CNN Airs Sympathetic Report on Latest Michael Moore Project

Jason Carroll, CNN Correspondent; & Kiran Chetry, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgOn Tuesday’s American Morning, anchor Kiran Chertry and correspondent Jason Carroll failed to mention the left-wing politics of filmmaker Michael Moore during a report about his latest project, which targets the financial industry, and included a sound bite from People Magazine’s Leah Rozen, who expressed a desire to “see Michael Moore spank Wall Street.” Carroll emphasized Moore’s credentials, and agreed with Chetry that many would rush to assist him: “They loved that ‘gotcha’ kind of filmmaking, and Michael Moore does it better than no one else and he’s about to do it again.”

The segment on Moore’s new production began with a clip from “Sicko,” his last movie, as Chetry announced that “the controversial filmmaker is setting his sights on Wall Street. He’s actively recruiting people who’ve worked in the financial sector to expose what he calls the biggest swindle in U.S. history.” As she introduced Carroll, the anchor continued that Moore “probably has a rapt audience at this point, because everything that’s happened with this financial crisis and a lot of people are blaming Wall Street.”

The correspondent couldn’t have agreed more with Chetry’s assessment: “Absolutely, you know, and also they loved that ‘gotcha’ kind of filmmaking, and Michael Moore does it better than no one else and he’s about to do it again. Michael Moore says he’s looking for a few good men and women to spill the beans and help him take on Wall Street....Now, his Web site says, ‘Will you help me with my next film?’ The ‘you’ Moore is referring to, is anyone who works at a bank, brokerage firm, or insurance company to come forward and share what he calls the real deal about the abuses in the financial industry.”

Carroll then played Rozen’s “spank” remark, as well as a clip from another critic, who expressed his excitement over “the idea of Michael Moore taking on Wall Street.” He later included the reactions of four unidentified workers to the new project. One labeled the filmmaker “anti-American.”

While Chetry twice labeled Moore “controversial,” and mentioned how “some people think he’s very anti-American and has -- it comes, you know, with a point of view,” neither she nor Carroll mentioned what specific point of view he holds.

The full transcript of the Chetry/Caroll segment on Moore, which began 18 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour of Tuesday’s American Morning:

MICHAEL MOORE (on-camera): So this is where people come to pay their bill when they’re done staying in the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: No, this is the NHS hospital, so you don’t pay the bill.

MOORE: Why does it say cashier here if people don’t have to pay a bill?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Those who have reduced means get their traffic expenses reimbursed.

MOORE (voice-over): So in British hospitals, instead of money going in to the cashier’s window, money comes out.

KIRAN CHETRY: All right. Welcome back to the most news in the morning. That was a scene from the Michael Moore documentary Sicko, which took on America’s health care industry. Now, the controversial filmmaker is setting his sights on Wall Street. He’s actively recruiting people who’ve worked in the financial sector to expose what he calls the biggest swindle in U.S. history.

CNN's Jason Carroll is following the story. He probably has a rapt audience at this point --

JASON CARROLL: Oh, yeah.

CHETRY: Because everything that’s happened with this financial crisis and a lot of people are blaming Wall Street.

CARROLL: Absolutely, you know, and also they loved that ‘gotcha’ kind of filmmaking, and Michael Moore does it better than no one else and he’s about to do it again. Michael Moore says he’s looking for a few good men and women to spill the beans and help him take on Wall Street. He’s already taken on the health care industry, the auto industry, and the gun lobby in his films. Now, his Web site says, ‘Will you help me with my next film?’ The ‘you’ Moore is referring to, is anyone who works at a bank, brokerage firm, or insurance company to come forward and share what he calls the real deal about the abuses in the financial industry. Some critics are already looking forward to it.

LEAH ROZEN, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Do I want to see Michael Moore spank Wall Street? Yeah, I want to see Michael Moore spank Wall Street.

JOSHUA ROTHKOPF, TIME OUT MAGAZINE: Michael Moore represents part of the chorus that should be there. I think if all documentaries were sort of like Michael Moore movies -- that might be a little much -- but at the same time, I personally am excited about the idea of Michael Moore taking on Wall Street.

CARROLL (off-camera): Moore is asking Wall Street workers to spill the beans, if they have information they think the American people need to hear. The question is, will Wall Street want to help? We asked some workers and got some mixed reaction.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I think that he’ll put everybody on the spot and keep everyone on their toes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: His opinion is -- his viewpoint is so slanted that it’s really difficult to believe anything that he puts on film.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #4: I just think his whole mind-set is very anti-American, and I don’t think he’s the right person to ask about anything, quite honestly.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #5: Well, I think any time Michael Moore targets you, you should be worried.

CARROLL (on-camera): Well, Moore says it’s up to anyone with information to quote,’step up and be an American and do your duty to help shed some light on the financial collapse.’ He also says any correspondence with him will be kept confidential, that is, of course, unless you agree to participate in his film, and if you’ve seen some of his past films, you know that you’re going to be in there.

CHETRY: Right. It’s very interesting, a very controversial figure. You heard some people think he’s very anti-American and has -- it comes, you know, with a point of view.

CARROLL: Yeah.

CHETRY: And there are others who say, I can’t wait to see what he does, because he does shed light on some things.

CARROLL: Yeah. You heard from the critics. They’re looking forward to it.

CHETRY: Yes. Exactly. All right. Jason Carroll, thanks so much.

CARROLL: All right.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center