to approve a much needed eye surgery, there has been no similar look at Canadian horror stories where government run health care made one woman with breast cancer wait three months for radiation treatment.
Filmmaker Michael Moore’s appearance on Wednesday’s edition of "Nightline" wrapped up a two day, two show tour of various ABC programs. Between "Nightline and "Good Morning America," the network gave the outspoken leftist almost 21 and a half minutes of air time to promote his new health care documentary, "Sicko."
In addition to looking at the softer side of Moore and asking about his faith, co-anchor Terry Moran offered a generally friendly interview. For the most part, the ABC host only challenged the filmmaker when he made truly outrageous comments, such as asserting that Cuba is a country of "artistic freedom":
Michael Moore: "They have an excellent health care system, probably the best in the Third World. There is not religious persecution. There's artistic freedom. I went–"
Terry Moran: "There's artistic freedom in Cuba?"
Moore: "Oh, yeah. I hung out with artists who are critical of Castro and, and, and very freely speak their minds."
Sam Zaramba, in a subscription-only op-ed column in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, gives the next Woodward or Bernstein a hot story to follow up on:
..... malaria ..... is the biggest killer of Ugandan and all African children. Yet it remains preventable and curable. Last week in Germany, G-8 leaders committed new resources to the fight against the mosquito-borne disease and promised to use every available tool.
Now they must honor this promise by supporting African independence in the realm of disease control. We must be able to use Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane -- DDT.
..... Today, every single Ugandan still remains at risk. Over 10 million Ugandans are infected each year, and up to 100,000 of our mothers and children die from the disease.
No one could possibly be conspiring to prevent the eradication of malaria, could they?
Well, yes they could. And they are, as Zaramba notes:
Does "Good Morning America" have a masochistic streak? On Wednesday, GMA host Chris Cuomo allowed liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to claim that due to the failure of journalists in challenging President Bush’s claims about pre-war Iraq intelligence, ABC and other networks are "complicit" in the deaths of American soldiers:
On Tuesday's The Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer covered filmmaker Michael Moore's trip to the California state capitol and rally with nurses who support his push for universal health care and the abolition of private health insurance. At one point, Blitzer plugged the segment referring to Moore getting support from "people at your hospital bedside." Blitzer: "Why's he getting some unexpected support from people at your hospital bedside?"
Correspondent Brooke Anderson reported live from the state capitol -- once during the 5:00 p.m. hour and again during the 7:00 hour -- to cover Moore's activities, as she included a clip of the filmmaker complaining about profits in the health care industry. Moore: "This doesn't look good, folks. I mean, it doesn't look good to the rest of the world, and it won't look good to the anthropologists who dig us up hundreds of years from now. They'll wonder, what were these people thinking?" (Transcript follows)
When asked if the scene from “Sicko” where Michael Moore passes by Guantanamo Bay was just a publicity student, CNN’s Lola Ogunnaike got serious.
“I think he was trying to prove a point. The point he was trying to make is you have these detainees at Guantanamo Bay that in his mind are receiving far better care than the people on 9/11 who are sick now as a result of the injury they sustained rescuing people down at the site of 9/11,” said the pop culture and entertainment correspondent.
Ogunnaike should be on Moore’s payroll instead of CNN’s, because she was basically reading his talking points. The nearly two and a half minute segment was practically a commercial for the film which advocates socialized health care, the abolition of the health insurance industry and a government regulated pharmaceutical industry.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," Chris Cuomo conducted part one of a mostly softball interview with "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore. (Another segment will air on Wednesday.) But despite a flowery introduction where the GMA anchor asserted "[Moore’s] critics are struggling to fight his basic premise that America's health care system is in trouble," Cuomo still found himself backpedaling after labeling the liberal filmmaker’s Cuba trip a stunt. The ABC host, son of Mario Cuomo, quickly exclaimed, "Look, I like your stunt."
The stunt in question, Moore’s escorting of 9/11 Ground Zero workers to Cuba for treatment, resulted in this retort from the director:
On Wednesday’s "Situation Room," liberal anchor Jack Cafferty argued that, perhaps, it's President Bush, not Vladimir Putin, who is attempting to reignite the Cold War. However, Cafferty might want to consider the fact that fewer pesky journalists seem to mysteriously disappear in the United States than they do in Russia.
During this week’s Republican debate, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer had a suggestion for the national GOP: Be more like liberal Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now, this is an idea he’s peddled four times since the midterm elections. Isn’t it sweet when left-wing journalists offer advice to the Republican Party?
