Friday, July 13, 2007

fact checking michael moore

The American Prospect has an interesting piece on why the mainstream media, so quick to swallow every lie the Bush administration hands them, are so eager to fact check, confront, investigate Michael Moore.

Take CNN. A few days after the release of Sicko, they set a whole team on fact checking the provocateur's documentary. "We found," they said, "that his numbers were mostly right, but his arguments could use a little more context. As we dug deep to uncover the numbers, we found surprisingly few inaccuracies in the film. In fact, most pundits or health-care experts we spoke to spent more time on errors of omission rather than disputing the actual claims in the film. . . .

To wit, Moore is a documentary filmmaker. Fred Thompson is a likely Republican candidate for president. Thompson recently released a radio commentary on the Moore's movie that mixed outright falsehoods with deceptive omissions. There was no media outcry, no Wolf Blitzer follow-up, no CNN truth squad. Nothing. Silence.

The world is full of political provocateurs and public hotheads, but only Moore triggers the media's all-too-absent obsession with factual accuracy. Ann Coulter doesn't, and Al Franken doesn't, and Rush Limbaugh doesn't, and Mitt Romney doesn't. Only Moore. Because he scares them.

Here's a radical thought, though: Maybe if these mainstream media types were as incredulous towards the powerful as they are to Moore, his productions wouldn't pose a threat. After all, there's nothing wrong with fact-checking, and asking hard questions, and raising an oppositional eyebrow towards pabulum and propaganda. The problem isn't that the media is so quick to doubt Moore. It's that they're so trusting the rest of the time.

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Anonymous Joe said...

Great excerpt and link, Lynette.

I found the following comment from that site interesting, and I pretty much think they're right. Then again, wingnuts will claim the MSM is super liberal no matter what they do....

If the media doesn't go after Moore aggressively, and J. Random Blogger finds a factual inaccuracy, we get to hear for weeks on talk shows about how "the liberal mainstream media gives Michael Moore a pass." So the media is overreacting, and doing the kind of scrutiny that you'd hope they'd apply to everything that comes across their desks. As you mention, it's thrown in stark contrast because of how they normally don't provide that level of scrutiny to every other story.

July 13, 2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

It's amazing that the myth of the liberal media still exists.

For years, the media has gone so far out of its way to disprove this espoused liberalism, they've swung all the way over in the other direction, to the point where they'll avoid telling the simple truth if it feels too "left."

July 13, 2007 11:04 PM  
Blogger here today, gone tomorrow said...

Very well said...thanks for drawing our attention to this, lynette.

July 14, 2007 8:25 AM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

I saw the two YouTube videos you recommended. Powerful stuff. Michael doesn't back down an inch, and he shouldn't. It is wonderful to see someone take guff and hit them right back.

Wolf Blitzer is a tool. At least he had the decency to allow Michael to spout off, but he is still a tool.

July 15, 2007 8:54 AM  

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