Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Michael Moore lays it down

Michael Moore rips into Wolf Blitzer after CNN runs a hit piece on "Sicko."

The problem with Moore has nothing to do with Moore himself. The right wants to personify the enemy -- they want one or two individuals to represent "the left." Then it becomes easy to take down those one or two people. Every Achilles has a heel.

Such was the Rovian plan of action at the beginning of this administration. But something happened: A mass movement began. The left cannot be reduced to one or two guys. Bush does not face an Achilles: He faces an army.

That said, I gotta admit -- in this segment, Moore is indeed as mighty a warrior as Achilles was.

By the way -- here is Moore's point-by-point response to the demonstrable lies told by Sanjay Gupta, CNN's attack-hack. Example:
CNN: In fact, Americans live just a little bit longer than Cubans on average.


* Just the opposite. The 2006 United Nations Human Development Report's human development index states the life expectancy in the United States is 77.5 years. It is 77.6 years in Cuba. (Human Development Report 2006, United Nations Development Programme, 2006 at 283. http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf)


Anonymous said...

I thought he was overly strident and difficult to listen to. How can he participate in subsequent reasoned debate of the issues?

Most people will now turn him off. He strayed off-topic, didn't bring these point-by-point retorts in his remarks on camera (like he should have in a reasonable way). Sure CNN is unfair or whatever, that doesn't mean you have the right to act like a sicko.

I was rooting for him and his cause and the exposure he's given to it. Now I hope he goes away. He's an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Nice! also check out this...


Perry Logan said...

Demanding an apology from Blitzer was a stroke of genius!

It strikes me that every American should demand an apology from every Republican--this in preparation for shipping the feckless old pedophiles out of our country once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Moore spoke for every man and woman shoved aside, disregarded, and disrespected, who has then turned out to be right. We've all had the shoved aside experience, I suspect, at some point. Some of us have had the chance for recognition of our initial accuracy or wisdom. But, damn, who gets to deliver the smack down on the perps home turf? Very few.

Moore was right about Iraq in F/911, and much more; he is right about health care; he is dead on target with his handling of Wolfie.

Remember the Jon Stewart smack down. That cost CNN a show. This effort on their part may cost them much more.

Gupta made one huge error. He mentioned "fudging" on Moore's part. That implies awareness that you're fudging before the fact. That's defamatory unless you can prove it and utterly uncalled for. Sanjay, stand up and take your correction tonight.

People hate the news networks, the mainstream media in general. They have no confidence in them. They know they've been betrayed. Moore's smack down will resonate for weeks, months, years to come.

Thank you Michael Moore!!!!!

Anonymous said...

How could anyone criticize Michael Moore, he told those cnn jerks nothing but the truth. This commentor who says that Moore is an embarrassment is the real embarrassment. That this country still has so many people that can't think for themselves amazes me. Wake up people! This guy is a perfect example of what happens when you let the big business controlled media do your thinking for you. We need to put some of our tax money into saving lives instead of taking so many lives in a bogus war. How about we spend some money on universal healthcare instead of billions on this war?

Anonymous said...

I had that on in the background while working at my PC today. I didn't even listen to it, or turn to watch (weird how tv does that to you). Anyway, it's always great to see Wolfy get blitzed.

By the way, I am Canadian and I can say that the American system is really incomprehensible to us. Moore makes some very good points and analogies in the movie. The corporations effectively scared the public, and its representatives, into submission by incessant propaganda ("Socialism, Socialism!") from the beginning. Socialized medicine - big deal! Everybody pays taxes for socialized police, fire and education as Moore correctly points out; why is the health of your children and elders any less important?

Another good point, perhaps the best in the movie, is the fact that France has such a good health care system, in large part because the government fears the people. Ha! Try that one on for size! What an ingenious concept. I seem to remember something along those lines from say, oh I don't know, Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and Adams.

Here in Canada we're not known for revolutions (what an understatement!), however I can assure you - and you can confirm it with every single Canuck - that there surely would be a bloody and messy one if the system were privatized.