Speaking of liberal cable hosts, Keith Olbermann suggested this week that the unraveling of a terror plot at JFK airport was politically timed to help the Bush administration. Yes, Keith, and the Paris Hilton media soap opera is a cover by the White House to distract from the immigration debacle.
The June 6 story by Julie Appleby emphasized problems with such insurance and questioned "whether such policies provide a false sense of security."
Critics beat out supporters in the story by a ratio of 2:1. Appleby cited two experts from different pro-universal health care advocacy groups and two unsatisfied customers.
Both advocacy groups took a hostile stance toward the health insurance industry, but Appleby gave readers no sense of the organizations' liberal positions - which included an affiliation with the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation.
This is not the first time Appleby has provided viewers with a one-sided view of health care issues. In August 2005, she wrote a story complaining about the expense of health care. But she buried the major reason for high costs: medical progress that saves more lives than ever before.
Just before the Democratic debate, ABC "World News Sunday" provided their health care talking points for them in the June 3 broadcast.
Reporter Dan Harris presented the viewpoint that American taxpayers have a moral obligation to make sure all children have insurance, citing two left-wing Clinton supporters and several tragic stories.
“If you judged a country by how it treats its most vulnerable people, we're certainly failing when we leave 9 million children behind,” said Ron Pollack of the liberal Families USA.
Harris neglected to inform viewers of Families USA’s liberal agenda. Pollack and his organization have consistently promoted more government involvement and control of health care. In 1994, Pollack supported the Clinton administration’s plan for a federal takeover of health care.
The media was fascinated with the story of the Americans in Michael Moore's "Sicko," who left the US for medical treatment in Cuba, a country with socialized medicine, and it was used to highlight the failings of the US health care system. When the exact opposite occurred, and an American fled Italy's socialized medicine for medical treatment in the privatized care of the US, the media decded that angle was no longer significant.
In the coverage of Andrew Speaker’s TB quarantine, very little was mentioned about why he was so determined to return to the US that he ignored the CDC’s command to remain in Italy to treat his life-threatening illness, which is the most serious form of TB and is resistant to most drugs.
Speaker was so adamant about getting out of Italy and returning to the US health care system because Italy's was inadequate for his needs. The AP recounted the Diane Sawyer interview on ABC where Andrew Speaker said the doctors at a Denver research hospital said the US was his only hope (emphasis mine throughout):
"Before I left, I knew that it was made clear to me, that in order to fight this, I had one shot, and tha was going to be in Denver," he said. If doctors in Europe tried to treat him and it went wrong, he said, "it's very real that I could have died there."
Maybe Michael Moore should listen to people who actually have socialized medicine—at least those who are allowed to disagree with their government’s policies. Singer Elton John’s partner David Furnish slammed Michael Moore and his latest docuganda “Sicko” for misrepresenting the quality of the US health care system. On June 02, Furnish stated, ”[America] was the only place to get good treatment”(emphasis mine):
The May 31 CBS "Evening News" spun a recent international health incident into ammunition for an attack on the pharmaceutical companies.
After the program updated viewers on the tuberculosis scare caused by one infected man's European honeymoon, reporter Nancy Cordes launched into the blame game.
“Why haven’t more drugs been developed to fight disease with the potential to kill thousands?” asked Cordes, the CBS Transportation and Consumer Safety correspondent.
She then quoted a doctor who blamed the bottom line.
“Pharmaceutical companies live to make a profit and if antibiotics, for example, because they’re used for usually 7 to 14 days, maybe as long as a month, can’t generate the same kind of profits as a new cholesterol agent or the new Viagra, which a person might take for years,” said Dr. Eric Nuermberger, an assistant professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
If you knew an institution was incapable of keeping tabs on one, crucially-important, person, why would you believe it could track 12 million? And yet . . .
The government knew that one man in Atlanta had a highly-infectious, potentially fatal, disease that puts the lives of untold numbers of people at risk. The MSM is quick to point its finger at the government for its failure to keep track of him. But the same MSM is largely supportive of an amnesty-based immigration bill that would require that same government to keep tabs on untold millions of immigrants and administer a highly-complex "pathway to citizenship."
The MSM is turning the tale of the Georgia man with TB who roamed over Europe and flew back to the US, endangering his fellow passengers, into a story of government misfeasance. Typical of the MSM take was that of Chris Cuomo on today's "Good Morning America." Cuomo spoke to ABC medical consultant Dr. Tim Johnson at 7:04 am EDT this morning.
