Michael Moore and his Media Enablers

I can never decide whether the journalists who cover health care are dishonest or just plain dumb. Having read various reports about the porcine provocateur’s latest film, Sicko, I’m inclined toward the latter conclusion. Only sheer stupidity can explain the apparent credulity with which the various media have reported Moore’s agitprop. An illustrative example can be found in this report from Reuters:

In Sicko [Moore] turns his attention to health, asking why 50 million Americans, 9 million of them children, live without cover (sic), while those that (sic) are insured are often driven to poverty by spiraling costs or wrongly refused treatment at all.

Nowhere in the article does the Reuters reporter question any of these data, despite readily accessible studies showing them to be highly suspect and, in some cases, transparently counterfactual. And Reuters is not an isolated case. FOX News is among the many media outlets that guilelessly parrot the party line:

Moore smartly lets very articulate average Americans tell their personal horror stories at the hands of insurance companies.

It has apparently never occured to the FOX correspondent that this kind of anecdotal evidence is usually deployed so that its sensational effect will distract the public from inconvenient facts.

I suppose it would be futile to suggest that the national debate over health care reform is too important for such mindless journalism, and that the public deserves more than uncritical repetition of tendentious talking points. Nonetheless, more responsible reporting would consitute a real public service.

Comments 9

  1. MoleOnABull wrote:

    That’s Reuters for ya… but FOX? Yea, it’s shameful that the media is gving this wacko so much credibility. All of the MSM is eager to regurgitate this stuff.

    Posted 20 May 2007 at 10:14 pm
  2. actor212 wrote:

    Question for ya:

    How do you know the factual material is wrong and can be easily refuted? You haven’t seen the movie yet!

    And besides, Moore has promised (if you had read the article carefully) to post all his background work on his website. I’m assuming, naturally, you wouldn’t have gone there, needing, you know, a passport to travel to earth.

    :-)

    Posted 21 May 2007 at 8:23 am
  3. Catron wrote:

    YOu’re not paying attention, actor212. The “highly suspect” data to which I refer are are found in the first quote (from Reuters) that I provide in the post.

    Posted 21 May 2007 at 9:21 am
  4. actor212 wrote:

    Errrr, Reuters used his press release, Catron. Surely you don’t think their enterntainment department did a feasibility study of the health care crisis, do you?

    So that means, you’ll need to go to MichaelMoore.com and get the background study on which he based that number.

    Posted 21 May 2007 at 9:45 am
  5. jerry shapiro wrote:

    i think i know the answer to this question, but i have to ask: mr. catron, r u seriously contending that we have an
    even adequate health care system in the US?

    Posted 21 May 2007 at 10:00 am
  6. MoleOnABull wrote:

    actor212,

    So if you went to MM.com and looked up the “information,” you wouldn’t even think to question it for its integrity?

    Because it’s on MM.com, therefore it must be accurate. Surely that not what you’re saying, is it?

    Posted 21 May 2007 at 10:11 am
  7. actor212 wrote:

    Mole,

    No, I’m not saying that.

    I’m saying you guys won’t even go that far.

    And yet you claim Moore is distorting a truth that you won’t even bother to investigate, because you’ve sucked the Kool Aid teat dry.

    Posted 21 May 2007 at 1:31 pm
  8. Catron wrote:

    Mr. Shapiro, I’m not saying that the system is perfect. In fact, I think it is in need of serious reform.

    My main point is that Moore and his media sycophants are doing the public a disservice by being so irresponsible.

    Posted 21 May 2007 at 1:40 pm
  9. MoleOnABull wrote:

    actor212,

    Well, you can generalize all you want… that may be true of some people. In fact, surely it’s true on both sides. I know what I do, and what I look into, and what I research… before making my statements. But of course, you would have no way of knowing that… and I have no way of proving that to you.

    But again, remember, this doesn’t JUST happen on one side.

    Posted 21 May 2007 at 5:33 pm

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