CNN's Blitzer Plugs Michael Moore, Support from 'People at Your Bedside'
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)
Below is a transcript of both the segment from the 5:00 hour and the one from the 7:00 hour, including some of the plugs that aired during the June 12 The Situation Room, with critical portions in bold:
WOLF BLITZER, in a plug at 4:28 p.m.: And the man behind the film Fahrenheit 9/11 turns his lens to the nation's health care system. Michael Moore is up to something today in California that may anger some people, just as his new film Sicko suggests the health care industry is driven by greed.
BLITZER, at 5:18 p.m. before commercial break: Coming up, he's taken on big money, the NRA, and the Iraq war. Now, filmmaker Michael Moore is going after the issue of health care. Why's he getting some unexpected support from people at your hospital bedside?
BLITZER, at 5:50 p.m.: The controversial filmmaker Michael Moore is stirring things up in the Golden State. The maker of the new documentary entitled Sicko was over at the California state capitol today. Nurses joined him on the capitol steps for a rally. CNN's Brooke Anderson is joining us now. I take it there's stuff going on behind you, Brooke. Tell our viewers what Moore is hoping to accomplish today.
BROOKE ANDERSON: Right. As you say, the rally is happening right behind me now. It's wrapping up, actually. It's been very energetic, a lot of singing and dancing and chanting. But Michael Moore is here, along with nurses from all across the country, and they are hoping to bring attention to the U.S. health care industry and the problems they feel plague the current system. Of course, Michael Moore's appearance is in conjunction with the upcoming release of his latest film, Sicko, which is a blistering look at U.S. health care. Moore and these nurses want guaranteed health care for everybody. They want for-profit insurance companies eliminated. Moore testified at a legislative briefing here today on health care reform, and during his testimony he lashed out at the insurance industry. Listen to this.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: To ask that question, where is the profit here? How is this going to affect our bottom line? How are we going to make money off this sick person? That's, I mean, 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?
ANDERSON: After this rally wraps up, Moore and these nurses are going to march about four blocks, Wolf, to a theater for a special screening of Sicko. So it really seems that the promotional push for the movie and also Moore's message is in full swing.
BLITZER: What about the federal investigation that the government is undertaking about his trip to Cuba?
ANDERSON: Right. Michael Moore is being investigated right now by the U.S. Treasury Department for the trip he took in March to Cuba. He took three ailing 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba for medical treatment. And the U.S. government, the Treasury Department, says it's reviewing whether that trip violated the trade embargo against Cuba restricting travel to that country. The U.S. Treasury Department tells us it does not comment on investigations. Moore asserts he has broken no laws, that he traveled there under a provision for journalists, and he calls the investigation harassment.
BLITZER, at 7:40 p.m.: The filmmaker Michael Moore has taken on the NRA, the Iraq war, lots of other subjects. Now the director of the new documentary Sicko is going after health care, and he's getting support from nurses, at least a lot of nurses. CNN's Brooke Anderson is joining us now from Sacramento. What was Moore hoping to accomplish, Brooke, today in California's capitol?
BROOKE ANDERSON: Moore was here today, hoping to bring attention, Wolf, to the U.S. health care industry and the problems he feels plague the current system. He participated in a rally with 1,000 nurses from across the country. He also testified at a legislative briefing supporting a bill proposing universal health care and also the elimination of for-profit insurance companies. During his testimony Moore really lashed out at insurance companies. Listen to this.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: To ask that question, where is the profit here, how is this going to effect our bottom line, how are we going to make money off this sick person? That's, I mean, 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?
ANDERSON: Moore's visit, of course, in conjunction with the release of his newest film Sicko later this month. And if you think the movie is another indictment of the Bush administration, like Fahrenheit 9/11, that's really not the case. It's equal opportunity bashing of politicians, including Hillary Clinton. The movie takes aim at the health care industry in general. And that, of course, crosses party lines. Wolf?
BLITZER: What does the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's out there in California, what does he have to say about all of this?
ANDERSON: Yeah, Governor Schwarzenegger was here today working in the capitol. He had private meetings on unrelated issues. So we didn't see him, nor did we hear from him on Moore's visit and what was happening today. But Schwarzenegger in the past has vetoed legislation similar to the bill being discussed today, being touted by Moore. Schwarzenegger clearly opposed to government-run health care, socialized medicine. So this bill will probably be met with some resistance from the governor.