Based on its own ABC poll, "Good Morning America" could have run a segment this morning on the theme "support for universal coverage slipping as Americans express increased concern for keeping taxes down." But that wouldn't have fit ABC's big-government paradigm. So instead, GMA used this prescription for pushing universal health care:
Cherry-pick results from a poll you've conducted; ignoring inconvenient findings.
Bring in a spokesman from a left-wing group that pushes universal care.
Uncritically rely on a clip from, yes, Michael Moore's latest propa-mentary, "Sicko."
Today's "Good Morning America" took Barack Obama's announcement yesterday of his health care proposal as a jumping-off point for a segment on the broader issue. Co-host Diane Sawyer flashed a graphic showing that according to an ABC News poll, 56% of Americans favor Universal health coverage. What Diane didn't tell you: the number of people backing universal coverage has dipped since ABC last conducted such a poll, when support was at 62%.
Is Barack Obama really running for president, or is he not-so-subtly positioning himself to be Hillary's running mate? I seemed to sense that 'subliminable' message on 'Today' this morning. At about 7:10 am EDT, the NBC show kicked off its "Today on the Trail" series, which will join the leading presidential contenders out on the campaign trail, with a feature on Obama. Meredith Vieira spent time with Obama in New Hampshire over the weekend.
Most of the exchanges were predictable: Obama countered suggestions of a lack of experience by positioning himself as an outside-the-beltway candidate. He claimed that "retail" politicking -- talking with voters one-on-one -- was the most enjoyable aspect of the campaign. He let people at one campaign stop know that in deciding whether to run, he "prayed on it," then asked his wife.
But there was one moment that deviated from the typical script of someone considered to have a realistic shot at winning a nomination.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA [D-IL]: It may be at the end of this thing people conclude 'you know, it's not Barack,' and that's OK.
In a surprise in their Sunday Week in Review section, The New York Times assigned a correspondent to question leftist filmmaker Michael Moore’s math about Cuba having a better health care system than the United States: "How could a poor developing country — where annual health care spending averages just $230 a person compared with $6,096 in the United States — come anywhere near matching the richest country in the world?" Correspondent Anthony DePalma found experts who granted points to Cuba’s "universal" health care, but also pointed to the communist dictatorship’s high rates of abortion and emigration, and ironically, its shortages – poor transportation and a restricted food supply – as reasons why Cuban life expectancy may be high.
The DePalma piece was highlighted on the Times home page Sunday, complete with a picture of people sitting in a clinic under a painting of Che Guevara. DePalma noted that Moore’s new film "Sicko" gets poetic about the wonders of Cuban health care: It "savages the American health care system — and along the way extols Cuba’s system as the neatest thing since the white linen guayabera [shirt]." He began his analysis by quoting Moore promoting Cuba in Time:
The timing couldn't have been more perfect. As the media begin hyping Michael's Moore's latest film "Sicko," CBS "Evening News" ran a two-part attack on the insurance industry.
“It’s all about money,” said Tod Smith, a 54-year-old who suffered a heart attack, about insurance companies. “That’s the bottom line,” he told CBS viewers.
The segments, aired on May 23 and 24, relied heavily on anti-industry and liberal sources, and limited industry representation.
On May 23, CBS chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian focused on the plight of Scott Svonkin, portraying him as an average uninsurable American. But Svonkin is not average, in fact he is an advocate - something Keteyian didn't reveal until the end of the segment.
On the top right of Friday’s front page of The New York Times is a story headlined "Immigration Bill Provisions Gain Wide Support In Poll: Majority Favors Path to Legal Status for Illegal Aliens." Reporters Julia Preston and Marjorie Connelly wrote the story in a way that framed the poll like a memo to Congress, saying "Please pass the bill, the polling water’s warm."
The reporters claim the American public is "taking a pragmatic stand on a divisive issue," which could be interpreted to mean they change their answers based on how the poll question is phrased. It's so divisive individual voters have two different opinions depending on the pollster's lingo. But Preston and Connelly began by insisting: "As opponents from the right and left challenge an immigration bill before Congress, there is broad support among Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike – for the major provisions in the legislation."
Just how leftist is Michael Moore on health care as he promoted his new "Sicko" documentary? Time found out:
TIME: Of the declared presidential candidates, down to the Dennis Kucinich level, say, who do you think has the best health-care plan? Including Kucinich? We could include him.