Anonymous said...

So now I'm an embarrassement ? :)

I never watch CNN (online or on tv), ever. I was at a friend's house and it was in the background. It's very small to think he got anywhere because he dissed Blitzer. I mean, who cares? Blitzer's not the problem. Jeez.

(here's a petite lesson. Blitzer's on because of other reasons and because he has an audience. Let's face it. I'm not his audience, are you? Anyway, the real problems with media are elsewhere. )

Maybe moore has some sort of point but in chasing that point he lost the others. He shouldn't have tried to solve everything (CNN, Blitzer, the media, truthiness, etc.) at once.

Ok, so 10% of the public really liked his nasty (ok, strident) behavior. Maybe. Those folks didn't need convincing, now did they? To repeat, I would have liked to have had Moore as part of the reasoned debate about what's to come. He's not the only expert, I don't think he'd qualify as an expert. But he has a perspective and some research and a valid point of view. However, his demeanor means he won't participate in any reasoned debate in the future. That's just the way he is. It's ok. It's just disappointing (to me). And, he was an embarrassement to those of us in the room, all of whom were professionals and sympathetic to his message. I couldn't listen. Others mentioned they won't be going to his movie because of his idiotic behavior. I think he's quirky... and overweight, but that's just him. He's not an Alfred Hitchcock or some great artist, though he acts like one. Maybe he is.

I realize that bashing the press or whatever is a fun game... but that's all it is, a game. In some weird world you think you live in, I guess you think it might make a difference. It won't, doesn't, can't.

All this doesn't take away from the problems we have in healthcare, which we already knew of, or in his contributions to bringing that to the fore. He's a magnificent man and force for doing that.

And concerning Blitzer... I've always had a negative opinion. But lately he seems to be growing (I don't watch him but he's effing everywhere). He had major perspective problems years ago but he's not necessarily the same. Moore was dissing him for his performance years ago (no doubt deserved... but on a national broadcast of another subject?).

And is it good form to diss Sanjay Gupta by whining about being mistreated by CNN? I don't think so anyway and Gupta's report wasn't that controversial but could have provided a platform for nailing some of those important points he later posted on his website. People aren't idiots. Obviously Moore had some issues with the last treatment he had on CNN three years ago. Hope he got it all out.

Anonymous said...


I used to be a fan of CNN but that was another day. It seems like CNN is trying to out FOX FOX.


Anonymous said...

Here is my review of Michael Moore I wrote for my local indipendent paper:


Lame-o - or Watching Michael Moore’s CNN Blitzkrieg
- and Listening to Nader

Commentary by Bob Boldt

It is impossible for me to relate to you the cathartic rush I feel whenever I hear the truth forcefully spoken by people of courage and integrity. It is an experience that I rarely have while watching CNN or the rest of the “Liberal“ media. There are exceptions:

On Monday, on CNN’s Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer took heat from Michael Moore during an interview about the release of his latest film, Sicko. Some have criticized Moore’s confrontational style as demagogic. Well at least if he is - he is our demagogue! What was remarkable about the confrontation that Moore initiated with Blitzer was not just his point by point refutation of CNN’s Medical Editor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s attempt to distort Moore’s indictment of American Healthcare or Moore’s taking Blitzer, CNN and Gupta to task for the cheerleading of the Iraqi War, but Blitzer’s lame attempts to avoid actually answering the questions Moore raised about these issues. I have excerpted a few responses here to emphasize Wolf Blitzer’s attempts to deflect Moore’s “Blitzkrieg”. Not all the comments are quoted in their entirety:

Moore - “You fudged the facts to the American people now for I don’t know how long about this issue (healthcare), about the war. And I’m just curious, when are you going to just stand there and apologize to the American people for not bringing the truth to them that isn’t sponsored by some major corporation? I mean, I’ll sit here for as long as it takes, if you can do that for me.”

