Archive for the ‘CNN’ Category

The November Surprise – Lou Dobbs, CNN 

NEW YORK (CNN) — Pakistan’s President, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has carried out another coup to preserve the status quo, and the result has been violence and civil unrest. But chaos is hardly limited to Pakistan.

Some 100,000 Turkish troops are massed on Iraq’s northern border eager to attack Kurdish rebels. Iran continues to defy the West in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, while supporting Shiite insurgents in Iraq. More of our troops have been killed this year in Iraq than in any year since the war began, and the war has now lasted longer than World War II. It is no coincidence that as instability and violence spreads through the Islamic world, and particularly in the Middle East, the price of crude oil is nearing $100 a barrel.

The United States also faces critical geopolitical and economic challenges from Russia and China, while the U.S. dollar plummets in world currency markets and our credit markets are racked by a trillion-dollar subprime-mortgage crisis and nearly 2 million home foreclosures.

And, yes, we have a president and a Congress who are held in not only disregard but also contempt by the American people. Not only are the poll ratings of both President Bush and this Congress at or near historic lows, but the vast majority of Americans also believe our great nation is headed in the wrong direction.

As I say in my new book — Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit — the arrogance of our political leaders now threatens the future of our nation, and their elitist sense of entitlement has reached such heights that our leaders are now openly dismissive of the will of the people. Working men and women and their families are simply not being represented in Washington.

One year from now, we will have elected a new president. As eager as I am for that reality, I can’t imagine any one of the current candidates for their party’s nomination being chosen by the American people to lead this nation for the next four years. I believe the person elected a year from now will be an Independent populist, a man or woman who understands the genius of this country lies in the hearts and minds of its people and not in the prerogatives and power of its elites.

As I travel around the country, my feeling about the lack of true candidates is validated by those I talk with: They are not excited about the candidates seeking their party’s nomination. The Democratic and Republican Parties have become merely opposite wings of the same bird, and it’s the American people who are getting the bird as our elected officials serve their corporate masters and the special interest groups that dominate both parties.

Has anything really changed since the Democrats took office after the 2006 midterm elections? Has this Congress passed any real legislation aimed at helping this nation’s middle class versus corporate America and the wealthiest among us?

Take, for example, the Senate Democrats who for some reason can’t decide whether to close the hedge fund tax loophole that allows executives at private equity firms and hedge funds to pay a tax rate of only 15 percent on most of their income. Closing the loophole would be the best way to reform the alternative minimum tax and provide relief for millions of middle-class families, but these Senate Democrats are being guided by the almighty forces of campaign contributions and lobbying dollars. These Senate Democrats, like their Republican colleagues, are serving a few wealthy folks at the expense of our working men and women.

The presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are fighting for campaign contributions and selling themselves to corporate America in the process, and we all know the end result of such practices. Corporate America is funneling money into both political parties, hedging their bets in the hopes that no matter which candidate is eventually elected, all their political bases are covered. Donating the maximum $2,300 contribution to two candidates whose ideologies are of direct contradiction is now commonplace.

The day will come soon when we’ll have the opportunity to choose new leaders who understand and respect our independence and right of self-determination. We the people still possess the power to chart the course of our own destiny. I don’t know who will win the next election, but I doubt that independent Americans will choose any one of the announced candidates now running.

More Americans than ever before are now identifying themselves as independents, and I hope millions of Americans in the day and weeks ahead will drop their party affiliation and become independents, refusing to be taken for granted by these two political parties and refusing to be taken for fools by the candidates they’re putting forward.

I believe that independent Americans will demand a far better choice than any of the candidates now seeking their party’s nomination. I believe next November’s surprise will be the election of a man or woman of great character, vision and accomplishment, a candidate who has not yet entered the race.

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We will not be posting Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007. We are participating in the STRIKE FOR PEACE.

If you’ve had enough, you need to say “When.” Say-when.org

If you are as tired as I am of the idiocy of mainstream news, take a few minutes and watch Jon Stewart’s take on the Larry King/Dick Cheney interview. It’s about 5 minutes – and the best part is at the end when Stewart catches Wolf Blitzer in a whopper!! Apparently, even Wolf doesn’t watch his own crappy show!