Michael Moore: Then Kucinich, but he doesn’t go far enough. He supports what he’s calling a single- payer nonprofit plan, but from my read, it would still allow [private] entities to control things, as opposed to the government. What’s wrong with the government? The right wing and the G.O.P. have done a wonderful job brainwashing people that government doesn’t work, and then, as Al Franken says, they get elected and proceed to prove the point. [Laughs.]
Last night the rhetorical attack on Avandia was fierce.
"We're starting with a story that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans because a new study out today says a drug they take increases their chances of having a heart attack and dying," warned CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
Canadians are mad as heck, and this time, they’re not going to take it. Michael Moore went too far to be ignored, which meant that a Canuck really gave him “what for” in the form of a polite but pointed recap of a heated press conference on Saturday for the premiere of “Sicko,” Moore’s one-sided US health-care hit job, which debuted at Cannes Film Festival .
May 20, Toronto Star entertainment reporter Peter Howell wrote in the ideologically left of center paper that the Canadian journalists who saw “Sicko” were less than happy with his “playing fast and loose with the facts” and churning out a one-sided Pollyanna treatment of Canadian health care, presenting a system without problems. After being chastised by some of the most polite people on Earth, he fired back and leveled a truly terrible offense at them by stating their system is barely a step above America's. Quelle horreur!
Read what one of the few articles critical of Moore and his accuracy had to say about the movie's obvious problems with Moore’s film (bold emphasis mine throughout):
The international press is currently enthralled with the Cannes Film Festival, and the usual celebrity suspects who push the agenda of the Left at such events. Bradley Jacobs, an editor for "Us Weekly," appeared on Monday's "American Morning" and reported on two such celebrities and their current projects - Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Moore. Jacobs was particularly enthusiastic about Moore and his last two film projects, and gushed, "I was a big fan and proponent of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,' and I have to say that I thought ‘Sicko' was even better."
Jacobs, who was reporting live from Cannes, even went so far to make a personal appeal of sorts for "Sicko," the latest film from Moore.
Boycotts are falling everywhere. With the French having elected Sarkozy, American conservatives are feeling good about buying Beaujolais again. And with Imus gone from MSNBC, Hillary Clinton has ended her one-woman boycott of the network's morning-show slot. Hillary had famously shunned the shock-jock's show in the wake of his suggestive shtick at a Radio & TV Correspondents dinner with Pres. Clinton and the First Lady in attendance.
Hillary did a lengthy phone interview at 8:09 EDT today on "Morning Joe," the latest in MSNBC's revolving morning-chat shows in the old Imus slot, hosted by Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who hosts a regular evening show in the MSNBC lineup. At one point during the interview, Joe told Hillary "I'm not kissing up to you at all. Those who know me know I certainly don't do that." But if there were any questions that put Hillary on the spot, I must have missed them. There were points of agreement on health care and other issues. Joe blamed himself for being part of the impeachment effort and closed with a bouquet for Hillary's "unifying" presence.
David German, the AP movie writer, reported that notorious liberal bomb-thrower and fact-fudger, Michael Moore “is under investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department for taking ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba for a segment in his upcoming health-care documentary 'Sicko.' " The May 10 article seemed very matter of fact, but Moore and his movies were presented from the perspective that the filmmaker is controversial but accurate and is persecuted by his “adversaries.”
The AP indicated that the Treasury Department is investigating Moore because he did not follow the law. The AP obtained a copy of a letter, dated May 2, sent by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which informed Moore that it was investigating potential violations of the US trade embargo which restricts US travel to Cuba. According to an unnamed source affiliated with “Sicko,” this past February, Moore took ill Ground Zero workers to Cuba for “treatment” (my use of irony quotes because Cuba used new and unproven procedures. Emphasis mine throughout):
"This office has no record that a specific license was issued authorizing you to engage in travel-related transactions involving Cuba," Dale Thompson, OFAC chief of general investigations and field operations, wrote in the letter to Moore.
Bush derangement syndrome strikes again, this time in Indianapolis, Indiana where the Indianapolis Star reports that students of the U of Indiana's Dentistry class have been caught in a massive cheating scandal. Naturally, it's all Bush's fault according to one of the so-called experts the paper interviewed for their article.
Apparently 16 students were suspended because they hacked their school computer system to get passwords that would open electronic teaching materials that contained the answers to upcoming tests. An additional 21 were given letters of reprimand for knowing of the cheating and not saying anything to school officials, a breach of the school's code of professional conduct.
So how is this all Bush's fault?
Because there's no WMDs in Iraq says Dr. Anne Koerber, an associate professor of dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.