Blitzer - “Alright, well, just to be -- in fairness, we had a lot of commercials for Sicko that we’ve been running on CNN, as well, so, you know, we have commercials. This is a business, obviously, but let's talk a little bit about one of the -- “

Moore (interrupting) - “I watch CNN. You have it every day: The Daily Dose, sponsored by fill-in-the-blank. And you are funded by these people day in and day out. Don’t even compare that to my movie being out for a couple of weeks and a couple of rinky-dink ads for fifteen seconds.”

Blitzer (deflecting) - “No, no, no. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s record, but I would stack up his record on medical issues with virtually anyone in the business.”

Moore - “I'm going to put the real facts up there on my website so people can see what he just said was absolutely wrong.” [2.]

Blitzer - “Well, if we get that confirmed, obviously, we'll correct the record. Sanjay [3.] -- but I'm just saying…”

Moore - (interrupting) “Oh, you will?

Blitzer - (pretending to be a journalist) “Obviously.”

Moore - “You'll be getting it.”

Blitzer - “Sanjay Gupta is not only a doctor and a neurosurgeon, but he's also an excellent, excellent journalist. (and his dear mother is so proud of her son the doctor! ) Look, I saw the film (Sicko), and it's a powerful, powerful --” ( Wolf is desperately trying to get the interview back on script).

Moore (undeterred) - “Yeah, I saw Dr. Sanjay Gupta over there embedded with the troops at the beginning of the war. He and the others of you in the mainstream media refused to ask our leaders the hard questions and demand the honest answers. …You didn't do the job for us with the war. You're not doing it with this issue (healthcare). And I just wonder when the American people are going to turn off their TV sets and quit listening to this stuff.” [4]

Blitzer - “Sanjay Gupta did an excellent job covering that war. He was with the Navy's medical doctors, and he went in and risked his life, and he actually started to perform some neurosurgery on the scene. (and his mother was so proud) It was --”

Moore - (still keeping poor Wolf’s nose in it) “You have to ask the questions.”

Blitzer (sweating) - “Look --”

Moore - (Like a dog on a bone) “Why are we here? That's the question. Why are we here in this war? Where's the weapons of mass destruction? Why didn't you -- why did it take you so long, Wolf, to finally take on Vice President Cheney? It took you to 2007 before you made the man mad at you.”

Blitzer (crestfallen - but still unwilling to answer) - “Those are fair questions.”

Moore - “I mean, FOUR YEARS!”

Wolf (last try to get Moore “on topic”) - “Look, let's talk a little -”

Moore (triumphant) - “Where were you?”

The real behind the scenes story here is of course that it is virtually impossible for any real dialogue concerning our medical service issues to take place in this country (and any thing more vital than Anna Nicole’s DNA) especially in the corporate media and even on the politicians’ campaign trail speeches, interviews and debates. The reason for Blitzer’s flummoxed responses to the issues Moore raised and his inability to defend CNN’s misrepresentations and lies [5.] is his ultimate loyalty to the corporate sponsors who so dominate the infotainment that most people mistake for journalism in today’s media environment.

The real villain here is not Wolf, Dr. Sanjay, CNN, George W. or even Hillary. It is the great corporate maw into which we are feeding our children’s’ lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. Somehow we the people have to find a way to tame this “robot” [6.] that has been unleashed upon us - programmed to destroy even our earth in the name of profit at all costs.


Ralph Nader was on Democracy Now! [7.] on Tuesday July 10th. I found his analysis of American Fascism [8.] to be dead on. Here are his concluding remarks. They are as close as possible to what should be the preamble to a new Declaration of Independence from Capitalist Corporate Cannibalism.

“And we have to stop making excuses for ourselves. That’s the key. We have to multiply our own civic energies with our neighbors, our relatives, our coworkers, our friends. When that happens, when word of mouth takes over as the prime communications system in this country, nothing can stop it. We have to replace big talk with small talk. And we have to make it apparent to millions of people that striving for justice is one of life’s greatest gratifications. In fact, outside of the family, it is the greatest gratification. Without justice, there’s no such thing as liberty and freedom, there’s no such thing as fulfilling life’s possibilities.” - Ralph Nader

We must somehow put an end to this corporate dominance of our world its resources, its politics, the media and our culture or it will surely put and end to us all.