Enjoy!

Comedy Central – The Daily Show – click on the video “I Now Pronounce You Dick & Larry.”

Also, you should remember all that talk earlier this week about the terrorist dry runs at airports here in the U.S. Well, just kidding. It turns out it was all one big false alarm. We’ll explain.— CNN anchor T.J. Holmes, at the top of Saturday morning newscast (via Nexis).

In other reports on CNN over the weekend when fewer people watch television news:

(CNN reporter Brian) TODD: In fact, a U.S. government official familiar with the investigation now says there were valid explanations for all four incidents in that bulletin and no charges will be brought in any of these cases.

(on camera): TSA officials first told us the incident with Sara Weiss** got put on that bulletin because of a systems error. But they also say they were right to put all these incidents on that alert because whenever they find suspicious objects, they have to run them to ground and tell law enforcement officials to look out for items like that.

** Sara Weiss is a 66-year old woman (visiting her family in San Diego) with a leaky ice pack in her luggage, who was asked by a Federal Agent “Do you know Osama Bin Laden?!”

Check these guys out – go to therealnews.com and watch the entire video.  Until then – this is GOOD!

Didn’t you wonder why this wasn’t asked? It was the #1 video as voted on by visitors to CommunityCounts:

And here is Chris Dodd’s pathetic excuse for an answer. BUZZZZZ! Wrong answer, Sen. Dodd! Thanks for playing! Next contestant, please!

Lots and lots and lots of e-mails about the debates that just ended.  I will absolutely NOT discuss who I thought “won” – I’ve already discussed the earlier “debates” and haven’t changed my mind.

I will limit my comments to the candidates “YouTube-style” campaign videos:

The winner – hands down – John Edwards!

The loser – and we’re taking bets around here how long the staffer who made that piece of cr@p has a job – Hillary Clinton!  What was she thinking?!

And that, folks, is The End of this installment of the Hillary and Obama Show.  Thanks for watching!

Say “When.”

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

CNN Throws in Towel, Admits to Two Errors, and States That All ‘Sicko’ Facts Are True to Their Source (or something like that)… Moore Realizes All This is Huge Distraction and Then Spends More Precious Time Thanking Paris Hilton for Seeing ‘Sicko’… Meanwhile, More than 300 Americans Die Because They Had No Health Insurance During the 8-Day Gupta-Moore War…

Friends,

The mighty CNN, in a lengthy and sad online defense of their woe-begotten ‘Sicko’ story of last Monday, has admitted that they did indeed fudge at least two of the facts in their coverage of my film and have apologized for it:

1. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN: “To be clear, I got a number wrong in my original report, substituting the number 25, instead of 251.” — My Conversation with Michael Moore, July 11th, 2007; and

2. CNN: “Moore is correct. Paul Keckley left Vanderbilt in late 2006.” — CNN’s Response to Michael Moore, July 15th, 2007.

Furthermore, CNN confirmed that all of our statistics in “Sicko” are the correct numbers from the sources we cited. Although CNN still prefers to use older World Health Organization statistics, we will stick to using this year’s Bush administration stats and more recent U.N. data. (In “Sicko,” we consistently use only U.N. Human Development Statistics unless it’s for studies they don’t do or have recent numbers for.) CNN did apologize for these two factual errors, but no apology seems to be coming for the rest of their errors. These days, to get the mainstream media to admit they were wrong is rare; to get them to admit it twice, as they have with “Sicko,” I guess should be considered a whopping victory. Will they eventually apologize for the rest, or for their reporting on the war? Will the Cubs win the World Series this year?

So the truce has been signed, the peace pipe has been smoked. And the public is left with a much more cautious and wary eye when it comes to CNN. To be fair, this is what happens when you have to grind out “news” 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a staff you have shrunk through layoffs over the years (like all the broadcast networks have done). You end up rushed and having interns do your research. You have robots replace live camera operators. And, if you’re CNN, you are constantly dodging the accusation that you are “too liberal.” So when you do a piece on someone like me, you have to make sure you add superfluous and standard ad hominems attacking me simply to prove that you are NOT too liberal. I get it.

