Image: Boston Tea Party, 1773
That's why anybody who hears anything of what you say now about universal healthcare should question what you're saying, what you're putting out there. You didn't do the job for us with the war. You're not doing it with this issue. And I just -- I just wonder when the American people are going to turn off their TV sets and quit listening to this stuff. Michael Moore on CNN, 7-9-07
Hard Rain Journal 7-11-07: Michael Moore Brings Us Closer to A 2nd Boston Tea Party, But Not Just Boston, All Over the USA, & Not Tea This Time -- TVs Instead
By Richard Power
I have held a vision in my consciousness for almost a decade now, a vision of a second Boston Tea Party. This time it would not focus on the East Indian Trading Company, it would focus on the fistful of giant corporations that control the major networks and cable news organizations in this country. It wouldn't just be held in Boston, it would be held all across the USA; and it wouldn't be crates of tea that would be thrown into the harbor, it would be TV sets.
This vision of mine, of course, is symbolic and poetical. The environmental impact alone would be reason enough not to literally hurl TV sets into our harbors. (Although you could use bio-degradable imitation TV sets made from recycled paper. Hmmm.)
Well, in confronting Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Michael Moore has brought us closer to that second Boston Tea Party, i.e., the American TV Party -- one that occurs in the consciousness of the citizenry, not on the harbor waters or in the broadcast studios.
The truth is dawning for more and more people, too slowly, of course, but it is dawning none the less. And it may not be too late.
What is the truth? The US mainstream media is not independent of government, nor is it controlled by government -- both are owned lock, stock and barrel. Not in the same way, of course, the news media is literally owned by that fistful of giant corporations, while the government is owned, by extension, through the campaign financing system.
And who are they owned by? By corporations that have been bestowed the rights of individual human beings, spending money that has been sanctified as free speech.
It's that simple.
Here is an excerpt from the CNN transcript of Moore's confrontation with Blitzer (watch the video too, Crooks and Liars has it):
BLITZER: Michael Moore is joining us now live from Detroit. Michael, thanks very much for coming in. You want to respond to anything ...
MOORE: First of all, Wolf, yeah, well -- yeah, I'd like about 10 minutes to respond to what was said.
BLITZER: Give us a couple of headlines, what you'd like to say.
MOORE: I don't talk in sound bites. So -- that report was so biased. I can't imagine what pharmaceutical company ad's coming up right after our break here.
But why don't you tell the truth to the American people? I mean, I wish that CNN and the other mainstream media would just for once tell the truth about what's going on in this country, whether it's with healthcare -- I don't care what it is. I mean, you guys have such a poor track record.
And for me to come on here and have to listen to that kind of crap. I mean, seriously, I haven't been on your show now for three years. The last time I was on, you ran a similar piece about "Fahrenheit 9/11" saying this can't be true what he's saying about the war, how it's going to be a quagmire, the weapons of mass destruction.
You know, and -- why don't you start off actually with my first appearance back here on your show in three years and maybe apologize to me for saying that three years ago, because it turned out everything I said in "Fahrenheit" was true. Everything has come to happen.
Everything I said. I mean, I was -- I took you in that film to Walter Reed Hospital and it took three years before you or any of the rest of the mainstream media would go to Walter Reed Hospital and see what was happening to our troops. So for me to have to sit here and listen again to more crap about socialized medicine or how the Canadians have it worse than us and all this, all the statistics show that we have far worse healthcare than these other industrialized countries.
We're the only ones that don't have it free and universal. And, you know, there's a -- there's a -- you said that Germany was the only one that was better than us in terms of wait times. The Commonwealth Fund last year showed of the top six countries, we were second to last, next to Canada. It showed that Britain, for instance, 71 percent of the British public, when they call to see a doctor, get to see the doctor that day or the next day. It's 69 percent in Germany. It's 66% in Australia. And you're the ones who are fudging the facts. You fudged the facts to the American people now for I don't know how long about this issue, 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: Just in fairness, we had a lot of commercials for "Sicko" that we've been running on CNN as well. So we have commercials. This is a business, obviously. But let's talk a little bit about ...
MOORE: You have a nightly medical report. You have something called "The Daily Dose." 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 15 seconds. Come on. Come on, Wolf!