Bob Boldt


[1.] For a more complete video go to


This streaming video selection contains a more complete interview than was aired on Democracy Now! and includes a less favorable view of Moore’s confrontational style. He appeared on Wolf Blitzer’s show the Situation Room Monday for the first time in three years. Moore took Blitzer to task not only for a piece he had just broadcast on Moore’s new film Sicko about US health care but for his coverage of Iraq.

[2.] Michael Moore’s website


published exactly the lies and misinformation that referenced Gupta’s report in the sound bite.

[3.] To my knowledge, no retraction or correction has yet appeared on CNN. LOL on that one.

[4.] Isn’t it a violation of some regulation or other of the Federal Communications Code to advocate over the airwaves that viewers/listeners turn off of a radio or television receiver as a part of regular commercial program content? This could really get Michael in hot water.

[5.] Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our television industry engineers could develop a program for us like SAP (secondary audio program) that would provide an instant fact check audio to accompany the material being presented by our alleged “Liberal dominated” news broadcast media. I would even settle for a competent SAP euphemism translator. I bet no corporate sponsors could be found for such a service.

[6.] “…(W)e have to structurally, constitutionally -- every way -- subordinate this robot called the corporate entity, not its employees or its people. The robot has to be subordinated to the supremacy of human rights of real individuals. And that shouldn’t be a hard sell, either, if we start talking about these things more often, if we don’t leave it up to Democracy Now! to talk about it, if we don’t leave it up to an occasional TV, you know? An occasional TV, a very occasional TV.” - Ralph Nader

[7.]Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, speaking at a three-day conference on “Taming the Giant Corporation.” Democracy Now anchor, Amy Goodman spoke to him in Washington, D.C. in June.

[8.] “…(T)he clinical definition of “fascism” is when private concentrated economic power takes government away from the people, turns government into a guarantor, a subsidizer, a covering of corporate power. And corporations now have their executives in high government positions. They have 35,000 full-time lobbies here, like the drug companies getting all kinds of subsidies from Congress. And they have 10,000 political action committees.” - Ralph Nader

bboldt2 said...

I finally had the pleasure of watching Michael Moore’s Sicko. I won’t go into details or an extensive review now except to say that it is certainly the best thing he has done to date. In spite of having lost some of its impact by being perhaps a half-hour too long, Sicko is doing what documentaries are best meant to do - using unscripted footage of real people and events to distill the truth in a capsulated form - to open our eyes and raise our awareness. The camera work was slightly improved over his past projects - although still terrible by even the most forgiving “commercial” documentary standards. I think he even pried a few bucks from his wallet for a Steadycam rental in the Paris scenes. I guess - like Cassavetes, bad cinematography will remain pretty much a trademark with Moore.

For me, the most revealing part of the film came during an interview with former MP, Tony Benn [1]who said that democracy mandates things like universal health care. He said that rulers prefer to keep the people in a constant stare of fear, poverty, ill health, low self esteem, depression and despair in order that they may be more easily managed. Later an American in Paris says that “In a democracy the people do not fear the government, the government fears the people.” That is the only way that democracy ever works. That is the only way it can work. I think that the hidden message, or at least the message that must be teased out from Sicko is this: Our poor health care system (at least the way a majority of lower and middle class Americans experience it) is more than just a well designed Capitalist shell game to take from the poor to give to the rich - to harvest big bucks from the rubes. It is, on a more profound level, a magnificent piece of social engineering and crowd control. You are not going to rock the boat if doing so will put your career and family in jeopardy. How many people in this country hold jobs just for the illusion of healthcare for themselves and their loved ones? Daniel Ellsberg, not too long ago, made an eloquent plea for whistleblowers to come forward. [2.] He begged them to lift the lid of secrecy about the plans concerning the build up to the Iraqi war He spoke to the members of the military and especially the compliant Pentagon bureaucracy to act as he had done in his Pentagon Papers revelations, to bring forth the documents that can indict this administration. Is it any wonder no one comes forward? Why do you suppose only the safely retired generals have the temerity to question Bush’s war policy? Who is brave enough to risk job and career and family for one stupid act of bravery and patriotism? And it is just the military that demands obedience, and silence. Multiply this by the millions of wage slaves all across this land and your will see the dystopian vision of 1984 perfectly incarnated.

