On Wednesday, MSNBC talking-head (and man, what a big head it is) Joe Scarborough was discussing Michael Moore’s new documentary “Sicko” on his morning program. After viewing the film, Scarborough’s only socially-redeeming take-away was that Moore is fat, and as a fat person he therefore should not have the right to call attention to the glaring inefficiencies, amoral behavior and illegal activity of the health care industry. And why, according to Scarborough? Because obesity is rampant in the U.S. and it’s a drain on the system. If Moore cares so much about the health care industry, Scarborough ignorantly railed, then he should lose weight. Am I missing something here? Is this the best the right-wing has to offer as it desperately attempts to defend itself against the shameful cronyism that’s made its pals in the hospital, insurance and pharmaceutical industries disgustingly filthy rich?
But wait, that same day CNN health correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta split hairs with Moore on the Larry King show over their differing claims of how much Cuba spends for health care on each of its citizens. The difference, according to the good Republican doctor, was a whopping $20, the fact of which now proves, of course, that everything in “Sicko” according to the truth-averse right wing, is false. So much so that Gupta had dedicated an entire CNN segment this week to fact-checking the documentary’s overall claims. I guess he felt investigating the health care industry itself was not worth his time.
The reality is, “Sicko” was not presented in any partisan manner. It is unbiased and objective in its indictment of Congress—including both Republicans and Democrats (Hillary Clinton is #2 on the list of Senate recipients of health care industry payoffs)—over its inability to provide universal health coverage and a socialized medicine program like those that exist in every other Western nation. The state of health care in this country is a huge embarrassment, and Moore’s film shines a spotlight on the problem.
As Moore told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer this week, history has proven that he was right about the claims he made in his previous film, “Fahrenheit 911,” which was a scathing expose of the Bushevik lies, deception and corruption. And he says he’s right about those made in “Sicko” as well. We should all believe him.
Moore is a true American hero. A modern-day Tom Paine. Our country needs independent watchdogs like him, especially when our elected leaders have shamefully neglected to carry out their responsibilities to protect and provide for our citizens. Of course ring-wingers hate Moore and his new film. They know he’s right about how they’ve allowed their insurance and pharmaceutical cronies to screw Americans out of their health coverage. They know they are guilty of putting the terrorism-fear-of-God into our citizens to keep them down and controlled. They know they are guilty of diverting their attention away with non-issue distractions such as gay-marriage. And they know Americans are much smarter today, and angrier with Washington, than ever before…and that scares the bejesus out of them as the ’08 election rapidly approaches.
Hopefully, “Sicko” will do for health care what “Fahrenheit-911” did to expose the Bush crimes and start the GOP house of cards falling. I suspect 3-4 years from now we’ll look back on “Sicko” and credit it, at least in part, with finally forcing politicians to improve our nation’s ailing health care system.
On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, the Independent Feature Project, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.
Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to incredible rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and more. Since then, it's been playing to packed audiences across America. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.