Until the last month or so, I have not appeared on a single national TV show for nearly 2 and 1/2 years. After the attacks I had to endure three years ago, from a media intent on questioning my patriotism because I dared to speak out against the war when none in the media would, I decided I had had enough and would simply concentrate on making my next film. I had no desire to participate in networks that were complicit in the war because of their refusal the challenge the commander in chief.

I have to admit, though, I do feel kinda bad taking it all out on Wolf Blitzer. It’s not like he’s the official representative of the mainstream media. I mean, he’s from Buffalo, for crying out loud! He said to me at the end of the show last week to please come back on “anytime you want.” I will take him up on that offer and appear again with him tomorrow [UPDATE: Michael’s appearance on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer has been postponed. More details soon.]. I’m not expecting a dozen roses or make-up sex — I only want a promise that there will be no more distorted distractions so we can have a decent discussion about the REAL issues like why 18,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have a health insurance card. More than 300 of them died this week. As Ehrlichman said to Nixon in “Sicko”: “The less care they give ’em, the more money they (the insurance companies) make.”

THAT’S the only thing we should be talking about. How profit and greed are killing our fellow Americans. How profit and private insurance have to be removed from our health care system. CNN should join me in asking why our 9/11 rescue workers aren’t receiving medical care. Somebody should send a crew to Canada to find out why they live longer than we do, and why no Canadian has ever gone bankrupt because of medical bills. And all of the media should start saying how much it costs to go to a doctor in these other top industrialized countries: Nothing. Zip. It’s FREE. Don’t patronize Americans by saying, “Well, it’s not free — they pay for it with taxes!” Yes, we know that. Just like we know that we drive down a city street for FREE — even though we paid for that street with our taxes. The street is FREE, the book at the library is FREE, if your house catches on fire, the fire department will come and put it out for FREE, and if someone snatches your purse, the police officer will chase down the culprit and bring your purse back to you — AND HE WON’T CHARGE YOU A DIME FROM THAT PURSE!

These are all free services, collectively socialized and paid for with our tax dollars. To argue that health care — a life and death issue for many — should not be considered in the same league is ludicrous and archaic. And trust me, once you add up what you pay for out-of-pocket in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, overpriced medicines, and treatments that aren’t covered (not to mention all the other things we pay for like college education, day care and other services that many countries provide for at little or no cost), we, as Americans, are paying far more than the Canadians or Brits or French are paying in taxes. We just don’t call these things taxes, but that’s exactly what they are.

See you all when I’m back on CNN tomorrow — where the discussion will be not be about whose statistics are right, but rather about the guy without insurance who died while I was writing this letter.

Yours,
Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com
www.michaelmoore.com

P.S. Oh… I forgot to tell you about Paris Hilton. Apparently cooped up for too long at home since getting out of jail, she decided to head out for a night on the town. But where does she go? Clubbing? Cruising down the Strip? No! She and her sister decide to go see “Sicko.” Now THAT’S news! So, no more bad words about Paris Hilton!

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Dear CNN,

Well, the week is over — and still no apology, no retraction, no correction of your glaring mistakes.

I bet you thought my dust-up with Wolf Blitzer was just a cool ratings coup, that you really wouldn’t have to correct the false statements you made about “Sicko.” I bet you thought I was just going to go quietly away.

Think again. I’m about to become your worst nightmare. ‘Cause I ain’t ever going away. Not until you set the record straight, and apologize to your viewers. “The Most Trusted Name in News?” I think it’s safe to say you can retire that slogan.

You have an occasional segment called “Keeping Them Honest.” But who keeps you honest? After what the public saw with your report on “Sicko,” and how many inaccuracies that report contained, how can anyone believe anything you say on your network? In the old days, before the Internet, you could get away with it. Your victims had no way to set the record straight, to show the viewers how you had misrepresented the truth. But now, we can post the truth — and back it up with evidence and facts — on the web, for all to see. And boy, judging from the mail both you and I have been receiving, the evidence I have posted on my site about your “Sicko” piece has led millions now to question your honesty.