The peculiar brilliance of Moore’s strategy is that it is directed at working-class people. The blue-collars in this country have been perhaps the most singularly disenfranchised of all. These were the people who deserted the union halls and the Democratic Party to march lemming-like to the Gipper’s pipe-song. These are the ones who give the phone boards of Limbaugh and Hannity that constant Christmas glow. They rant against taxation for the rich, socialized medicine and delight in cutting their own throats. These are the people Michael Moore is targeting. I know the progressives and the intellectuals love him. He could care less if he is idolized by the left and excoriated by the right. His message is for the worker at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, the unemployed steel worker, the secretaries and all the other grist for the millers. These are the masses that must be moved and Michael is the man to move them.

I do not despair. The truth is coming out whether our masters like it or not. All the heat and pressure of this most interesting of times is distilling the real issues into a heady reductive brew. Never have the contradictions of power and the hypocrisy of those who would sell us and our future out for their own gain been more obvious or set in higher relief. This discontent does not reside only in the enlightened. It is gnawing as well at those the elites would call the “great unwashed”. That is why there is so much displaced anger in the land and why I’m sure guys like Limbaugh and Hannity must feel at times distinctly uneasy in their precarious. seating atop this tiger. After all, they will be the first ones eaten when their “ditto heads” begin to awaken. These people will not listen to the “liberal media,” academics, the politicians, or even their ministers. They will listen to guys like Michael Moore.

The most difficult journey a human being can make is from the zone of comfort to the frontier of action. This is a transition we Americans must soon effect if there is to be any hope for our society or for the world. We have to lay aside so many comfortable assumptions that have stayed so long that, like the air we breathe, we no longer even recognize them as separate from ourselves. “Drive your Chevrolet; in the USA; America’s the greatest land of all!” [3.] Dina Shore belted out of the speakers of our TVs over a half a century ago. Still today the tune springs more effortlessly into my mind than the Lord’s Prayer or the pledge of allegiance. This land we love is crumbling around us. We have shirked our responsibilities long enough: tilting at windmills not building them; watching Reality TV in place of good documentaries; accepting HMO membership as a substitute for a responsible, healthy life.

I am a believer in the power of the gods. As a professed atheist, I suppose my argument might be dismissed as a mere belief in metaphor. Yet there is a force here I cannot confidently explain away. The more the monotheists suppress these gods (and the forces they control) under their theocratic banner, the stronger they become. One of the most powerful of all the gods is the apparently unassuming trickster-god: Elegua [4.]Coyote, Till Eulenspeils, Br'er Rabbit, etc. His delight is in the upsetting of our best laid plans. His specialty is the destruction of the schemes of the rich and powerful - those pompous egos who think themselves invincible - the titanic Richard Cheneys of our world. I tell you this whole house of cards is coming apart on them. The gods - especially the gods of mischief and chaos, are already fouling all their little projects. Our rulers are as yet too blind to even notice the strands tightening around their ankles, preparing them for the great fall. Soon now it all will come crashing down. Every day I view with delight some new scandal. Even though I mourn the death of any one - from Saddam Hussein to Pat Tillman, I still view each disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan with hope. Finally the downy cheeked recruits and the third mission soldiers alike are awakening to the reality of the futility of this “search abroad for monsters to destroy.” This slogan of American Imperialism is even less tenable today than it was when Quincy Adams warned us off it 200 years ago.

From Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, The Iceman Cometh , The Wizard of Oz to A Face in the Crowd, literature and film are replete with examples of sudden transformations - of the instantaneous, catastrophic dropping of the illusions and the metamorphoses of a demagogue into plaything of the gods, hustler and pathetic confidence man in a single revelatory event. We are not beyond this happening today. In spite of all their power and seemingly unbreakable hold on the means of persuasion and mass hypnosis they are not immune from error and horrid miscalculation. The people only seem to slumber, only seem to be beyond shock and awe. They have been greatly bloodied of late and are growing steadily more tired of the diet of putrid meat the lackeys at the Wall Street Journal, The Weak-ly Standard, Fox and The NYT expect them to wolf down without first smelling it.

That is why the strident cries of the political hacks who would cheerlead on this dying , toxic administration in its final hour end up only amplifying its death rattle. That is why the loyal opposition candidates who, in spite of all their inept attempts at manipulation, still seem so wooden and devoid of conviction.

To my mind we have two things we must do with this emerging consciousness. First, Like the addict who awakens one morning and can no longer excuse the excrement and the filth he is lying in and vows to change his way of living at all cost, we must throw off these appetites and these rulers who have so for long punished us, soothed us and given us our fixes. And yet it is not enough just to clear the ground. Second, we must have a plan to build anew and not just fall back into some equally pernicious comfort - some new addiction. The tearing down will be painful not the least for the reason that the institutions we will be smashing must first be smashed within ourselves. We must take the AA (Amerika Anonymous) pledge. This is a difficult task and not everyone can do it. Most are content merely to go along and get along. All that is needed is that a few of us, those of us who have had this vision beyond the present hopelessness, must lead with courage and with love. We know there is a better way. This close to the brink of doom, there is no other way.


[1.] Sicko interview clip with Tony Benn:


“Choice depends on the freedom to choose and if you’re shackled with debt you don’t have the freedom to choose. People in debt become hopeless and hopeless people don’t vote. I think if the poor in Britain or the United States turned out and voted for people who represented their interests it would be a real democratic revolution. So (they are for) keeping people hopeless and pessimistic I think there are two ways in which people are controlled. First of all, frighten people and secondly demoralize them. An educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to govern and I think there is an element in the thinking of some people: ‘we don’t want people to be educated, healthy and confident because they would get out of control.’ The top one percent of the world’s population owns eighty percent of the world’s wealth. It’s incredible that people put up with it. But they’re poor, they’re demoralized, they’re frightened and therefore they think perhaps the safest thing to do is to take orders and hope for the best.”

[2.] Ellsberg said that he hopes someone with access to documents about the U.S. government’s plans for war with Iran will come forward. “By taking that risk,” he said, “they’d have a high chance of averting a catastrophe that would lead to the deaths of tens, hundreds of thousands of people and disastrously reduce our security.”
Ellsberg at a speech to the 46th annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in Portland, Ore., June 20–24, 2007.http


[3.] “Shore pioneered the prime-time color variety show with the Chevrolet Sponsored The Dinah Shore Chevy Show starting in October 1956 on NBC and running on Sunday nights until the end of the 1963 season. Dinah Shore helped make the low-priced Chevrolet automobile the most widely selling car up to that point in history.”

“See the USA in your Chevrolet
America is asking you to call
Drive your Chevrolet through the USA
America's the greatest land of all

On a highway, or a road along the levee
Performance is sweeter, nothing can beat her
Life is completer in a Chevy”


“I started singin’,
"bye-bye, miss American pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.”

American Pie - Don McClean


[5.] ELEGUA: Trickster God of Crossroads, Beginnings and Opportunity.

He's the Guardian of the Crossroads of Life. Whenever there are decisions to be made, he provides opportunities and second chances. If you're lucky. As a Trickster God, the childlike ELEGUA can sometimes make things even more complicated. At a whim he can turn a simple choice into a vast conundrum of paradox.

He's also messenger to the higher Gods, particularly OLORUN, and he does like to be noticed. He's partial to cigars and rum, but he is very good with children. His day is Monday — so you can start the week well under his ministrations. His colour coding is red and black.