July 20, 2007

Guest post: "Sicko" commentary

(The following was featured in the Greensboro (NC) News and Record from regular Colossus reader Fred Gregory.)

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Not everyone fawns over Moore's film

The following is a Counterpoint

By Fred Gregory

I started thinking about the Michael Moore film,"Sicko," after reading David Hoggard's June 20 column. Hoggard said, "The main point Moore made to me through his movie is that we take the least care of those who need it most."

Hoggard got taken in by Moore's use of elisions, anecdotes and flawed claims. He concluded by urging his readers to see the movie, get angry and change things. Hoggard is, no doubt, suggesting that the United States exchange a great deal of its excellent health care for more access to more people. This paean for universal health care is a bargain I am not willing to make.

I assumed the News & Record's editors would provide some balance in the days to come. Was I ever wrong! Go Triad June 28 featured a flattering review of the film. In the same edition on D1 was a puff piece interview of Moore. It was unquestioning and obviously the work of an incurious journalist. The following day, the Clarence Page column fawned over the film.

I was still looking for something even remotely in disagreement with the conventional wisdom at the News & Record, and the July 1 Ideas section caught my eye with two columns juxtaposed above a photo of Moore and large bold fonts, "Critically Ill," which raised hopes for a dissenting view on the movie. I should have known better. All the same vacuous stuff warmed over.

Moore has used exaggerations, omissions, trickery, cinematic sleight of hand and falsehoods to score his points in his other works. Despite what we haven't seen in the News & Record about "Sicko," there has been a torrent of criticism of both Moore's techniques and his advocacy for a single-payer system from a broad cross-section of diverse media outlets.

For examples: The Washington Post ("Filmmaker, heal thyself"); USA Today; The New Yorker ("Do No Harm"); Reason magazine ("'Shticko': A clumsy piece of agitprop which will win few converts"). Even MTV's Kurt Loder mercilessly attacked the film, asking, "Is Moore's prescription worse than the disease?" One of these columnists labeled the one-sided documentary, "Moore's Anemic Checkup."

The film has been widely panned, and there were many contrary viewpoints available, but for some reason the News & Record has chosen not to touch them.

Well, folks, in the words of P.J. O'Rourke : "If you think health care is expensive now, wait 'til you see what it costs when it's free."

(Article link.)

Posted by Hube at July 20, 2007 03:30 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Under a single-payer, government underwritten healthcare insurance program, the younger and healthier will pay more than zero, and the ill folks will pay less than a fortune. That's what insurance is all about, isn't it. This is the theme of Sicko, presented with a flare that only Michael Moore knows how to ignite, all for a good cause!

Posted by: Perry Hood at July 20, 2007 11:35 PM

Hey Perry: Do you believe Americans should have the right to choose their own doctor and pay over and above any "single payer" payment for medical treatment if they so desired?

Posted by: Hube at July 21, 2007 11:24 AM

Of course, Hube, which is basically the way Medicare works. Implicit in your question is the requirement for a definition of just what constitutes the basic health care for which everyone needs to have access to by virtue of affordable insurance premiums.

Posted by: Perry Hood at July 22, 2007 02:59 PM

Michael Moore is big fat slug that uses one sided, non facutal, chauvinistic rehtoric in search of truth -- he makes money at. Don't waste yours going to see SICKO.

Posted by: D. Michael Agin at July 25, 2007 05:33 PM