I won’t waste your time rehashing your errors. You know what they are. What I want to do is help you come clean. Admit you were wrong. What is the shame in that? We all make mistakes. I know it’s hard to admit it when you’ve screwed up, but it’s also liberating and cathartic. It not only makes you a better person, it helps prevent you from screwing up again. Imagine how many people will be drawn to a network that says, “We made a mistake. We’re human. We’re sorry. We will make mistakes in the future — but we will always correct them so that you know you can trust us.” Now, how hard would that really be?

As you know, I hold no personal animosity against you or any of your staff. You and your parent company have been very good to me over the years. You distributed my first film, “Roger & Me” and you published “Dude, Where’s My Country?” Larry King has had me on twice in the last two weeks. I couldn’t ask for better treatment.

That’s why I was so stunned when you let a doctor who knows a lot about brain surgery — but apparently very little about public policy — do a “fact check” story, not on the medical issues in “Sicko,” but rather on the economic and political information in the film. Is this why there has been a delay in your apology, because you are trying to get a DOCTOR to say he was wrong? Please tell him not to worry, no one is filing a malpractice claim against him. Dr. Gupta does excellent and compassionate stories on CNN about people’s health and how we can take better care of ourselves. But when it came time to discuss universal health care, he rushed together a bunch of sloppy — and old — research. When his producer called us about his report the day before it aired, we sent to her, in an email, all the evidence so that he wouldn’t make any mistakes on air. He chose to ignore ALL the evidence, and ran with all his falsehoods — even though he had been given the facts a full day before! How could that happen? And now, for 5 days, I have posted on my website, for all to see, every mistake and error he made.

You, on the other hand, in the face of this overwhelming evidence and a huge public backlash, have chosen to remain silent, probably praying and hoping this will all go away.

Well it isn’t. We are now going to start looking into the veracity of other reports you have aired on other topics. Nothing you say now can be believed. In 2002, the New York Times busted you for bringing celebrities on your shows and not telling your viewers they were paid spokespeople for the pharmaceutical companies. You promised never to do it again. But there you were, in 2005, talking to Joe Theismann, on air, as he pushed some drug company-sponsored website on prostate health. You said nothing about about his affiliation with GlaxoSmithKline.

Clearly, no one is keeping you honest, so I guess I’m going to have to do that job, too. $1.5 billion is spent each year by the drug companies on ads on CNN and the other four networks. I’m sure that has nothing to do with any of this. After all, if someone gave me $1.5 billion, I have to admit, I might say a kind word or two about them. Who wouldn’t?!

I expect CNN to put this matter to rest. Say you’re sorry and correct your story — like any good journalist would.

Then we can get back to more important things. Like a REAL discussion about our broken health care system. Everything else is a distraction from what really matters.

Yours,
Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com
www.michaelmoore.com

P.S. If you also want to apologize for not doing your job at the start of the Iraq War, I’m sure most Americans would be very happy to accept your apology. You and the other networks were willing partners with Bush, flying flags all over the TV screens and never asking the hard questions that you should have asked. You might have prevented a war. You might have saved the lives of those 3,610 soldiers who are no longer with us. Instead, you blew air kisses at a commander in chief who clearly was making it all up. Millions of us knew that — why didn’t you? I think you did. And, in my opinion, that makes you responsible for this war. Instead of doing the job the founding fathers wanted you to do — keeping those in power honest (that’s why they made it the FIRST amendment) — you and much of the media went on the attack against the few public figures like myself who dared to question the nightmare we were about to enter. You’ve never thanked me or the Dixie Chicks or Al Gore for doing your job for you. That’s OK. Just tell the truth from this point on.

In case you haven’t seen Michael “chatting” with Wolf Blitzer – click here.

You know, none of us exists in a bubble – not even the President of the United States. I have wondered how those around Bush are going to get around having to testify before Congress – they aren’t covered by executive privilege. Well – my questions were answered today by former White House aide Sara Taylor – and the answer was disturbing, to say the least.

Ms. Taylor refused to answer Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) questions about the President’s role in the firing of U.S. attorneys earlier this year by reminding the Senate Judiciary Committee that as a commissioned officer, “I took an oath and I take that oath to the president very seriously.”

Isn’t her oath – like the oaths of ALL who serve in our government – to uphold the Constitution?!

Luckily, Sen. Leahy took the opportunity to remind her that her oath was not to uphold the President.

Read the rest of the story.

Say “When.”