Why Moore is Framed as a Sicko

Michael Moore is an amazing film maker.  He brings issues to light in a way that really drives home the side of the narrative the media leaves on the plate next to the soupy mashed peas.

And the media jumps all over him.  Every fucking article has to call attention to controversy and factual errors.  This one NPR piece sums up the strength of that criticism by example:

Instantly, critics attacked Moore for fudging facts to strengthen his case, or to make Roger & Me funnier. Film Comment magazine cited several examples, including a sequence in which displaced workers met in a pizza parlor with Ronald Reagan — then a presidential candidate — although that point wasn’t made clear.

“None of Reagan’s luncheon guests got back into the factory in the ensuing years,” Moore narrated. “And the only bright spot to come out to the affair was the individual who ‘borrowed’ the restaurant’s cash register on the way out of the door.”

Actually, the cash register was stolen a day or so before Reagan’s visit. Moore attributes the discrepancy to a misstatement by the restaurant’s owner. But such glitches prompted Pauline Kael, the late New Yorker film critic, to label the film “a piece of Gonzo demagoguery.”

He gets something like that wrong, and he’s jumped and labelled a damn “Gonzo”.

And he is quick to take on those who question him.

“This is the typical NPR: afraid of being accused of having liberal bias — so, let’s make sure we attack him enough in this piece,” Moore said.

Actually, that is fair criticism.  The article is quick to attack, and does have a measuring cup feel to it.  I think the problem is with those who question our society.  The people who really dig deep and question the essential issues strike a nerve, and the upper crust snake bites right back.  Michael Moore is painted as a nutjob so consistently because he is so effective driving his point home.  And it is a good point my friends.  That is why there is such an effort to discredit the man.  But to his great credit, that doesn’t stop him.  And his work is appreciated:

Rose Ann DeMoro is executive director of the California Nurses Association. When her group had a rally in Sacramento a few weeks ago, the local media covered a frog-jumping contest instead. Moore, she said, “brings light” to the health care issue.

This is an issue that needs light.  Health Care has a profound effect on where and how we work, how long and how well we live, if we live, spending power, debt, arguably everything.  If you don’t have your health, you’ve got nothing.  And its past time we started talking about health in a way that brings quick effective action.

Overcompensating once again nails it with a rant:

The opponents of socialized medicine argue that if it implemented, the quality of care will decrease because of minimized financial incentives for doctors. Not only is this not the case in every country that has socialized medicine, last time I went to the doctor he reached in his desk and pulled out a Zoloft starter kit, whipped out a pen with a Pfizer logo on it, and prepared to write me a prescription for a drug designed to make me less worried about the state of health care. How is a less costly, government-run health care system somehow inferior to this profit-driven, more expensive model?

This is what Michael Moore has set out to challenge.  The alternatives (via NPR) are more than attractive:

“Everyone, anyone can go to the hospital, can go to a doctor and never have to worry about paying a bill,” Moore said. “And those countries – Britain, France, Canada — the people in those countries all live longer than we do.”

And just imagine the freedom of knowing your health is taken care of.

There is so much else in life, and good health is what gets us there.

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6 Responses

  1. As Moore said on The View the other day, we socialized education, fire and police services, why not socialize healthcare if it is a common good? The profit motive is literally killing people and few seem to care.

  2. Moore terrifies the ruling elites.

    He’s the ultimate thorn-in-the-side of industries and lawmakers and they hold him in contempt for it.

  3. bloggernista, very well said. It really is killing people, and making life hell for many, many more.

    Chris, they do, but given the success of his previous films, I think a lot of people see beyond the spin. But a lot do not, and it is easy to play a “reasonable” liberal by trashing Moore.

  4. Sicko has forces that kill people for profit ranged against it, so expect a hell of a fight. But this should be the beginning of socialised healthcare for the US, it’s the 21st century for chrissakes. Enough cruelty that serves the rich already. (it is torrented and the rumour is that is an intentional leak).

  5. RickB, absolutely. This will be quite the fight.
    Having Moore’s movie out there should have an impact.
    We really need another Upton Sinclair on health care in the US.

  6. What some insight into Michael Moore thinking? Read the entire “Public Health Crunch” blog before you see the movie! (http://phcrunch.wordpress.com/) This weeks topic is titled “Are CMEs becoming infomercials?”.

    Past topics included: “Patient dumping” and “Me too drugs”

    Take care.

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