BLITZER: 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: All right. So when I -- when I now put on my Web site, as I will do tonight, how his facts were wrong about the $7,000 that we spend, it's actually -- I've read one report now, it's even more than $7,000 that we spend per person each year in this country. I'm going to put the real facts up there on my Web site so people can see what he said was wrong.
BLITZER: Well, if we get that confirmed, obviously, we'll correct the record. Sanjay - but I'm just saying ... MOORE: Oh, you will? You'll be getting it.
BLITZER: Sanjay Gupta is not only a doctor and neurosurgeon, but he's also an excellent, excellent journalist. Look, I saw the film, and it's a powerful, powerful ...
MOORE: 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. And that's why we're in this war -- we're in the fifth year of this war because you and CNN, Dr. Gupta, you didn't do your jobs back then and now here we are in this mess.
What if you'd actually done the job on that? That's why anybody who hears anything he anything of what you say now about universal healthcare should question what you're saying, what you're putting out there. You didn't do the job for us with the war. You're not doing it with this issue. And I just -- I just wonder when the American people are going to turn off their TV sets and quit listening to this stuff.
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 actually performed neurosurgery on the scene.
MOORE: You have the questions. 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: Those are fair questions.
MOORE: Four years!
BLITZER: Let's talk a little ...
MOORE: Where were you?
BLITZER: Let's talk about "Sicko." That's the film that you're here to talk about.
MOORE: Yeah, let's forget that. Yeah, OK.
BLITZER: There's plenty to talk about the war. There's plenty to talk about with "Sicko."
MOORE: I just haven't seen you in three years, so I was wondering how you felt for three years of not seeing me after you trashed "Fahrenheit" and said that I was wrong about, oh, yeah, this war was -- come on, I'm just waiting for an apology.
BLITZER: Michael, we've invited you on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, you've declined our invitations the past three years but there are plenty of times we asked you to come on the show and plenty of times you've declined.
MOORE: Really? And you wanted to apologize? Why did you want to talk to me?
BLITZER: No, we wanted to interview you. That's what we do on television. Let's ...
MOORE: You don't have to apologize to me. Maybe just apologize to the American people and the families of the troops for not doing your job four years ago. We wouldn't be in this war. If you had done your job. Come on. Just admit it. Just apologize to the American people.
BLITZER: Which of the presidential candidates who are out there right now do you think would do the best job fixing the nation's healthcare system?
MOORE: Well, the Democrats have to be asked some very specific questions. Too many of them are saying, well, they're for health care for all people. Very few of them are being as specific as Mr. Kucinich is in saying, well, I support the Conyers bill in Congress HR-676. That's what we need to hear.
And I would like to hear what these other Democratic candidates are going to say and do in specifics in removing the private insurance companies from the equation. We shouldn't have profit involved when we talk about taking care of people's health.
BLITZER: Is there a candidate, though, you think -- is Dennis Kucinich your candidate? Who do you think -- I know in the film you go after Hillary Clinton. And you're very, very bipartisan in your criticism in the film, Democrats and Republicans.
MOORE: Yeah. When you say I go after, let's be clear. I actually think she did a very brave thing to try and address this issue 14 years ago. And they stopped her cold. They went after her with the same kind of, you know, trash pieces I just had to watch. And so that stopped her. And now we've had to suffer through 14 more years of having no universal healthcare in this country. Our own government admits that because the 47 million who aren't insured, we now have about 18,000 people a year that die in this country simply because they don't have health insurance. That's six 9/11's every single year.
If you times that by 14 since Mrs. Clinton was unceremoniously removed from the agenda here, she hasn't been able to talk about this. She hasn't really put forth her specific plan. I'm hoping that the people have gone to my movie, the people that are concerned about this issue, will write to Mrs. Clinton and say, please, universal healthcare that's free for everyone who lives in this country. It will cost us less than what we're spending now ling the pockets of these private health insurance companies, of these pharmaceutical companies. So there's still some chance to have an effect on people like her.
And of course, there's one candidate who isn't even in the race yet. I don't know if he will be. But he was right about the war before it began, unlike CNN -- did I mention that?
BLITZER: You did.
MOORE: And -- and he's right about global warming and he's right on this issue, too.
BLITZER: Al Gore. CNN Situation Room, 7-9-07
Go see Sicko, it is an evolutionary act.
Michael Moore, CNN, Wolf Blitzer, Healthcare,Sicko, Boston Tea Party Richard Power, Words of Power